Sunday, 16 March 2014

Zine News Round-Up, 16.03.14

1.            New Releases
2.            Upcoming Events
3.            Submission Calls
4.            A.O.B.

1.New Releases

Poor Lass, a zine about working-class women, released its 3rd issue this month!  Details here:  

Split perzine ‘Mythologising Me #8 / Not Lonely #8’ was published this weekend. Buy your copy at!

Issue #123 of Bi Community News, the UK’s biggest-selling bisexual zine, is available to buy now at  They also offer great subscription rates!

I published a full colour zine titled ‘Ways in which I am like my dog’, which is available to buy from my website for 50p!

New UK perzine Shelf Life is out now, featuring pieces on anxiety, obsessions, roller derby and university.  Buy a copy at

Literary zine Hand Job #4 is out now!  Check it out at

UK perzine Opinionated Nobody #7 is out now, which is all about the author turning 30.  Contact Rebs at clumsykisses @ to buy or trade a copy.

D&D Virgin #2 is out now – buy a copy at

MH perzine Unblissfully #2 was published last month – buy a copy at the author’s etsy store.

Your Pretty Face Is Going Straight To Hell #19 was published this weekend!  Details on buying/trading can be found here:

Burnout (a minizine about burnout and self-care) is available for only 50p from Cool Schmool: 

Athemaura #12 was also published this weekend, in time for Yorkshire Zine Weekender (you've all been such busy bees!) - lots of info here: 

2.Upcoming Events

'Dare to be free': a women's history zine making workshop: 29th March 2014, 13.30-16.30 at The National Archives in Kew.  A collaborative zine will be made during the course of the workshop!  Info here:

Alternative Press Fair: 10 May 2014, Bishopsgate Institute, London.  To take part as an exhibitor please apply for a table here:   Spaces are limited and deadline is 5pm on 19th March.

Dublin Zine Fair: August 2014, date TBC.  The organisers are offering FREE tables for international zinesters, so email asap to register your interest!  Sarahbracken @

3.Submission Calls

‘Stories from Space Camp’ is looking for submissions for their second issue, on the theme of “bodies”.  Submissions from people who feel alienated from mainstream sci fi & fantasy media are particularly welcome. Check out the Facebook page for more info:

‘Sonorus: Feminist Perspectives on Harry Potter’ is looking for submissions for its second issue – deadline now extended to 29 March!  Lots of details on the website:

Hand Job Literary Zine are looking for submissions for their next issue!  Email the editors at handjobzine @ for more info, or visit


Did we miss anything?  Let us know – spillthezinesuk @ .

Monday, 10 March 2014

My Newfound Love Of Comic Zines

Image taken from Wikipedia (in public domain)

This is a guest post by Fliss, founder of SW London and Surrey Zine Collective - thanks so much! 

There can be a divide between perzines/text-heavy zines and illustration/comic/art zines, though they sometimes meet in the middle. I don't mind admitting that I used to have a barrier between me and comic 'zines. It's true that I will never have any love for the super-hero stuff - though I don't dismiss that trait of loving them, in other people - but now I have seriously warmed to comic style 'zines. That is, hand-drawn picture-filled 'zines, sometimes done as strips/stories, sometimes as accompaniment to personal writing, sometimes the dominant narrative.

I think the zines that first turned me around was a music zine by Sammy Boras. The topic and slant of humour helped, but her drawings/comics are just so skilful and full of personality. The first zine by Sammy Boras I bought was This is Not A Serious Music Publication, and it was really good fun. The bands did not have to be ones I know/love for me to fall in love with Sammy's work. She makes many other zines, so do check out her Etsy shop. She makes the most incredible zine badges too!

Soon after this, I met Lisa Stockley at a zine fair, and was so smitten by her perzine which also had her drawings in. The Jellygoose Chronicles zine is just so cool! It was a real breath of fresh air - dealing with serious issues like bulimia, as well as larking about and jotting down nice bits of personal trivia, and with the most detailed and careful and wonderful drawings/art. This felt like a real turning point when I became totally open to more comic style zines.

Another zine that gets my vote is by Joe Besford. His work with Earthling Brains is excellent fun. He uploads a weekly comic strip, chronicling little life incidents/thoughts/jokes, on his site. But I much prefer to have the printed collection to go through. One of my favourite strips recently from him was the one about work! It features a contamination tank and at one end is the 'work' version of Joe all tired and stressed in a work suit - and at the other end is the smiling, relaxed, comfy-clothed Joe. He also sneaks in quite as few indie references, which I always appreciate.

Comics are a good way of promoting political messages quickly or with humour. There are a lot of really good ones like this for sale at 56a Infoshop in London.

I'm sure to be overlooking a good many other great comic zines here, but I just wanted to start writing about the ones I have started to find and enjoy so far. I am looking forward to discovering a lot more comic zines in the future.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Zine Reviews, February '14

Stories From Space Camp #1
Edited by Will, London –
Subtitled “reclaiming speculative fiction for the rest of us”, this science-fiction and fantasy quarterly zine is for people who sometimes feel unwelcome in mainstream sci-fi and fantasy culture.  3 long pieces of sci-fi flash fiction take up a large proportion of the zine, and while I’m not usually a fan of flash fiction, I actually really enjoyed reading them.  The editor writes an interesting piece about how NASA would never allow sick or disabled people into their space programmes, but that this isn’t an issue in science fiction – Will writes, “The fiction part of science fiction makes me welcome”.  There’s a funny piece titled “Dear Robots”, issuing robots pointers on how to assimilate into human culture, and following this a review of a nuclear bunker leaflet from the 1980s.  My personal favourite part of this zine is an amazing article about the sexist depiction of female companions in Steven Moffat’s ‘Doctor Who’ - as a feminist Whovian, I found myself punching the air while reading this!  I adore the concept of this zine, and the content was so well-written and smart. (I hope to eventually get my butt into gear and submit something myself).  Get your hands on your own copy at their tumblr.  Also, if you are into tumblr, I highly recommend following them, as they reblog some awesome and right-on stuff.

One of My Kind #2
Edited by Sofia, Rose, Heiba and Sabba, London –
One Of My Kind is a visual feminist compzine, the content of which “pivots upon the imaginations, creativity and spirituality of women”.  This issue focuses on the role of print in art and activism, and features artists and artwork that explore issues including race, body image, sexualisation, spirituality, poverty, DIY activism, entrepreneurship, and more.  Also included are pieces of original artwork contributed by female artists, which include illustrations, lino prints, posters, textiles, and photography (digital and Polaroid).  Visually, the zine is difficult to describe – with its clean magazine-style layouts, colour photos, length (112 pages!) and professional binding, it feels more like a book to read, although the nature of the content is very ziney.  I thoroughly enjoyed OOMK; there’s plenty of varied content, and it focuses on some really important issues.  You can read a free online preview here, or purchase a copy at one of these stockists.

Elderflower #1
Sarah, Coventry –
A warm, cozy little zine created by the author of zine series ‘Elderflower Tea’, this new zine series represents a more honest look at the author’s life, rather than “hiding behind a rose tinted version”.  I loved this line from the opening page, which I felt was a really nice summation of her writing in this issue: “I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be”.  Sarah writes about some recent difficulties in her life, including a mental health relapse, developing chronic pain and fatigue, and heartache.  She then discusses the ways she is trying to heal and care for herself.  The layouts are beautiful – stickers and dainty backgrounds and typewritten text.  Email Sarah to buy or trade a copy. 

The Monkey Wrench Manual vol. 1
Spike, London –

One of the more inventive zines I’ve read for a long time, The Monkey Wrench Manual is a survival guide for people who find themselves “alive at the peak of industrialised civilization”.  It’s a satirical look at modern capitalist culture, with guides on sabotaging industrial machinery which are “destroying your natural habitat”, a stink bomb recipe, instructions on how to vandalise a self-service checkout, and thoughts on how parts of our body are reduced to ways in which they are “economically exploitable”.  There’s also a very inventive poem about the decline of civilization created with brand name - “THE SUN in the SKY has a new ORANGE glow, that fails to make APPLE or BLACKBERRY grow”!  Also included near the end are post-apocalypse survival tips, including how to survive without electricity and how to clean your water supply.  The visual style is so so cool – it’s all printed in a broadsheet folded-newspaper style, folded down to slightly bigger than ¼ sized, entirely letterpressed in red and black ink (I instagrammed some pictures from the interior pages if you're interested to see more).  It folds out really nicely too, with each unfolding revealing new content (i.e. you don’t have to unfold the whole thing and then read it like a broadsheet from cover to cover).  The zine is free when you order something from the store above, so get your buns over there.

Playerist #3
Edited by Martin, UK -
Playerist is a literary (maga)zine featuring poetry, prose, and artwork that “supports the best practice of established and emergent artists and writers from the UK and world-wide”.  On their Facebook page, the editor writes that this issue is on the broad theme of “comedy”, though as enjoyable as the content was, I wouldn't describe any of it as funny exactly (except perhaps the ‘Pasta Phelps’ sauce illustration, which was very good!).  The zine itself is very stark – black typewriter-like font laid on white background, printed in a neat and uniform way.  Each piece is presented on its own with no title or author name (these are all listed at the front), and all contributor biographies are available to read on the facebook page instead.  I would have preferred to have been able to read the contributor biographies in the zine itself - perhaps people enjoy that kind of multimedia approach, but it’s not for me; I like zines to be little self-contained universes that you can get lost in, with more info about the people behind the words.  Unfortunately, Playerist didn’t contain enough content for me to really get my teeth into.