Ker-Bloom! #94 / $2.00 / 12g
This is a long-running perzine letterpress-printed by Artnoose in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This issue documents her desire for a child since her early twenties, and the quest for a father. Not a partner, as one might assume. I saw her read from this zine at the Chicago Zine Fest in 2012 and she tells the tale in a really hilarious way. A quote: “Then it was my turn for the long pause as tears began almost invisibly welling in my eyes and I fumbled with the plastic box in my hands. ‘But… I made you this sweet mix tape.’”
Ker-Bloom! #95 / $2.00 / 12g
Letterpress-printed and delightful as usual. This is the second installation in the saga to conceive a child… In this issue, Artnoose finally finds the father. But they will have to fight cops! And awkward times! A quote: “When they led him away in handcuffs, somehow I knew this was the person I wanted to make a baby with. I don’t know how to explain it, but that’s how it was. Unfortunately, I then had to wait for his sentence to be up.”
Ker-Bloom! #96 / $2.00 / 12g
Another sweet letterpress-printed zine from Artnoose. Finally, the baby is born. This issue chronicles Artnoose’s pregnancy, where she of course never stopped goin’ to punk shows, eatin’ vegan, takin’ her vitamins and singin’ karaoke, plus her plans for a natural birth and the unexpected outcome. A quote: “My pregnancy was more than perfect; it was badass.”
Kurt Cobain Was A Feminist #1 / Kurt Cobain Était Féministe #1 / .50 cents / 5g
This is a mini-zine that I made during my stay as artist-in-residence at the Roberts Street Social Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It’s about my childhood discovery of feminism via grunge. Typewritten, cut-and-paste. Written in French and English. / Ceci est un minizine que j’ai écrit en étant artiste-en-résidence au centre social de Roberts Street à Halifax, Nouvelle-Écosse. Au sujet de ma découverte du féminisme via le grunge lorsque j’étais enfant. Fait à la machine à écrire, cut-and-paste. Écrit en anglais et en français.
Mélange #3 / $3.00 / 25g
In a rare turn of events, I’m really into the layout of this zine in spite of the fact that it was obviously created with the aid of – gasp! – a computer. It’s really all-around lovely. The bulk of this zine centers around several generations of women in Sandy’s family tree, and the lessons learned from them. She manages to weave these stories alongside the history of cherry blossoms, and includes instructions on sprouting various plants, as well as brief forays into science and mental health. “In all the time I’ve known her, Mum has never let a man tell her what to do – not without a fight. So, I’m not entirely sure where I got the idea from that I had to be a docile, obedient Asian wife.”
TEMPORARILY SOLD OUT
Motor City Kitty #19 / $2.00 / 30g
This is the first-ever zine to be created as part of the Fight Boredom Zine Residency. Bri spent two weeks with me in Montréal, where she wrote on the themes of family, grief, and loss. This issue begins with a piece on taking a not-so-guilty pleasure in listening to My Chemical Romance (more specifically, the concept album The Black Parade, whose songs are centered on themes of death and afterlife), which leads into more heavy musings on the death of her father. I’m not gonna lie, I got a little misty-eyed the first time I read it. Bri writes on losing her father at thirteen years old, and the realization that from here on out, she will have lived more of her life without him than with him. She writes of childhood weekends spent in Detroit, where her father’s drug addiction was hidden from her only until she’d threatened to move away from her mother in Cleveland. Typewritten family histories accompanied by photographs, and a closing piece on bein’ a lady at a certain punk venue in the city, which I also wrote about here. This is everything that I want out of a perzine, and I’m not just saying that because Bri is my bestie.
Motor City Kitty #20 / $2.00 / 25g
Bri put this issue together just before embarking upon a zine tour, which brought her from Cleveland, Ohio up to Montréal – to see me! Some of the main themes running through this issue are friendship, family, and the future, with Bri answering questions from Telegram #25 about her goals and her ideal life. She writes also about being a survivor of abuse, while also being involved in a relationship with someone who is going through an accountability process – I can only imagine how difficult this was to write, and how vulnerable she must feel sharing these thoughts with us. I know that it’s something so important to talk about, too. Like, once a person has been called out, what is the next step? And what does it means for those who are close to them? How can we end cycles of abuse?
Motor City Kitty #21 / $2.00 / 30g
Tour zine! This one is half-legal size and falls somewhere between perzine, tour diary, and comic. I know how much work went into it, because I saw Bri diligently writing and drawing (and agonizing) at the Tulip Farm over the course of her five-week stay here. It’s all about touring via Megabus, zine readings and friendship, depression and anxiety, navigating trying situations as a feminist and a survivor of abuse, and makin’ it through yet another winter.
Paper Doll #7 / $2.00 / 15g
There is a marked difference between this and previous issues of Paper Doll, and it’s hard not to imagine Clara taking a drag of her cigarette and rolling her eyes at every other phrase. But if you can get past that, it’s kind of amazing to read a perzine by a teenage feminist that doesn’t come across as, well, the same as every other perzine by a teenage feminist. It’s something a little more poetic, a little more self-aware, and one can certainly read into the creative way of having bound the zine: with bobby pins.
TEMPORARILY SOLD OUT
Photomill #2 / $1.50 / 25g
I met Kent, the author of this zine, while visiting the East Coast during my zine residency at Halifax. I gotta say that this is one of my favourite finds, and I really oughta write a letter and order some more issues. This particular issue is about Kent’s experiences with working in a university cadaver lab – yes, that means working with actual dissected human bodies. It is such a fascinating read and I couldn’t help but be drawn in by such a bizarre topic. An excerpt: “I brought over the same half-pelvis – six or so people crowded around, all taking their turn to touch the different parts, asking me questions. Everyone marveling at how small the uterus was – smaller than the palm of your hand. I’m not trying to paint this as a magical uterine sisterhood moment, cause that’s really problematic. I’m not going to pretend like I know what other people got out of it. But I thought it was a really lovely moment.”
Pinch Kid #2 / $2.00 / 30g
Last spring, my friend Dave Cave (of Everybody Moon Jump) offered a zine grant called Operation AHAP to those who applied and fell within certain criteria. And lucky for us readers, Kit got it! This zine is subtitled As Happy As Possible, and documents a summertime of learning to be just that. Getting as happy as possible includes everything from small gestures like hanging up ridiculous cat art and listening to sweet tapes, to huge changes like ending their marriage, coming out as queer and trans, and taking a step back from their religious upbringing. Kit writes about short-term and long-term goals, and includes a helpful list of questions for readers about our own happiness. The bulk of the zine is typewritten, with illustrations and sharpie’d titles throughout.
TEMPORARILY SOLD OUT
Pinch Kid #3 / $2.00 / 20g
Wow, Kit is on a roll these days! Here’s another perzine from one of my besties. The cover takes its inspiration from magazines like Bop and… I don’t know really know any other titles, let’s be honest, but magazines that feature the likes of Justin Bieber, One Direction, and Carly Rae Jepsen. Fitting, because Kit writes about indulging unironically in teen pop culture, something that was denied them in the past due to being raised in a religious family. Other topics include trichotillomania (hair-pulling), and contemplating how being raised in a Mennonite family relates to their struggle with severe depression. Kit always expresses themselves in an authentic, honest, and humourous way, and this zine is no exception.
Playing Victim #5 / $2.00 / 15g
Let me just start by saying that Brittany is an absolute sweetheart. In a complete reversal to the way my life usually works, we actually met in Real Life before having traded zines. Fancy that! This issue documents her time spent in Columbus, Ohio, a true college down – by which I mean, populated by young drunken assholes. And while the city at times treated her like shit, she also grew a thick skin and rounded up a small community of friends for demonstrations, workshops, and bike rides. She writes of righteous anger, and acknowledges her own problematic relationship with alcohol. I’m really into these kinds of stories because they remind me so much of my own small hometown and that love/hate relationship. An excerpt: “By the time I moved away, I was a master of the sneak attack. I had perfected the flick of a wrist which lands a drink in an unsuspecting harasser’s lap. Sitting at stoplights on my bike, I would consider the damage my u-lock could do to anyone who tried to touch me. I sharpened my comebacks and punctuated them with wet globs of spit when necessary. I made up my mind not to run, regardless of the crosshairs I was in.”
Pourquoi Je Suis Féministe (par un gars) / FREE / GRATUIT / 30g
Ok, le titre rend le sujet de ce zine évident. Voici une bande-dessinée sur le féminisme vu par un gars. Drôle, intélligent puis le fun en plus. Je le recommande à ceux et celles qui sont intéressés(e)s par le féminisme, mais surtout les autres gars.
TEMPORARILY SOLD OUT
Radio Antarctica #1 / $2.00 / 25g
This is a new perzine series from Clara Bee, who also created Hungry: A (Re)collection of Memorable Meals & Disordered Eating. A lot of her work is centered on illustrations and comics, and while they are present here, the focus of this zine is personal writing. Clara touches on topics such as happiness and friendship, learning to get over body-hate (and acknowledging the varying factors that might lead someone to hating their body, ie: racist, cissexist, and ableist ideals of beauty), and taking care of oneself. Plus, there is a short guide to sleepytime teas!
Real Life: A Magical Guide To Getting Off The Internet / $3.00 / 20g
I hate the internet and I love this zine. Maranda (of Telegram) and Dave (of Everybody Moon Jump), small-town besties, write about their respective pursuits to spend less time online, interviewing each other and writing about the techniques they’ve employed in order to cut down on this addiction. It reads as part conversation between friends, part workbook for others seeking help. This zine is full of questions to ask oneself in regards to internet usage, plus lists and activities. The most important question of course is, “What would you rather be doing?” Read the Ravenswing Zines review here.
Root #1 / $3.00 / 20g
Root is quickly becoming one of my favourite zine series. In this first issue, Sarah writes about her experience spending a summer living and working on an organic farm in rural Nova Scotia. She writes about a past fantasy of living out in the country, growing her own food and playing with barn cats… the perfect rural life. Then learning quickly that it is actually a lot of hard work (as well as the good stuff), plus there is the reality of having to depend on a car to get around. She discusses her thoughts on food politics and agriculture while sharing quotes and recommending her favourite books. Lots of photos are included and there’s even a recipe for rhubarb pie! The whole thing is cut-and-paste with a really neat layout that alternates between full-colour and black-and-white copies, with lots of vintage fabrics used as backgrounds.
TEMPORARILY SOLD OUT
Root #2 / $3.00 / 15g
This issue focuses on two things: school and zines. Studying to become a biologist, while never being certain of the future that education will give to oneself. Researching heritage wheat varieties. Questioning the self-indulgence of zines and what place they have in her life. Stocking zines at work and talking about them at the library. Traveling. The kind of zine that takes you away and makes you reflect. Cut-and-paste with photos throughout.
Root #3 / $3.00 / 15g
Another inspiring one. It’s slightly smaller than quarter-size and contains all sorts of excellent road trip stories, like picking up a stray cat in New Mexico, camping on the coast of California, and discussing life with fellow travelers along the way, yet being thankful to return home to the familiarity of Halifax and brainstorm new ideas to present to the community. The whole zine has a real nice aesthetic, and I love the full-colour collages and photos.
TEMPORARILY SOLD OUT
Root #6 / $3.00 / 15g
First of all, this is one of the most amazing zine covers I’ve ever seen. Talk about eye-catching! In this issue, Sarah writes about her love of bicycles and a burgeoning interest in long-distance bicycling. She writes about creating the Brevets Cycling Club, designed to be welcome to cyclists of varying skills levels, and going on bike trips with these lovely people. Pages are alternately black-and-white and full-colour and feature photographs, maps and some nice cut-and-paste work. Adventure time!
Rot #4 / $1.00 / 45g
It’s taken me a while to add a description for this zine, which is AMAZING by the way, because it’s just so difficult to describe visual art and comics sometimes. Katrina writes (and draws, of course!) about their life as a weirdo in Providence, Rhode Island. Really sweet punk comics made of Sharpie’d illustrations and stories of “shoujo-ai and antifa, yelling with your friends at 24 hour supermarkets, many cats, context, youth, eviction… the public library, the love between gross girls, wearing an ill-fitted leather jacket and having a weird hard time.”
Rumpy Pumpy / $2.00 / 20g
In making Rumpy Pumpy, Milo (who you may know as one of the founders of the Queer Zine Archive Project) set out to make a 1990s-style queer zine. Part perzine, part fanzine, all fun. This one includes a feature on 90s heartthrob AJ from Empire Records, super sweet music reviews (the words ‘tweepunk’, ‘shygaze’, and ‘plink-pop’ are dropped), the story of Milo’s first trip to a sex shop and more. Totally rad and printed with purple covers!