Friday, April 1, 2016

Quitter #10

I read Quitter #10 this afternoon.  It's a beautiful zine.  The writing shimmers, and it's just the right amount.  I can relate to the feelings of longing, nostalgia, lack of nostalgia, worry about losing everything.

I like the plants and birds.  I like everything about the kids.  I don't want kids myself, at all, but feel welcome to this parental world.  Humor is somewhat missing, but this zine makes humor seem optional.

There's a poet's attention to detail and a solid speaker who isn't afraid to spend a moment on an image or idea.

I'm about the same age as the speaker, and that's nice.  It seems like a zine for men, is my only criticism, and to lots of people that's probably not a bad thing.  Oh, and the $6 pricetag.  I would think more like $4, but maybe I don't charge enough for my own.  I tried to get it back into its tight glassine envelope and failed.

Overall I'd give it a five out of five, but be ready to have your guts wrenched.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

strenuous stilts

This is an art zine by david sait of Canada.  It's beautiful and brief.

I like the colors, the shapes, the feelings, the moods.

I like the chaos of some of the pages.  I like the collage.  Sait's art is greater than the sum of its parts.

Monday, October 5, 2015

A High Degree of Spring Fever

Prose poems of drugs, cigarettes, bugs, sex, and sustained high drama--lotsa grit, cities.  No overall storyline, that I could find--just fragments.  It's beautifully made physically with nice paper and a few pretty pictures.  My main complaint is that everything is at the same volume--I would have appreciated variation in the emotions. It's all different kinds of loss, but I couldn't plug in anywhere.  I couldn't enter it.  Some people would really like it, but it's not for me.

A High Degree of Spring Fever by Elizabeth Maycox

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Different Shades of Normal #3

It was difficult for me to read this zine, as the writing is very abstract and the ideas are very familiar.  A randomly-chosen example is "And yeah, this world can suck sometimes but it doesn't always suck.  Cause even though life can be rough, I know I'm not the only one fighting to make things right."  Multiply this by 200 and you have the zine.  There are lots of abstract observations about "life" and humanity and struggling.  But I didn't read any ideas that were new or insightful or helpful.  Also, the art doesn't come together with the text. 

My favorite part of this zine was the ending where Zippity lists some facts about themself.  It was nice to have something concrete.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Everything. is. Fine.

I don't usually like 24 hour zines much because I want to read something good, not really caring how long it took to make. 

But I really like this one.  It's a fascinating story of a painful incident and the painful incident that followed--it's got just the right amount of detail to be very interesting. 

I learned a lot about the zine's speaker.  I wanted to be her friend.  A fantastic personality shines through. 

It contains heartache but also hope and strength.

The visuals are good, and I liked the content as well as style.  Relationships and especially breakups fascinate me.  I felt a lot of compassion for the speaker.

Five stars (out of five).

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Grim Love

Grim Love is a zine of short short stories and art.  The paper is glossy.  The layout has a professional feel (as opposed to DIY cut & paste photocopy).

The stories are partially based on fairy tales--some are and some aren't.  One's got a dragon.  One's got a ghost train.

I read the zine pretty quickly, sitting outside a library in San Leandro.  What struck me the most were the photos of the zine's creators with the bios in the back.

This zine probably would be best enjoyed by a young person who fancies himself or herself a lover of the macabre.

As for me, I love short short stories sometimes, especially when they're poem-like, but these aren't poem-like for me.

Monday, July 6, 2015

shelf life #2

This zine is about used books and going to booksales.  It was written by a book-loving, book-sale-loving couple who live in the United States on the East Coast.  I enjoyed the book reviews.  For example, I learned about a book by Buckminster Fuller that I'd like to try tracking down.  Another thing I liked was the description of a closed bookstore that one of the zine's authors visited in his youth and how he has idealized it.  I could relate to that Lost Beautiful Location phenomenon.

As someone who loves used books, I expected to enjoy this zine more than I did.  Its concept is fantastic.  (I'd actually seen it on etsy and longed for it but didn't want to pay the price.)  An inflated writing style got in the way of my pleasure, and the authors seem strangely out of touch with their own privilege.  One of the things I usually enjoy about zines is a down-to-earth-ness and some political awareness.  This one is more book-like than zine-like, though it's zine-like in length and includes some pictures.

This would be a great zine for lovers of used books who don't mind some pretentiousness and a sense of entitlement.  I could see it making a good gift for a non-DIY, apolitical book-loving friend or relative.  In a way it reminds me of Katie Haegele's excellent work about thrift store shopping--different style but sort of similar content.