Wednesday, April 22, 2015

gravity powered pockets

This is a charming half-size zine photocopied in black & white with charming drawings.  I like all the autobiographical material.  It was fun to read that.  I like the lightness and personality and the honest way that being a kid is portrayed.  I like the list of places Robert rode horses and rode bikes.  I like what he said about a friend who died.

There's something deeply attractive about this zine, and I read it immediately upon receiving today's mail, skipping only a few paragraphs about climate change.  My only suggestion would be to talk about climate change in a way that's as vivid and engaging as the autobiographical material.  I don't know how to do that, but maybe Robert can figure it out--he's figured out so many other things.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Quit Your Job and Eat Pizza 2

This zine excited me.  It made me feel like new things are possible.  It's about going overseas for an art school thing for adults.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

if you'd like to hear it // i can sing it for you

if you'd like to hear it // i can sing it for you is a beautiful zine.  It's a comp zine about aging.  The perspectives are varied--young people watching old people die.  Older people watching themselves die.  It's artfully arranged and very well done.  The end is chilling and vivid.  It's about death a lot.  There are feelings here.  And good details.  The zine is full of many lives.

My favorite piece was "language lesson" by Mallory Everhart of Colorado.  It's about caring for dementia patients and loving endlessly.

Unflinching but never gratuitously graphic.  Smart and right.  Many comp zines are too long and arranged in a seemingly random fashion.  This one avoids that skillfully.

My only criticism is that some of the art photocopied poorly.  Also, Joe Biel's piece stuck out in that he has a long braggy bio when no one else in the zine does.

if you'd like to hear it // i can sing it for you is a great #1, and I hope A.L. finds much success with other issues.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Gupter Puncher #16

This is a zine from Hong Kong.  It's good and made me uncomfortable.  I didn't like the violence, but I liked the video game nostalgia.  I initially flipped through it and felt worried about all the words--there are pictures too, for sure, but lots of words.  But they go down easily. 

I missed a lot of the pop culture references, but I got a lot of them too.

I like the tone and humor and readability.  But these people would never in a million years be friends with me.

Overall it's very unbalanced--almost entirely boy--but fun to read and super well done.  It totally does what it sets out to do.  Its project is kind of strange.

I liked the intro and I liked the first piece best about being a Mega Man.  I had never read anything quite like it. 

So if you have video game nostalgia and are probably a guy in your late 30s, this may be the perfect zine for you.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


This is a new zine by Jason Martin.  It's about musicians and music.  The comix are sweet, poignant vignettes with simple, beautiful drawings.

I have a soft spot in my heart for the work of Jason Martin.  I collect all his zines and even his book Driftwood City.  I try not to be a hoarder, but his work is that good.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Best Friend I Never Met and Chorus Lines

Yesterday I got a packet from England. It contained two zines, and I read both just now.

The Best Friend I Never Met took my breath away. I have had friendships so intense and full of poetry. I've had best friends like that too. I felt very sad about endings and blown away by the beauty of the writing, all those feelings, and so much physical distance with emotional intimacy.

It made me think of two best friends I have now, both who live far away, and one day will they be a memory?

I like the white space. I wouldn't have done it that way--I would have included tons. I probably would have overwhelmed the reader. But this is done so I'm left hungry for more, which is good.

The haiku zine Chorus Lines is beautiful to behold. I like the pictures of people on the cover, made in red. I like the poems and their immediacy. My favorite is about a baby. Always emotional but never overdone.

I love these zines--you should buy them.

Miz Issue #1

This is a mental health zine about living with bad depression and anxiety.  The first half is about struggling and shows a progression through time.  Miz tries different medications and gives updates, talks about her relationship with her husband, talks about trying to help herself.

The second half is more theoretical and talks about oppression.  Miz quotes scholarly texts and talks about grad school.

I loved this zine, both halves.  And I forgot to mention the expressive, beautiful, and strange drawings throughout.  They add a lot.  I wish I made zines more like this.

I would like to give you an example of the intelligence of this zine.  I am upset about people talking shit about self-care.  I've heard a lot of that lately, and I am in opposition.

But Miz's analysis made me see the other side more clearly.  I would like to quote an important passage.

"but i also feel like the implication is that there is something wrong with me and with what i have been doing that is causing all my problems.  as if my depression has just arisen from me not taking care of myself my whole life.  i am missing something else though, a part of this puzzle of getting better, another piece of understanding that would let me connect with people over these issues or situate my experience within a broader social context.  i hate feeling as though my problems are entirely my own doing and that it's my personal responsibility to transform myself into the right kind of person."

I find this passage brilliant and giving voice to something very important.

And the whole zine's like this.

Highly recommended for all fans of mental health zines and everyone who likes insight.