Critical Breakfast #1 / Telegram #38 & A Winter Solstice Update


Back in October, my twin and I made a split zine together! Telegram #38 by Maranda Elizabeth is about their Return of Saturn and turning thirty, learning how to interpret their birth chart, astrology as a method of self-exploration & healing, reconnecting with their past selves and memories of being a teenage witch, practicing Tarot in daily life, lost time, friendship & jealousy, fragmentation, learning how to love themself, and recovery with trauma and chronic pain. My half, Critical Breakfast #1 is about my Saturn return, synchronicity, a bad landlord, working as a lab rat, sobriety, learning to build self-confidence, and an auspicious Tarot reading. It’s available for $3.00 plus postage, and order instructions are posted here.

As well as back issues of Telegram, Maranda is also offering Tarot readings via their Etsy shop.

In other news, Zine Nation recently posted an interview with me – it’s about running a distro, some of my favourite zine fairs, what I’ve been reading lately, and a little bit about money and keeping zines financially accessible.  I also just registered for a table at the Ottawa Zine Fair, which is taking place in late-May of 2016.

The catalogue isn’t entirely up to date (I guess it never really is), but I’ve added a lot of new stock, including perzine La Bola de Cristal,  comp zine Masculinities (compiled by Cindy Crabb of Doris and Filling The Void), and Fashion Zine: Coming Out Of The Closet, a really cool zine whose simple title does not say enough about how absolutely perfect Estelle’s writing is. In short, it’s a zine about femme fashion and about coming out as a trans woman, with writing that is powerful and funny and maybe even sometimes leans into the surreal. I’m going to excerpt from the intro here, because she articulates why fashion is so important:

“Maybe I wanted to try and make some really bad jokes in this introduction as an attempt to point to some of the ways that writing a zine about fashion immediately makes me feel bad, ha. There is this general idea that fashion is vapid and vain, or, at its worst, that it is little more than a leisurely pursuit for rich people. To talk about fashion or dress in a crowd often elicits serious groans as if the subject has no political or cultural implications whatsoever. As if fashion somehow exists in a bubble separate from our social world. As if it is not constructed, valued, and informed by the very same power structures which influence all other aspects of our lives. As if nothing is at stake when we speak about fashion or when we dress ourselves. As if it is not a site of both oppression and resistance. As if fashion has nothing to say about bodies, race, gender, sexuality, disability, desirability, or class. As if it has no personal merit. As if one person’s experience wearing clothes is translatable or universal. As if it is not incredibly important to everyone whether you care about fashion trends or not.”

It may not feel like it, but from tomorrow onward, the days are getting longer again. Happy winter solstice, everyone! Light a candle and set your intentions for the year ahead.


Expozine 2015, All Weekend Long!


It’s that time of the year! I’ll be at Expozine all weekend long. You can find me in the basement of Église St-Enfant-Jésus at 5035 rue St-Dominique from 12-6pm on Saturday and Sunday. Facebook event here. I’ve got copies of my new zine Critical Breakfast (split with Telegram #38) and all kindsa new stock, including stuff I haven’t had a chance to list online yet.

I would suggest reading this post on CultMTL for a breakdown of the conversation about accessibility that took place online over the last few days. If you decide to scroll through the comments, consider this your content warning for ableism and transmisogyny. I’d also recommend checking out this open letter demanding an accessible venue for Expozine next year. The organizers keep insisting that the issue of accessibility never came up until last year. I know this isn’t true because I have emails from 2010 where I asked the same question, and there is no way I was the first or only one to ask. Like I said to my friends, I see events like the queer bookfair and anarchist bookfair (which have greater accessibility and safer spaces policies) as kind of an alternative to Expozine, but for me personally, I want to be present in all of those worlds. People are often very happy to find my table because most of the zines are $1-$3, because they are hella queer, because there are perzines and political zines, etc. I distribute some writing specifically on accessibility in public spaces and to me it doesn’t make sense to boycott the event when I have the privilege (cis and able-bodied, for example) of being present with those words. I agree that the organizers’ response this year is particularly shameful. Frankly, the sales that I make at Expozine keep my distro running for another few months until the next fair. I’ll be tabling (for the eighth year in a row). And I support all actions in protest of their lack of accessibility – tabling outside, petitioning, what-have-you (remember the action at the anarchist bookfair last May in regards to their safer spaces policy?). And I’m looking forward to talking about it with my friends.

Return of Saturn: An Afternoon of Queer Zine Readings in Toronto

Return of Saturn flier by Amber Dearest

Return of Saturn flier by Amber Dearest

Return of Saturn: An Afternoon of Queer Zine Readings is happening! We’ll be reading about astrology, Tarot, trauma recovery, chronic illnesses, disability, making magic, & more! Identical twins Maranda Elizabeth and Amber Dearest will be launching a split zine together to celebrate their 30th birthday, and Maranda will be offering PWYC Tarot readings afterward!


Maranda Elizabeth is a writer, zinester, identical twin, solitary weirdo witch, high school dropout, & recovering alcoholic (4 ½ years sober!). They write about mental health & illnesses; madness as spiritual gifts & skills; writing & creativity; friendship; recovery from trauma & chronic pain; magic & witchcraft & Tarot; self-care, support & $upport; and embracing weirdnesses.

In Telegram #38, Maranda writes about using the language of Tarot & astrology to describe themself instead of relying upon the DSM and other stories; re-connecting with their teenage self and unlearning internalized invalidation; their Return of Saturn, birth chart reading, and twin-life; learning how to dream; recovering from trauma and chronic pain; and turning 30.

Sarah Mangle is a writer, drawer and zine maker. She currently lives in Montreal. Her upcoming projects include The All Ages Colouring Book of Worries and Reassurances and a zine about exercise, saturn returns and feelings of failure.

Lynx Sainte-Marie is a disabled/chronically ill, non-binary/genderfluid, Afro+Goth Poet of the Jamaican diaspora with ancestral roots indigenous to Africa (West, East and South) and the British Isles. Lynx is the founder of QueerofGender (QofG), a grassroots organization and transnational visibility project, celebrating the various experiences of gender within LGBTTQQ2SIAP+ Black, Indigenous and People of Colour communities. A writer, multimedium artist, activist, educator and community builder, Lynx’s work and art is informed by Black feminism(s), collective community love and social, disability and healing justice movements. Lynx’s latest project, Dreams of Orisha, a zine produced by QofG showcasing the artistic brilliance of Black queer and trans women and Black non-binary people of Canada, will be published early 2016.

Amber Dearest is a white cis queer writer based in Montreal. She’s been making zines for over a decade, including Culture Slut, The Triumph Of Our Tired Eyes, and the forthcoming Critical Breakfast. She writes about sobriety, coincidences, weird work, and learning how to be alone. She also runs Fight Boredom Distro, stocking zines by queers, feminists, anarchists, witches, and weirdos.

Morgan Sea is a trans lady from the Prairies who spent her Saturn returns sucking hormones in Montreal. She is a performance and visual artist who likes making comics, zines and community radio. Also, she’s a Leo and wants you to like her.

Amrit Brar is a Toronto-based illustrator and zinester who commonly publishes under the moniker Musterni, and is best known for her work on the Shitty Horoscopes zine series. Her current pet project, Inhuman Connections, explores racism, sexism, gender identity, and queerness alongside aliens, the occult, monstrosities, and ghosts.


D-Beatstro (Facebook page here) is at 1292 Bloor Street West in a physically accessible building. The front door has a ramp, and measures 36″ wide, and the single-stall, gender-neutral bathroom is on the main floor with a 31″ wide door. The nearest subway station is Lansdowne, and the nearest accessible subway stations are one-stop away on either side: Dufferin Station, and Dundas West Station. Coming from Dundas West Station would require coming uphill a bit, but the path from Dufferin Station is flat. There will be scent-free soap in the bathroom. We will have chairs reserved for folks who need to sit to reduce pain and maintain comfort in their bodies. This event is all ages and alcohol-free!

We ask that you please attend this reading scent-free! Some of the readers have multiple chemical allergies, and being scent-free is one small act you can do to keep the space accessible for them. Please refrain from wearing perfumes & colognes, scented deodorants, scented hair products, etc. Check the ingredients of your stuff, and if “perfume / parfum / fragrance” is there, don’t wear it. And if you’re smoking at the event, please do so as far away from the entrance as possible.

If you don’t know what scent-free means, or you need a reminder, please read Making Space Accessible is an Act of Love for Our Communities by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha.

Facebook event here. Please invite your friends! And we’ll see you at the Toronto Queer Zine Fair the very next day!

New Zines In Stock – Get Yr Orders In This Weekend!


Three minutes before the 6pm closing time of my favourite copy shop last Friday, Mckenzie finished up the latest issue of Swearing In Cursive, right on time to table at Queer Between The Covers, Montréal’s annual queer bookfair. She spent two weeks here as a participant in the Fight Boredom Zine Residency, and wrote a great little perzine that you can find in the S-Z section of the distro catalogue. Swearing In Cursive #5 opens with Mckenzie working in a high-end yarn and fabric store in Oakland, California. A customer asks her about how to make “flattering” clothes for larger bodies – thus provoking her to make this zine, all about existing as a queer fat femme. Fuck flattering! This zine features eight paperdoll-type illustrations highlighting Mckenzie’s wardrobe from the seventh grade, through high school and some major happenings included being made fun of for her body, and losing her clothing to a house fire, then on to college, as she comes out as queer, gets into fat positivity, learns to make her own clothes, and more. This zine is almost entirely handwritten, with a cut-and-paste layout featuring doilies and floral fabrics. Besides that, we spent these two weeks singing at karaoke, exploring a few neighbourhoods, and eating all of the best foods. You can follow me on Instagram for highlights.

I’ve added a lot of new zines to the catalogue over the course of this summer, including the Dig Deep #7 / Tongueswell #3 split, Abstract Door #5, Telegram #37, Girl’s Guts and more. If you get your orders in this weekend, I’ll be able to mail ’em out this Monday the 24th – after that, the distro will be on hiatus until mid-September. I hope this summer is being as good to you as it is to me!

See You At The Queer Bookfair This Weekend!


Come and catch me at Queer Between The Covers, Montréal’s annual queer bookfair, from 11am – 6pm this Saturday at the Centre communautaire de loisirs Sainte-Catherine d’Alexandrie (700 Rue Amherst, métro Berri-UQAM). I’ll be tabling alongside current zine resident Mckenzie Mullen and magical human Clara Bee Lavery, plus a whole host of others.

I’ve added a ton of new zines to the catalogue over the course of the summer, including all three issues of This Is About More Than Who We Fuck (an excellent compilation zine on friendship, romantic relationships, non-monogamy, the place of personal relationships in the struggle against oppression, and unlearning the ways we’ve been socialized to ‘do’ relationships), Deafula #8 (on being a deaf person who is dating a hearing person), Masculinities (a compilation of interviews on the topic by Cindy Crabb of Doris), Abstract Door #5 (a beautiful little zine about Chicago and community and home that really needs to be held in your hands), and – if it shows up in my mailbox today – La Bola De Cristal (a perzine covering topics like polyamory, death & suicide, emotional labour, and notes from a Think And Die Thinking panel on systemic oppression & punk, and internalized oppression through social capital), plus a lotta stuff on addiction & recovery, mental health, and more. See you this weekend!

Zine Residency News – We’ll Soon Be Swearing In Cursive with Mckenzie!

I’m so excited to tell everyone – Mckenzie will be spending a few weeks in August as a participant in the Fight Boredom Zine Residency! We’ve gotten to know each other through our zines and letters over the past few years, and I’m looking forward to spending time together outside of the busy-ness of zinefests. While here, she’ll be working on the latest issue of her perzine Swearing In Cursive, including some writing on her job at a high-end fabric and yarn store and the intersection of capitalism / feminized labour / “women’s work”, as well as keeping a journal, avoiding the internet, and checking out the city. We’ll have just caught her after her move from Oakland, CA to Boston, MA, and I imagine we’ll have a lot to talk about in terms of comparing cities, concepts of home, and uhhh OkCupid dates in our respective cities.

Mckenzie is a queer, fat, femme, latin@ cis woman. In addition to knitting and zines, she’s into cooking and sharing food, singing (oh can we please go to karaoke together??), and dancing around her room to cute songs about crushes. When asked about her favourite zines and what makes her happy, Mckenzie responded:

“During my last year of high school, I was introduced to Amber’s zines Culture Slut and Fight Boredom, Maranda‘s zine Telegram, and Tukru‘s zine Your Pretty Face Is Going Straight To Hell through their respective blogs. My introduction to zines was really profound. They were my introduction to feminism, queerness, and discussions about mental health and social justice. Although it took me about five years to make my first zine, it was the first community that I felt a connection with. Recently, after years of knitting and only months of sewing, I began the process of creating my own wardrobe. Making my own clothes teaches me technical skills, allows me to create clothes that fit my fat bod, and gives me the option to choose ethically sourced fabric and manufacturing options. My connections with the zine and textile communities ebb and flow, but they have fostered, (and continue to foster!), amazing growth in me and for that I am grateful.”




You can find more at Etsy and Instagram, and you can catch Mckenzie and I tabling together at Queer Between The Covers (Montréal’s annual queer bookfair) on Saturday, August 15th from 11am – 6pm at the Centre communautaire de loisirs Sainte-Catherine d’Alexandrie, 700 Rue Amherst, métro Berri-UQAM. (Photos above taken by Kennedy Mullen).

Someday You Will Ache Like I Ache: A Zine About Internalized Sexism


Joan is now the third person to participate in the Fight Boredom Zine Residency in 2015. She visited us from Halifax and spent three weeks of April here with us, working on a zine about internalized sexism. She begins by writing about a relationship that she was recently involved in, wherein she was asked to be non-monogamous. This was attempted in different ways, and she wasn’t happy, but would always default to what her male partner wanted. She came to see this as one of the many occasions in which she would go against her own will or desires in order to impress men – not just her partner, but acquaintances, co-workers, etc. The first half of the zine focuses on these interactions, and the latter half is more about how she is confronting these attitudes within herself and unlearning these patterns – with the help of a few of my favourite writers, including bell hooks and Anaïs Nin. This is a really thoughtful zine, and a brave one to write.

We skipped the launch party this time around, but you can order the zine on this very website for $1.00 + postage, or catch Fight Boredom Distro at the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair on Saturday, May 23rd and Queer Between The Covers on Saturday, August 15th.