TEMPORARILY SOLD OUT
All I Want Is Everything #1 / $3.00 / 70g
How much do I love this zine?! This one is written by Caitlin Constantine, who wrote I Was A Teenage Mormon nearly a decade ago, another favourite of mine. So this was a really nice surprise to get in my mailbox, along with a friendly letter. It’s a pretty hefty zine at fifty-six half-size pages, and I’ll warn you that it could be triggering. Caitlin writes about spending part of her teen years and most of her twenties being married to an abusive man. She chronicles some of this abuse, and explains how she managed to finally leave him and forgive herself for staying with him for so long – she speaks out against victim-blaming in an excellent open letter to La Roux, who recently said some pretty harsh things about abused women in an interview, but also feels that there must have been something broken within herself for not having left him immediately when she was able to. Another great piece is titled On The Pointlessness Of Nostalgia, wherein she writes about her own nostalgic feelings for things like 1990s girls culture and her thoughts on recent calls for a riot grrrl revival, and reminds us that we have well-known women today like M.I.A., Janelle Monae, Beth Ditto and Gabourey Sidibe – women that the world of 1993 likely would not have paid much attention to. As well, she includes lists of inspirational things, stuff that she’s recently done for the first time and some words on author Joan Didion and runner Kathrine Switzer. I really could go on about this one forever, but this paragraph is getting long, so you’re just going to have to read the zine yourself.
All I Want Is Everything #2 / $2.50 / 50g
In this issue, Caitlin takes us across the United States with her partner and their love of running. Participating in marathons and exploring New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and more, we are treated to something of a travel journal as well as a portrait of both the breathtaking and grotesque sites of America. Caitlin’s talent for writing and enthusiasm for life are refreshing and inspiring.
All I Want Is Everything #3 / $3.00 / 60g
Caitlin’s grandmother dies, and her niece is born. This text-heavy perzine is a wonderful and well-written reflection on life, death, love, childhood, feminism, matriarchs, miracles and more. She tells the tale of a dramatic and powerful grandmother named Kiki, whose exciting life inevitably ends. We learn about the strengths and weaknesses of the other women in her family – her mother and younger sister, as well as herself. She writes about finally feeling like a Real Life Adult, and the kind of life that she would like to create for herself. Always open and honest, with a self-awareness and skill found in the best of writers. Such a good read.
TEMPORARILY SOLD OUT
All The Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues / $3.00 / 40g
This zine can be described in all sorts of ways – charming, nostalgic, bizarre, intense. Julia writes about a mother who was once a riot grrrl inspiration – dancing around the house to Bikini Kill and Bratmobile, reading books and cooking good food together. All of that changed as she spiraled into addiction and was no longer able to keep things together. This writer can be both funny and bitter, writing stories about failed holidays and embarrassing moments and physical abuse. I need to tell you that it took me weeks and weeks to read this zine – I’m completely in love with it, but due to the nature of some of the pieces, I had to continuously put it down and pick it back up when I was ready for it again. As a sidenote, it’s absolutely beautiful, with handwritten pages and nice illustrations. Sixty-four pages of heart-wrenching tales.
Always & Forever: A Zine About Friendship / $2.00 / 60g
Description by Heather at Stranger Danger Zine Distro: “I had the honor of putting together this comp zine, which — in my honest (& biased) opinion — fucking rules. It’s filled with stories & comics about friendships lost, about the difficulties of making new friends as an adult, about creating solid friendships, about friends as intentional community, and so much more. Every one of them is brilliant. Get stoked on this killer lineup of contributors: Brittany Maksimovic (Playing Victim), Caitlin Constantine (All I Want is Everything), Celia C. Pérez (I Dreamed I Was Assertive), Heather (Dig Deep), Jamie Varriale Vélez (Sinvergüenza), JC (Tributaries), Jen T (Tongueswell), Jenna Brager (The Sinew That Shrinks), K (Lake Effect), LB (Truckface), Leslie Perrine (Sometimes the Sky Explodes), Lily Pepper (PALS: The Radical Possibilities of Friendship), Sara Bear (Grin & Bear It), Sarah McCarry (Glossolalia), with a cover designed by Marissa Falco (Miss Sequential)!”
Anarchism & Hope / $6.00 / 55g
Any zine with a picture of Godspeed You! Black Emperor on the first (okay, third) page is bound to win me over (it is also bound with staples SEE WHAT I DID THERE). But whether or not that means anything to you, this zine is both beautiful (half-legal pages with a screenprinted cover and crisp photographs throughout) and an excellent read. Aaron writes about continuing to feel hopeful in the face of despair – a specific kind of despair, the kind that comes from resisting capitalism, witnessing / experiencing police brutality, and working toward a more just world. We begin in the aftermath of the G20 in Toronto, and follow Aaron through his tales of hope – a friend successfully fighting deportation, resistance of Israeli occupation forces in Palestine, and the student strike in Québec in 2012. For those into personal writing on political struggles.
TEMPORARILY SOLD OUT
Betrayal: A Critical Analysis of Rape Culture In Anarchist Subcultures / $1.00 / 30g
In the few months that I’ve been stocking this zine, I’ve sold more copies than many other titles might sell in a year – I think this speaks volumes to the dearth of information on rape culture within anarchist subcultures, and the desire among us not only to read about it, but to analyze it, criticize it, and write our own stories. This zine is a must-read for anyone involved in punk, anarchism, and other collective efforts to dismantle the patriarchy. And hey, if the title doesn’t get you, the shiny gold cover certainly will.
Birthday Party #1 / $2.00 / 30g
Okay, this zine is so great! Khristina did the Fight Boredom Zine Residency in 2012 and wrote What To Keep, What To Give Away, and this is her followup zine, which pretty much picks up where the first left off. In the intro, she says that this zine is about her two-week residency (writing, “I found sustenance (both the soul-filling kind and the literal kind) in dinner parties, quiet hang-outs, and bike rides.”), her little sister, thinking about identity, and healing family trauma. There is quite a bit covered in this zine, from finding inspiration and complication in Loretta Ross and bell hooks, to intersecting identities of woman of colour and punk, to falling in love, and more. Intense and brutally honest.
Breakfast For Dinner #1 / $3.00 / 35g
Breakfast For Dinner has the perfect balance between seriousness/hilarity, stories/comics. A portion of this issue was created during the Chicago Zine Fest, where I was also present, and it’s pretty cool to read another’s perspective of the same events. But the main reason I’m so stoked on it is because of the piece Spin The Bottle, in which Marc processes some thoughts on sobriety and relationships which really resonate with me. I can’t wait to read the second issue.
Broke Ass #2 / $1.00 / 40g
In the spring 2010 issue of this Newfoundland punk zine, Steve shares some silly stories (and comics!) about quitting Facebook, doing terrible things in public bathrooms, and being a depressed houseguest, plus a just plain weird tutorial on how to build a hyper reality chamber. Bonus: Minimum Wage Maximum Rage, where friends tell tales about quitting their jobs. Broke times / fun times.
Broke Ass #3 / $1.00 / 55g
Super sweet and funny zine by Steve, who’s living in Montréal by way of St. John’s, Newfoundland. It’s pretty classic punk rock cut-and-paste fun times with, you got it, stories about being broke. Highlights include postage scams, coffee scams, a tale of autumn wandering, a whole page on anxious scalp-pickin’, plus Virgil’s review of a Green Day show in 1995.
Broke Ass #4 / $1.00 / 55g
This zine is so funny that the first time I read it, I wound up reading entire pages out loud to my roomie. I was in the kitchen and she was in her bedroom, and I basically yelled these stories at her and she couldn’t even understand what I was saying because I was laughing so hard that I was crying and couldn’t finish a sentence anyway. I gave a copy to a friend a month later and they did the same thing to me. It was pretty great. My favourite parts are the comics, prank call stories, and a piece on being a good houseguest – some people really need to learn this shit! Bonus: Reprints of Upstairs Nooz, Steve and Hari’s short-lived newsletter from their St-Henri apartment.
SOLD OUT but you can get copies from Stranger Danger and Bus Stop Press.
Cheaptoys #10 / The Triumph Of Our Tired Eyes #2 / $2.00 / 30g
Giz and I made a split zine! I’d call Cheaptoys something of a punk-perzine, always full of tour stories and photos from various travels and shows. Giz begins by writing of his experiences in the suburbs of Monaco and Paris, and his desire to leave France for library school. Also documented are adventures from presenting at an academic conference in Utrecht, Netherlands, to playing Plan-It-X Fest in Bloomington, Indiana (up the scholar punx!), plus an interview with an anonymous graffiti artist, and more. In the second issue of The Triumph Of Our Tired Eyes, I’ve written about hitchhiking from Montréal to Halifax and the three weeks that I spent on Canada’s East Coast during the summer. Almost entirely handwritten (I have really neat printing, I swear) with simple illustrations throughout. If you ever wondered what a zine residency looks like, this is it. I stayed in the shed at the Roberts Street Social Centre for two weeks, then spent a few days in Sackville, New Brunswick for Sappyfest. Read along as I work through my syndrome de la page blanche and punch a dude in the face. Il faut remarquer que ce split-zine est écrit en français-anglais, un mélange de langues comme on s’écrit dans nos lettres. (It should be noted that this zine is written in a mixture of French and English, just like we write to each other in letters).
Cheaptoys #13 / $2.00 / 35g
Here is another zine from our favourite traveling punk scholar, Giz Medium. This is the tale of the beginning of his endless summer – finishing his exams in Nice and flying to Australia via Dubai; doing research and starting a band in Melbourne; touring the country and writing about adventures and punk houses and dumpsters, but also history and colonialism and gentrification. Soon after comes a tour of eastern Europe, and writings on punk scenes, convenience culture, and more. Finally, he admits that one day it will be time to stop moving around so constantly, and where will he call home? The writing in this zine switches back and forth between French and English, which I think is quite nice, but take note that if you don’t understand one or the other, you’ll be missing half the story.
Contre l’Amour / 40g / $1.00
Voici un zine écrit par un collectif de féministes à Grenoble en 2003 sur l’amour, l’amitié, et la jalousie, qui contient un essai puis une conversation imaginaire entre la tête et le ventre (les croyances et les émotions). De l’introduction: « Je tends à quitter toutes relations fusionnelles; me sentir «célibataire», tout en étant capable de tendresse, de sincérité, de douceur, de sexualités. Je tends à être plus sujette dans mes amitiés et amitiés sexuelles. Je me rends compte que mes idées, mes constructions affectives sont en décalage avec les représentations courantes de l’Amour et de l’amitié. En particulier, cette séparation-opposition entre l’Amour et l’amitié, qui contribue à préserver le modèle dominant du couple marié-fermé. »
TEMPORARILY SOLD OUT
Deafula #1 / $2.00 / 20g
In the first issue of this series, Kerri writes about her life as a deaf person – how her hearing loss happened, how deafness has shaped the person she is, and how hearing people treat her based on this knowledge – as well as the difference between being little-d deaf and being a part of capital-D Deaf culture, plus some basics for hearing people on communicating with a deaf person (first and foremost: do not make assumptions about how they can communicate!). She writes also about how being “mainstreamed” (attending public schools, being raised heavily immersed in hearing culture, etc), has informed her ideas of “normal”.
Deafula #4 / $3.00 / 35g
This is ‘the employment issue’ of Kerri’s perzine, which chronicles her life as a deaf person. Although employed at the time of making the zine, she writes about applying for disability in the United States and how that works (hint: it’s complicated!), job interviews and her constantly questioning when disclosure is appropriate, and the various types of accommodations that are available in the workplace, such as internet relay for phone calls, communication access real-time translation (CART – which is what was provided during the panel she participated in on health and disability at the Chicago Zine Fest in 2013), etc. An informative read.
Deafula #5 / $2.00 / 35g
This issue contains a transcribed conversation between Kerri and her mother, with Kerri wondering: What is it like to be the hearing parent of a deaf child? From the intro: “I wanted insight into what my mom’s perception of my hearing loss is like. When something is a normal part of your life, like my deafness is, you don’t talk about it much in everyday conversation. Doing this interview, it was enlightening for me to learn not only the struggles she faced as a young parent with little guidance, but how she viewed my place in this world as a child growing up with hearing loss. I hope you find it to be just as enlightening.”
Dig Deep #1 / $1.00 / 20g
So, there is this genre of zines that really only exists in my head, and I call it “go get ‘em zines” – basically, they’re kinda zines that are written well, that present a generally positive attitude and that make one feel ready to take on the world. Think Nothing Rhymes, Riot Wife, Fuck Shyness and Adventure Time. Well, now we can add Dig Deep to the list. Heather is a librarian in Chicago (something you can read more about in Into The Grid), and she strikes me as someone who’s able to find happiness in the small moments in life. Which is what it’s all about, really. She writes about exploring the libraries in every town that she visits, a resolution to do Significant Things in the months leading up to her 30th birthday, impromptu dance parties, and the place that she calls home. Plus funny work tales and a series of ten-word zine reviews.
Dig Deep #2 / $1.00 / 20g
The first issue of Dig Deep was one of the most sweet and thoughtful and interesting zines I read all of last year and this second issue does not disappoint. It’s slightly smaller than quarter-size (my math skills, or lack thereof, get the best of me in these kindsa descriptions) and Heather writes about things like an impromptu trip with a friend to England and France (making me relive my own wonderful memories of those countries), and includes a piece on her oldest t-shirt. Perhaps the most moving and thought-provoking is a piece on street harassment, documenting not only the ways that men have catcalled and even followed her home, but also the way this made her feel and how she changed her habits because of it (which, obviously, we shouldn’t have to do). This is countered with an empowering piece on a monthly women-only dance night that happens in Chicago and her experience with attending for the first time. “No boys, no booze, no judgement.” This is an all-around excellent perzine and I’m sure many people can get something out of it, be that a lesson, a book recommendation or a reminder of memories past.
Dig Deep #3 / Your Secretary #10 / $2.00 / 30g
A split zine by two of my favourite zinesters! Heather and Jami each write about being librarians, but have very unique voices. Jami can offer deadpan sarcasm and bittersweet tales where Heather writes lighthearted amusing anecdotes and heartfelt tales and lists. Both sides have moments that can be laugh-out-loud funny, charming… or anger-inducing (the things dudes do in libraries!). Heather writes about libraries as a safe space, creating a zine collection, and working with teens. Jami writes about leaving Detroit, working in a zoo library, and teaching people how to use the internet. She also shares tidbits about all the libraries she’s known. This is a really sweet and fun read.
Dig Deep #4 / $1.00 / 20g
I love Heather and I love Dig Deep! This is a pocket-size zine, all sweet and texty, about friendship – like the friend she’s had since they were born sixteen days apart, to the rad zine community in her city – and projects – like participating in Fun-A-Day and co-organizing the Chicago Zine Fest. Such a good read, the kinda zine that’ll make you write a letter to everyone you know, just to tell them you love them.
Dig Deep #5 / $1.00 / 15g
Heather and her way with words! The writing in this zine simple yet profound, with the barebones layout acting as a perfectly stark contrast to the emotion contained within. Never has a phrase as plain-jane as, “I felt good,” held so much meaning. Heather documents an eight-day zine tour which led herself and three friends from Chicago to DC, reading their zines aloud in backyards, houses, and bookstores along the way. What she couldn’t have known though, is that she’d receive devastating news from home halfway through the trip. Essentially, this is a tale of how important it is to face one’s fears, to value true friendship, and to appreciate the coincidences and little things in life.
Dig Deep #6 / $1.00 / 20g
Sometimes people approach my table at zinefests and ask, “Do you have any cheerful zines?” and I always hand them a copy of Dig Deep. Some running themes are friendship, growing up and creating a meaningful life, and maintaining a positive mental attitude. Out on time for the fifth annual Chicago Zine Fest, this is the sixth issue of Dig Deep – written over the course of the winter and documenting the past year of Heather’s life. She writes about the manifold ways that attending (and becoming a co-organizer for) the Chicago Zine Fest has changed her life, the eternal struggle to balance creative pursuits and social activities and alone time, a response to Inspirado (a zine about art and inspiration), a personally satisfying reaction to street harassment, and the discovery of a 66-page typewritten family history by her grandmother. It’s been fifteen years since Heather made her first zine, and she has got it down.
Doris #28 / $2.00 / 36g
Cindy Crabb did a reading from this zine in Chicago during the zine fest and I’m pretty sure half the room was on the verge of tears by the end of it. She read about the suicide of a friend of hers; a trans person and survivor of abuse, someone with whom she’d discussed the pros and cons of killing ones abusers (wouldn’t mind being a fly on the wall for that conversation). But that’s not all. She writes a lot about living on a farm with her dogs, sheep and miniature horses and the way that living off the land is a lifestyle that you have to slowly work toward. Some people make the mistake of getting chickens right away, she says, and then they can never spend a night in town because someone’s got to feed them. So she writes about sharing resources with the neighbours and her dreams for the future. The last half of the zine is about discovering anarchism as a teenager, confronting racism and quitting drinking. It’s a really good read, heavy on the text, with her signature drawings throughout. Readers will be pleased to know that a second anthology is set for release in the summer of 2011.
TEMPORARILY SOLD OUT
Doris #29 / $2.00 / 25g
From the intro: “The stories I like to read out loud are always so sad. I kept saying at every reading, ‘The next issue of Doris will be about how healing is possible and everything doesn’t always have to hurt so bad and love is possible and sweet.’ This isn’t exactly about that, but there are hints of it here. Each story holds a little hint.” In this issue, Cindy writes about coming to terms with her queer identity, which required processing things like internalized misogyny and self-hate, about Feminism 101 class and learning the ways in which the patriarchy functions in our society, institutions, personal relations, political movements and within ourselves… about the different kinds of queers she met in cities like Portland (“they were reading the SCUM Manifesto”) and San Francisco (“it was ‘sex-positive’ and whereas I’d always felt like a slut before, here I felt like a prude”), about Ida and queer inspiration… This is the main part of the zine, though she also tells stories of her miniature horses (Peanut and Sassy), farm-livin’, facilitating workshops at the Rock Camp For Girls, and includes a tutorial on how to fix a broken cassette tape. This issue feels a little disjointed and hastily-written, but likely reflects where her mind was at at the time (just about to leave for a book tour, I believe). Her writing keeps me going, makes me feel like I’m on the right path.
Doris #30 / $3.00 / 55g
In this half-legal sized issue of long-running and much-loved zine Doris, Cindy writes about a number of things, from learning about bee-keeping from her sister to forming study groups with friends; from what “community” really means to the important, difficult, and often questionable work of accountability processes. Beyond the highly vulnerable writing that we’re so used to, also included is an interview that she conducted with members of Support NY (originally printed in Maximum Rocknroll), and part one of a comic about doing a West Coast tour with her band Snarlas. This is one of those rare zines that gives me butterflies in my tummy while my brain is a-buzzin’.
Doris #31 / $2.00 / 25g
“Me and Elliott had a lot in common – a kind of potentially delusional hope – serious drive to do something. Neither of us drank too much back then. We looked a lot alike. We both liked to flee. He called it regroup, get away, get some perspective.” The bulk of this zine is the story of Cindy and Elliott – the beginning of their friendship, traveling and squatting together, learning about each other’s favourite authors. Like Dig Deep (just added above), some running themes in this zine are friendship and growing up. Also included is a piece called Reparations, about acknowledging white privilege and taking steps to indeed make reparations, which for the author includes not just educating herself, but also doing things like giving a percentage of her income to organizations run by people of colour. And on the note of growing up, Cindy also writes about becoming vegetarian at fifteen years old, and how her food politics have grown and changed – influenced partly by the fact that her sister has Crohn’s Disease and can only digest protein from meat and eggs. So they are raising sheep for food on their farm, and Cindy writes thoughtfully not only about food politics, but about the lessons she is subsequently learning about love and loss. And of course, there are the little things: drawings and book recommendations and questions for you to think about.
Everybody Moon Jump #11 / $1.00 / 15g
A zine by my favourite small-town dweller. It’s about quitting the internet, muckin’ around in swamps, working with the elderly, choosing to be single, living life intentionally… A combination of smart and weird and hilarious. A quote: “My dad is watching UFC on tv and I want to work on my embroidery on the same couch, but our conflict of interests played out so literally would be too hysterical, and I’d drop the needle probably.”
Everybody Moon Jump #12 / $1.00 / 20g
I’ve re-read this zine multiple times recently, and love it every time. Dave begins this issue by writing about his average day – his morning routine, day at work, evening at home with the family, et cetera. Then his dream-average day, the kinds of friends and partners he would have, nothin’ fancy, just being happy, y’know? Oh, and having a man-harem and going snow-shoeing. There is one line that floors me every time though, from the dream-average day: “…and I go over and hug them and remember a time when I hated myself too much to hug.” That’s when I remember that that time is now. Mental health, body image, and addiction are recurring topics in Dave’s zines and this is no exception. His strong suits are brutal honesty and humour, making for very original writing that’ll have you laughing and crying (or laughing ’til you cry). There’s some stuff in here on reconciling internet porn addiction and sex positivity, plus really sweet lists and zine reviews. Top-notch perzine.
TEMPORARILY SOLD OUT
Femme À Barbe #1 / $1.00 / 60g
Put together by J Bee of comic zine Sassyfrass Circus, this compilation is all about “unacceptable” body hair – and I’m not talkin’ about cis lady feminists and their (our) hairy pits. The first issue features a wind range of submissions, from a short history of hairy women saints to a piece written by an FTM trans person on the importance of body hair to frustrated rants about trying to remove stubborn facial hair. And there’s an article called The One With The Young Person Frustrated By The Complexity Of Maturing – were they trying to make their title sound like an episode of Friends? Possibly. Anyway, this zine is incredibly unique and is sure to become a hit. Half-size, 44 pages, black and white.
TEMPORARILY SOLD OUT
Femme À Barbe #2 / $1.00 / 35g
The much-anticipated second issue of J Bee’s Femme À Barbe is finally here! This issue contains contribu- tions of art and writing on the topic of body hair (facial hair to be more specific – the French title translates to Bearded Lady). Sari of perzine You’ve Got A Friend In Pennsylvania and feminist comp zine Hoax, writes about their history with body hair, from being encouraged to shave as a pre-teen and eventually quitting but always having troubles with facial hair – and their mother’s treatment of it. Bastian Fox Phelan writes about the reactions to their first zine on the topic, Ladybeard, and others write about facial hair in relation to transitioning, to racist beauty ideals and to privilege. Really great comp zine.
Femme À Barbe #3 / $1.00 / 35g
“Dare to imagine a world full of women with beards and other gender outlaws, to imagine the possibilities of a feminist cultural politic that rejects the bullshit concern that feminism appear normal, a queer cultural politic that rejects the mainstream gay desire to assimilate and consume. Make a spectacle of yourself. Join the femme à barbe insurgency!” This issue contains pieces by Jessie Dress, Sam Ectoplasm, Dalice Malice and more.
Fergus #30 / Sour Puss #8 / $1.00 / 25g
This is a split zine on the theme of food; one half by Fergus, an omnivore, and the other half by Tee, a vegan who has medical issues that limit the sorts of food she’s able to consume. Each of them kept a food diary for a week, so what we get is an example of the kinda meals they typically eat, filled with stories of the day and memories around food. The side by Fergus sees her at the coffee shop at 6:30 every morning, musing on what it’s like to be a ‘regular’ – in that place where the barista fills your order before you’ve said it aloud, which can be lovely but also strips the writer of the anonymity she desires. She writes about airport food, her newfound interest in vegemite, having her home broken into, and a visit to the Melbourne Anarchist Bookfair. Tee writes a lot about childhood and teenage memories around food, the old fear of eating in front of people, and cooking meals for her family. She includes fun vegan recipes for all kindsa stuff, including burritos, basic scrambled tofu, pancakes, banana bread and more. She also recommends really excellent pizza topping combos, like pumpkin and spinach, and caramelized onion, mushroom and artichoke. Yum!
Filling The Void: Interviews About Quitting Drinking & Using / $5.00 / 100g
This is one hefty zine – nearly sixty half-legal size pages. It was compiled by Cindy Crabb of Doris and her sister Caty, and contains interviews with eight different people about their experiences quitting drinking (and using drugs, in some cases). I read it over the course of several days (I recently quit drinking as well), and found much hope and inspiration in the words of others. It was really nice to recognize myself in these words and feel less alone. You can watch my video review of this zine here.
Finale 95 #1 / $2.00 / 20g
I love this zine so much. It’s a perzine that also has the feel of a fanzine – it’s basically about being a weirdo teenager in the suburbs, surviving high school, and being into really sweet punk rock. It’s got funny interviews – like the one with her mother all about why she loves playing Internet Scrabble – plus posi tips, thrift scores, and reviews of all kindsa things. It’s a zine a lotta teenagers might make, but funnier and with way more self-confidence.
Finale 95 #2 / $2.00 / 20g
Every time I read this zine, I wish that I’d been this cool when I was a teenager. Finale 95 could be classified under perzine or punk fanzine, with a healthy dose of humour and weirdness. In this issue, Alanna interviews her friends about growing up in the suburbs and who their dream dates are, makes a comic about a trip to Cuba, reviews a whole bunch of books and albums, and then gets a bit more serious when writing about nostalgia and pop culture, her burgeoning interest in feminism (thanks to reading Shameless – a Canadian magazine for girls and trans youth), and frustration with having her feelings and interests written off as, “That’s something a teenage girl would like.” She says, “Teenage girls are smart and goofy and emotional and serious and mystical and sometimes we really just need someone else to talk to.”
FIT: A zine about sports, fatness, feminism & disability / $2.00 / 40g
So, the title makes the topic pretty obvious, but you must know how wonderful this zine is. Andrea made it as a creative project for her Feminist Disability Theory & Practice class at Concordia, but don’t be fooled – this is not an academic essay, it’s a zine though-and-through. Mostly handwritten, including illustrations and cut-and-paste details. She’s writing about fitness and various privileges as someone who is feminist, queer, and a cross-country runner. I’d recommend reading it alongside Get Fit For The Pit, also available via Fight Boredom Distro.
TEMPORARILY SOLD OUT
Get Fit For The Pit #1 / $2.00 / 25g
Such a good comp zine! This one is all about health and fitness, specifically viewed through a punk and activist lens. In the intro, Nicole says that she’d like to counter the romanticization of sleepless nights and drunken adventures. This first issue includes contributions by Maranda Elizabeth (of Telegram), who writes about joining their local roller derby league, Ramsey Beyer (of List), who shares a comic about crossfit (noting that her fitness friends are interested in her ‘punk life’ but her punk friends scoff at her interest in exercise), Ele (of Cats Teeth), who writes about hooping, as well as several pieces on running, rugby, yoga and more. It’s a pretty inspiring read and a creative theme.
How Many Pictures Of Dicks Do I Have To Look At Before I Stop Wanting To Look At Pictures Of Dicks: A Diary Of Gay Porn Addiction / $1.00 / 40g
If ever a zine needed to be read in a safe space, this is it! This is something of a journal, put out by Dave Cave of Everybody Moon Jump. Y’all know how hilarious he is, and there’s a little bit of that here, but the writing is very intense. Suicide ideation, self-injury, and body hate are written about without any kinda sugarcoating or shame. Basically, he acknowledged that he’s addicted to internet porn, and is now taking steps to cut it out of his life. This zine is an account of his first month porn-free, wherein he writes about his feelings on why he’s using porn and why it’s a problem, concrete steps he’s taking to remove himself from the cycle of addiction, as well as the daily minutiae that one would read about in a journal or perzine. Add this one to the list of great zines on addiction and recovery.
TEMPORARILY SOLD OUT
Hungry: A (Re)collection of Memorable Meals & Disordered Eating / $2.00 / 20g
What a wonderful zine from Clara Bee, whom you may know from I’ve Got Strange Powers and Radio Antarctica. Although illustration is her main means of expression, this zine is one of her more text-heavy efforts. Completed during a two-week residency at the Roberts Street Social Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Hungry chronicles memories of meals throughout her life – documents of disordered eating (consider this your trigger warning) as well as moments shared with friends and past lovers. It’s beautiful and unique and absolutely worth a look.
Il y a des bonheurs réservés aux pouçeux / $3.00 / 60g [English title: Montreal - Vancouver and the Joys in Between]
Ce zine est extra. Élise raconte ses histoires de voyages sur le pouce, à travers le Canada, avec son partenaire. J’ai l’impression que plusieurs zines de voyage contiennent beaucoup de chialâge, – comme par exemple le fait de ne pas être embarqué sur le pouce ou bien de dormir dans une tente qui laisse passer la pluie- mais pas ce zine. Il raconte (presque) uniquement les moments agréables de leur périple. Elle écrit au sujet des chauffeurs et des familles qui les ont aidés à traverser le pays, les paysages bucoliques, et les amusantes conversations qui sont arrivées. Le zine au grand complet est écrit à la main avec grand soin, et est rempli de dessins supers cute. Ça donne envie de voyager. / This zine is awesome. Élise recounts the story of hitchhiking across Canada with her partner. I feel like a lotta travel zines document the worst parts of the trip – a failure to catch rides, the perpetually-leaking tent – not this zine. She writes (and illustrates) the most pleasant parts of their journey – the drivers and families who brought them across the country, the beautiful landscapes, and fun conversations. It’s entirely written by hand and filled with cute drawings. Totally makes me wanna travel. S’il-vous-plaît notez si vous voulez la version française ou anglaise de ce zine. / Please note whether you would like the French or English version of this zine.
Imaginary Windows #5 / $2.00 / 25g
A chance meeting turns into Erin moving from New York City to New Zealand. This is the story of her first visit. It’s a zine about mythology, about art, about traveling, about falling in love. Stories and recipes and book reviews and more. Erin is my favourite whimsical storyteller femme pen pal dreamboat and I can’t wait for the next issue.
TEMPORARILY SOLD OUT
Imaginary Windows #6 / $3.00 / 30g
The long-awaited and hotly-anticipated new zine from Erin Fae, created during her residency at the Roberts Street Social Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This is my favourite kind of perzine – that which combines personal writing with reviews (or even fanzine-style writing) of artists and writers who have an influence in the zinester’s life, alongside tutorials and other fun stuff. So we come away having learned about fermentation, Tarot-reading, and even how to make out own laundry detergent, and then there is all of that complicated writing on gender and embodiment and the consequences of having moved from one side of the planet to another and how handstands and the circus may have saved our dear femme’s life. This is one of those zines that I know I’ll read over and over again and always come away with something new to think about. An excerpt: “I didn’t realize I was actually an incredibly physical creature and that my art practice as a printmaker requires great strength and muscle focus. I knew I was a sensual creature but I didn’t make the connection to movement there, either. I didn’t see fucking as another way of being in my body until later.”
In Situ #2 / $3.00 55g
I don’t read a lotta comics, but I’ll still say that In Situ is one of my favourites. Each page holds six panels, telling the story of Sophie’s day with stark illustrations, and words that are carefully timed for humour, wonder, sadness. This issue chronicles a move from Oakland, CA to Montréal; a season spent sleeping on friends’ couches; writings and actions in solidarity with students in Québec; and a chance encounter with a Neil Young back patch. The first issue was printed as a book and is available in the Books section of this website.
TEMPORARILY SOLD OUT
In Situ #3 / $3.00 / 45g
Friendship, karaoke, des manifs contre la hausse des frais de scolarité, riding bikes, reading tarot, climbing fences… “The word for the summer is brave.” Still one of my favourite comics. The first issue was printed as a book and is available in the Books section of this website.
It’s Down To This / $3.00 / 125g
Subtitled Reflections, Stories, Experiences, Critiques, and Ideas on Community and Collective Response to Sexual Violence, Abuse, and Accountability, this is one monster of a zine. It contains one hundred half-size pages of essays written from numerous perspectives, eg: survivors, support people, people who have been both abused and called out for abuse, etc. It’s about accountability processes and how they work (and how they often don’t work); about trauma, alienation, sadness, frustration; about logistics like working with support people and finding a therapist… I could go on and on. Be warned that it’s quite an intense read, so give yourself the time and space to read it, take it all in, and take care of yourself.
From the intro: “I wanted to see this zine happen because I knew myself and many others to feel stuck or dissatisfied with what we understood to be emerging norms for aggressor accountability and survivor support models. But as for the people I had worked with and with whom I shared a mutual investment and dedication to anti-sexual violence work many of us felt unable to voice criticisms or were afraid to admit that we had criticisms.”