Saturday, 3 September 2011

Zine (& Book) Reviews from Photocopy Press #2

Zine Reviews
100 Things I Love
By Harley R. Pageot,,
785 Wolfberry Crt. / Oshawa, ON / L1K 2J2 / Canada
This was such a nice, little zine. Maybe you could tell by the title, but it is definitely the kind of zine that will put a smile on your face. Each page is indeed something Harley loves and is put together cut n’ paste style.

A Book of Cats
By Nicholas Beckett,,
This is such a sweet little zine for all the cat lovers out there. It is super tiny (1/8th in size perchance?) and each page has a little cat masterpiece. Most are in full colour with a few black and white ones too. One of my favourites is titled “Cat napping after enjoying a Jam Sandwich”.  

Broken Arts: Year One
By Harley R. Pageot,,
785 Wolfberry Crt. / Oshawa, ON / L1K 2J2 / Canada
Harley runs an arts collective (Broken Arts) in his hometown of Oshawa, Ontario and this zine documents their first year: concerts, craft fairs, workshops, summer camps, a buskerfest and more! This indie arts group has done it all – some of it was a great success, other times things didn’t turn out as planned. They persevered and got through a whole year of events and are eager to continue. An aspiring zine for anyone who runs an arts collective in their own town or for people thinking of starting one up. Visit: Email:

Chromat: A/W 2010, musclechrome
By Becca McCharren (and Emily Kappes), Photography by Ashley Florence and Lauren Baker,,
I wrote a bit about Chromat in the last issue of Photocopy Press. This is a full colour, ¼-sized zine made for a fashion collection. The first half is of an outdoor photo shoot and the second half is photos of their runway show. The theme for this season’s collection was “inspired by monochromacity, body builders, muscle tendons and underwater sea tendrils”. There are some interesting and cute dresses. It’s a very nice little fashion zine and only costs one dollar plus postage!

Cinnamon Insanity #1
By E*phi,,,
KoBgasse 16/90 / 8010 Graz / Austria
This was a wonderful ¼-sized, 40 page zine from Austria. I love the over all look and aesthetic of this zine – E*phi uses a combination of typing, handwriting, illustrations/doodles, comics and cut n’ paste to make an amazing little zine. I don’t know what kind of photocopier she uses, but it makes the pages look really cool. The writing itself was wonderful too: heartfelt perzine writing all about school, making big decisions, having break downs about school and making big decisions…I could definitely relate. And then there were also recipes for hot and cold banana desserts! Yay!

Counterpoint #3
Edited by  Max S. L.,,
A compzine out of the UK. This issue had an interview with a band called Ellen and the Escapades, an interview with the co-ordinator of a British festival called Green Man Festival as well as two essays in the politics section, poems, quotes and some photography.

Culture Slut #20
By Amber Forrester,,,
10124 Ave. Hebert #8 / Montreal, Quebec / H1H 3W5 Canada
I keep hearing about Amber’s zine Culture Slut from other people’s zines and I have checked out her blog and now I finally got around to mailing away for some zines from her. I must say, I was not let down by the hype. I expected a wonderful zine, and that’s exactly what I got! Amber is a talented perzine writer. In this issue she writes about moving from a small town in Ontario to Montreal. She also writes about her first Pride experience, Diva Cups, her cats and lots of other stuff, all cut and pasted into this great little zine.

Culture Slut #21 / Stab Heart #11
By Amber Forrester,,,
10124 Ave. Hebert #8 / Montreal, Quebec / H1H 3W5 Canada
And Stab Heart by Jane,,
PO Box 398 / Baltic, Ohio / 43804 USA
The 21st issue of Culture Slut (March 2010) is a split-zine with Jane’s perzine Stab Heart. I liked how both had some similar content, such as a list of what they collect, words they find repulsive and things they are looking forward to. On her side, Amber writes about some books she has read, fun things she plans to do in the Spring, and some Frenchy stuff. Jane includes some photos she has taken with various cameras, writes about her goals and shares some recipes. I think these two zinesters compliment each other well and making a split zine was a super idea. I hope there will be more Culture Slut / Stab Heart split-zines in the future.

Dollar Dreadfuls
Costume Drama, Does the Cat Fish?, The Galah’s Last Hurrah, The Kid and the Echidna, The Snail’s Pacemaker, White Wings
By Nicholas Beckett,,
Every once in awhile I go in the zine section of Etsy and search for litzines. Most of them seem to be comic zines… But recently I found these little story zines from Down Under: Dollar Dreadfuls. The writer/artist decided to write a story a day. He then published his favourites as little zines accompanied by his beautiful artwork. The zines are quarter-sized and just one page, folded. The stories are very short, but also very cute, sweet or quirky. They all have full colour artwork including a cover image and an image on the inside too. I really enjoyed these little zines and they make a nice little collection together. If I had an in-person friend who liked zines, and for some reason I was in charge of stuffing their stocking at Christmas time, I would stuff their stocking with Dollar Dreadfuls. And a chocolate orange and maybe a pair of polka dot socks.

Fake Journal (from Ravenclaw)
By E*phi,,,
KoBgasse 16/90 / 8010 Graz / Austria
If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you’ll recognize the name Ravenclaw. If you don’t know what it is: it’s one of the four houses at Harry’s school, Hogwarts. This zine is a fake journal by the fan-fictionalized Ravenclaw student Raven R. van Heavensong. E*phi made this Harry Potter fan-fiction zine as part of Fake Journal Month, April 2010. E*phi is a talented artist and the zine is full of beautifully illustrated journal pages which take a look at what it might be like to be a student at Hogwarts. The only small negative comment I may have is that sometimes I had trouble reading some of the handwriting, but overall I did thoroughly enjoy this zine.

Fallopian Falafel #12: Special Issue on Virginity
Editor: Hadass S. Ben-Ari,,
Fallopian Falafel is a very sleek, feminist zine published by Hadass S. Ben-Ari in Jerusalem, Israel. It is a half-sized zine with a full colour cover and a neat and professional layout. Issue 12 is the “Special Issue on Virginity”, so inside this compzine are a few “first time” stories and poetry. There is also a touching article by Ben-Ari about her participation in the March of the Living where people visit the sites of former concentration camps from WWII and pay tribute to the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. Issues 1, 2, 7, 10 and 11 are all available for PDF download on the Fallopian Falafel blog (

Fallopian Falafel #13: DIY or Die!
Editor: Hadass S. Ben-Ari,,
The theme for this issue of Fallopian Falafel is DIY. Instead of the professional looking layout of the previous issues, it is cut n’ paste style. My favourite article in this issue was about Ben-Ari’s mom: how DIY she is and about her awesome cooking skills. Her mom even made a special bread to look like a brain for her uncle who was some sort of brain doctor. There is a picture and it does really look like a brain! Added to the articles and poetry are some zine and music reviews.

If You Give a Gay Mouse a Cookie
By Art for a Democratic Society, A4DS.ORG,
This is a different take on the popular children’s book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. The subtitle is, “A fable about mice, baked goods and civil rights.” It is a well-made zine with a full colour cover.

Killhope #1, summer 2010
By Rieka,, PO Box 386 / Singapore / 914013
This is Rieka’s first zine. Wow. I wish my first zine could have looked like this. This is a very aesthetically pleasing cut n’ paste perzine. I really like Rieka’s block letters, which she also used to address my envelope. The concept of this perzine was quite unique: all the thoughts that flowed through Rieka’s mind while driving with her family to a restaurant. My mind often flutters from thought to thought throughout the day, and when you think about it, it’s quite odd what your mind will jump around to. Rieka thinks about her god sister, being on a sports team that is like water polo with canoes/kayaks? (I must admit, I have never heard of this sport, so I’m a little iffy on the details), working as a waitress, friendships, jazz music, etc. It’s a nice little debut and I really enjoyed it.

Super Cool Awe Some #1
By Harley R. Pageot,,
785 Wolfberry Crt. / Oshawa, ON / L1K 2J2 / Canada
This zine features the early works of Harley R. Pageot. He has been writing since age five and decided to collect some of his very first endeavours in the creative writing world into this quarter sized zine. I have also been writing since a very young age and was thinking about putting together a zine of my early works, so I was very interested in getting this zine. It turned out to be an enjoyable read, ranging from some very short stories from the grade school years up until some more angsty stuff from the teen years.

Virgin #1
By Anonymous,
This is a little perzine published anonymously. I heard about it from We Make Zines and it arrived in my mail box in a silver envelope. The author mainly writes about what it is like to be a virgin in a homosexual environment and the comments and remarks that are made. It does seem rather unfair that no one questions heterosexuals’ sexuality, even if they are virgins, yet if you’re a homosexual you somehow have to prove it by having sex? If you are in a similar situation and have something to say about the subject, the writer is interested in submissions for future issues. You can send zine requests/questions about submitting to the above e-mail address. Because she wishes to remain anonymous, there is no mailing address provided.

Yard Sale! #5.5
By Harley R. Pageot,,
785 Wolfberry Crt. / Oshawa, ON / L1K 2J2 / Canada
This is the first issue of Yard Sale! I have read, and it serves as an introduction to what Yard Sale! is all about, including the history of the zine. I really enjoyed this zine and it definitely made me want to read the other issues!

Yard Sale! #4 and #5
By Harley R. Pageot,,
785 Wolfberry Crt. / Oshawa, ON / L1K 2J2 / Canada
After reading three of Harley’s other zines, I got issues #4 and #5 of Yard Sale! I’m thinking…Yard Sale! is one of my new favourite zines! Harley has a very open way of writing, it feels like I’ve met him just from reading his zines. It’s always nice to read a zine you can relate too. I especially loved the little part in issue #4 where he had three different contributors write about what zines mean to them. It made me realize just how much I love zines. Also in issue #4 Harley chronologically writes about his sexual experiences, which is pretty open, even for a perzine. Issue #5 focuses on Harley’s childhood as he goes back to visit his old homes and haunts and recounts his most poignant memories including childhood friendships and the trials of moving to a new town at the age of thirteen. Both issues are quarter-sized and have wonderful full colour covers. If you like perzines, you should check out these zines.

Yard Sale #6
By Harley R. Pageot,,
785 Wolfberry Crt. / Oshawa, ON / L1K 2J2 / Canada
Harley finished his latest issue of Yard Sale! before I published this zine, so I guess I’m reviewing almost every issue of Yard Sale! in this issue! Harley made this zine as part of the 24-Hour Zine Thing challenge. He writes about the challenge, including a time frame of what he did and when. The main theme of #6 is summer. Harley does an update of his summer goals and how his summer has been going so far. Also includes some found items and a full colour Betty and Veronica cover.

Zine World #29
Edited by Jerianne,,
PO Box 330156 / Murfreesboro, TN / 37133 / USA
Zine World is still one of my favourite places to read zine reviews, mostly because of the sheer volume printed in each issue. (I feel like Broken Pencil has less zine reviews every issue.) In this issue I also really liked the article entitled “Zinester” by Craven Rock, exploring the word zinester. I usually use it interchangeably with zine maker, but Rock brought up a lot of interesting points and it made me think about things I hadn’t thought of before, which is always good. There was also a wonderful article titled “Everything You Wanted to Know About A Zine Fest (But Were Afraid to Ask)” by Nicole Introvert and I enjoyed the free classified section too.

Book Reviews

Whatcha Mean, What’s A Zine? (The Art of Making Zines and Mini-Comics)
By Mark Todd and Esther Pearl Watson
Every once in awhile I search “zine” in the library catalogue to see if they’ve added anything new. The last search I did came up with this book and the Dishwasher book. This book does act as a good intro guide into the world of zines. There’s a brief history, some info on production and folding techniques, as well as some short lists of other zine resources and zine libraries. The only thing I didn’t like was that some parts were written as if aiming for a younger audience, and indeed, this book was filed in the Junior section of the library. However, in other parts there is swearing, such as the “F-word”. Yeah, I don’t know exactly what my deal is, but I don’t swear and think it is odd to have swearing in a “children’s” book. I think the publisher should have decided what their target audience was before printing. It seems most published books about zines are geared more towards tweens and teens, it’d be nice if there was a zine book actually published for adults. (Or maybe there is and my library just doesn’t have a copy?)

Dishwasher: One Man’s Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States
By Pete Jordan,,, PO Box 8213 / Portland, OR / 97207 / USA
This is the fist book-originally-a-zine I’ve read. I loved this book all about Pete’s backpacking around America, working in dingy dish rooms, commune dishwashing, washing dishes at a Jewish retirement home and dishing at an Alaskan fishery, just to name a few. I secretly wish all my belongings could fit in one bag and that the only food I needed was a once-a-day meal from the bus tub buffet. But then I look around my room and think oh no, I couldn’t get rid of that. And I would need to bring this. And it’d be so stressful…not knowing where my next meal was going to be. So yeah, I could never, ever do what Pete Jordan did, but I can live vicariously through this excellent book. I brought it around with me everywhere until I was finished reading it. If people asked what I was reading, I’d say, “A book about dishwashing.” Which, admittedly, sounds really boring. But Pete Jordan is a gifted writer who can clearly capture his adventurous and often humours tales of dishwashery.

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