SCAM #6: In The Streets Of Buenos Aires / $3.00 / 85g
“Was there really a “revolution” to be seen in the spray paint on Argentina’s walls? If so, what kind of revolution was it? What did the graffiti, angry political slogans and lyrical stencil images, have to say about where Argentina was heading now after four years of political and economic crisis? I sought out Buenos Aires’ stencil artists to find out.”
SCAM #7: The Return To Miami! / $3.00 / 85g
“When I tell people I’m from Miami, frequently they respond by saying, ‘I’ve been there once.’ If a shadow seems to cross their face for a second and they appear to be involuntarily remembering the worst thing things they’ve ever seen, I can usually correctly guess that they went down there to attend the protests against the Free Trade of the Americas Agreement (FTAA) in November of 2003 and experienced the brutal and violent police attacks on the protesters. Otherwise, it usually turns out that they went to the week-long glitzy orgy of art, money, and celebrity known as Art Basel Miami Beach. Either way, they will usually politely say, ‘But I’m sure it’s not always like that…'”
SCAM #9: Damaged – The Story Of Black Flag’s Classic First Album / $3.00 / 90g
Description from Erick Lyle himself: “Here at last is the long awaited new issue of SCAM, the story of the making of my favorite record ever, Black Flag’s classic first LP, Damaged. Based on an expanded version of a story I wrote for the LA Weekly last winter to celebrate the record’s 30th anniversary, the zine includes primary interviews with Black Flag members, Henry Rollins, Greg Ginn, Chuck Dukowski, Dez Cadena, Kira Roessler and others around the band, including Mike Watt, Joe Carducci, Raymond Pettibon, Ed Colver, and Dave Markey.”
Skinned Heart #3 / $3.00 / 40g
I’ve read this zine several times, most recently at my kitchen table on an autumn evening, with a cup of tea by my side. It’s one of those zines that you can spend a lotta time mulling over, you know? There are a few main themes in this one – female friendships, jealousy / competition, open relationships, and being a person of colour in a predominantly white punk scene. Really thoughtful and honest writing, with a cut-and-paste layout. Total favourite.
Skinned Heart #4 / 40g / $3.00
In this issue, Nyky documents her moves from Texas to Arizona and most recently to Seattle, Washington, while also navigating the complicated effects of colonization – including feeling like an outsider to both Mexican culture and to radical-feminist-punk subculture. Other topics include learning to take care of herself in regards to chronic illness, dealing with the fallout of being involved in an abusive relationship, and learning how to communicate within an open relationship. “They [the author’s family] had a lot and they lost a lot chasing the American dream. Slowly but surely we chased and assimilated to that American lifestyle in the Arizona desert looking for a life full of respect and status. This is where those cracks in my identity began, where there was a Mexican me and an assimilated me, where I began and learned to tolerate a life of duality.”
Skinned Heart #5 / $3.00 / 10g
In this issue of Skinned Heart, Nyky works her way through what she refers to as her current madness, which is coinciding with her Saturn return. She writes about feeling alone and unstable and learning how to work through anger and aggression. This particular issue feels very stream-of-conscious with a sense of urgency, and is peppered with both the vulnerability and the simple high-contrast collages that I’ve come to associate with this series.
Skinned Heart #6 / $3.00 / 30g
The cover of this issue was illustrated by Nyky’s father, and she begins by writing about her experiences with having a father who is incarcerated. She writes not only of the frustration, sadness, and fear that come out of this situation, but also critiques the prison industrial complex, the US’s “war on drugs,” and the way race and class figure into her father’s arrests and incarceration. She writes of the matriarchal family she was raised in, and witnessing reactions to women of colour’s expressions of anger – be it her mother confronting school employees when she was a child, or right now, her own anger when organizing with white feminists, for example. In Punkera Por Vida, she writes, “What I love most about being a punk is the access I have to other folks of color and gender marginalized people who are having the same experiences and finding creative outlets to live outside of the margins. I’ve met so many brujas, artists and musicians, writers, great thinkers and amazing inspirational people through punk.” She writes about calling white punks on their (our) racist bullshit – namely, white queers writing POC out of hard-femme culture – and also bringing her politics into her interactions with her family. She reminds readers, “Punk is not inherently white.”
Sour Puss #8 / Fergus #30 / $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!
Swearing In Cursive #4 / Summer / $2.00 / 20g
A split zine! Mckenzie is gearing up to leave her home state of California, and so reflects on this time alongside her friend Max, who left California for New York a year previously. Mckenzie grew up in Southern California, and writes about her teen years holed up in her cave bedroom repeatedly watching Martin Scorcese’s Bob Dylan documentary and reading gay male fanfiction, and her eventual online discoveries of zines and feminism. Max writes of a happy childhood living in a thick forest with their hippy parents, raised on music festivals, camping, and long days at the beach, but spending a miserable time at high school in Sacramento. Both Mckenzie and Max eventually moved to the Bay Area, where they found a community and chosen family, something they are now both learning to recreate in Boston, MA and Rochester, NY respectively. Loving this zine for its reflections on the importance of home, family, and community.
Swearing In Cursive #5 / $1.00 / 10g
Completed during the Fight Boredom Zine Residency in the summer of 2015, this issue 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. 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.
Télégramme #24 / $3.00 / 20g
Version française de Telegram #24, traduit par Lucas pour Mad Pride Montréal. Le thème général de ce zine pourrait être déclaré « le soin de soi » mais si vous êtes déja familièr.e avec l’écriture de Maranda vous saurez que c’est vraiment plus que ça. Yelle est un écrivain excellente et je suis de plus en plus étonnée avec chaque subséquent numéro. Ici, Maranda écrit sur le genre / être genderqueer, comment soutenir des ami.e.s avec des maladies mentales (incluant des ami.e.s qui sont dans l’hôpital), puis des trucs de soin de soi.
Voici une note sur la traduction: « Maranda insiste beaucoup dans son texte sur l’importance d’utiliser le bon pronom, pour respecter l’identité de genre de la personne dont on parle. En français, utiliser un langage neutre, c’est encore plus compliqué. Ça demande beaucoup de pirouettes linguistiques, et qui plus est, des pirouettes différentes à l’oral et à l’écrit. Mais c’est important de se pratiquer et de s’appliquer à les faire, ces pirouettes; le français est un langage profondément sexiste et cissexiste, et il y a beaucoup de travail à faire collectivement pour qu’il soit inclusif et respectueux de toutes les préférences et identités des personnes qui l’utilisent.
En français, quand on réfère à une personne, ce n’est pas seulement le pronom qu’on utilise pour désigner cette personne qui est accordé avec son genre, mais également tous les noms et adjectifs qui lui réfèrent. Il faut donc trouver une façon de dé-genrer les noms et les adjectifs, ce que j’ai choisi de faire dans ma traduction en choisissant des mots ayant la même orthographe au féminin et au masculin (ex. le mot “pote” plutôt que “ami.e”, pour traduire “pal”), et si c’était possible, en choisissant des mots ayant une orthographe semblable au féminin et au masculin (ex. le mot “cinglé.e” plutôt que “folle/fou”, pour traduire “crazy”) ou en joignant ensemble les deux formes d’un mot (ex. le mot “celleux” plutôt que “celles et ceux”, pour traduire “those”). Aussi, la langue française ne disposant pas d’un pronom non-genré (contrairement à l’anglais “they” qui est le pronom utilisé par Maranda), il faut en inventer: j’ai proposé à Maranda d’utiliser “yelle” pour traduire “they”.
Bref, j’ai fait de mon mieux, mais rien n’est parfait et j’ai conscience que certaines phrases sont un peu lourdes. Mais ça vaut la peine pour vous partager ce texte qui m’a beaucoup touché.e. »
Telegram #28 / 20g / $3.00
Description from Maranda’s Etsy: “Telegram #28 is all about home, tour, writing, & magic. In this zine, I write about what it feels like to publish a book, my thoughts & feelings during book launches, reclaiming & embracing “crazy” and capital-C Crazy as an identity, the irksomeness of people (often, friends) choosing to use oppressive language like ‘crazy’, ‘insane’, ‘psychotic’, etc. inappropriately, happiness as a process rather than a goal, breaking down feelings of self-hate, going on my first tour with Mend My Dress Press (we traveled from Seattle – Los Angeles), Witchy Punx Club & psychics & Tarot cards, my hatred of landlords and my need for a stable home, and my reasons for leaving Guelph.”
Telegram #30 / $3.00 / 15g
Description from Maranda’s Etsy: “This issue of Telegram is about tangibility and missing pieces, the disappearance of my belongings and my words, and summertime in Seattle. I flew to Seattle in July 2013 to see Courtney Love live, visit Kurt & Courtney’s old house and the Viretta Park memorial bench, etc., and while I was there, my backpack, which contained my diary, passport, & psych meds, among other things, was stolen. I was 27 & lookin’ for reasons to keep on livin’.
Telegram #30 also includes stories of how nostalgia is different when you have PTSD, trauma and growing up in poverty, unfun criticisms of middle-class white cis feminists & riot grrrl, found magical objects, Weirdo Parlour, crying in public, petals, vulnerability, illnesses, questions, boundaries, allyship as process and not identity, carrying experiences in my pockets… (& love letters to Patti Smith, Amanda Palmer, Courtney Love, & Kurt Cobain.)”
Critical Breakfast #1 / Telegram #38 / $3.00 / 20g
My twin & 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. / Critical Breakfast #1 by Amber Dearest is about her Saturn return, synchronicity, a bad landlord, working as a lab rat, sobriety, learning to build self-confidence, and an auspicious Tarot reading.
Tomorrow’s Machine Today #3 / $3.00 / 45g
This is a zine of twenty vignettes that tell the story of Emma’s pre-teen and teenage experiences with music and gender. Opening with a story of unwrapping albums at Christmastime (Emma’s first: Look Sharp by Roxette), and leading us to first hearing Veruca Salt on the radio, borrowing Nirvana albums, and finally being sent a dubbed copy of Hole’s Live Through This by a pen pal. Some very classic 1990s coming-of-age moments, nostalgic but not cheesy. Emma writes also of some experiences that are still very familiar to me: hiding in oversized t-shirts, a total disinterest in dating boys, realizing the way that women and girls are socialized to be in competition with one another… Perhaps I’m into this narrative because it reminds me so much of myself. But ah, Emma has an excellent way with words, and can really set the scene. Check out Huffin’ Textas for more.
Tongueswell #3 / Dig Deep #7 / $2.00 / 20g
A common theme in past issues of Dig Deep is street harassment, and it comes up again here, as Heather recounts how the resulting fear has affected her to the point of avoiding being alone in public. This past summer, inspired by a friend, she began training to run a half-marathon – and of course had to learn to be able to run… alone… outdoors. She writes about the mental and physical processes of training, gaining both the physical strength and the self-confidence to exist alone in public, and does it in a way that is just so affirming and rad. In Tongueswell, Jen writes about another experience that can be common for women: working in the service industry. Dealing with entitled jerks, coming up with jokes and songs with her co-workers just to make it through the day. She uses an instance of overhearing a customer on the phone talking someone through the process of putting down a pet to tell the story of the adoption and eventual death of her own beloved cat. I love the way she weaves these stories together, and I’m so glad to see these two coming together for a split zine.
Us Amazonians: a Kirsty MacColl fanzine / $3.00 / 25g
It seems Kirsty MacColl is best known for her backup singing alongside the Smiths, and her duet Fairytale of New York with The Pogues, and this is certainly how I first heard her name. But she also released five full-length albums before her untimely death in 2000, and with this fanzine, Milo (whom you may know from Rumpy Pumpy, Bananarchy Now! and the Queer Zine Archive Project) and pals are here to tell us about her fantastic music, her history with camp, and her simple kindheartedness – this is best illustrated in a piece by fan Tony Reay, with whom she shared demo tapes and began a correspondence. Musically, I’d say she has something of a dreamy-wistful 1980s sound combined with 1960s girl group pop sensibilities. I’m listening to her first album, Desperate Character, as I write this. This is a zine that might appeal to music nerds and Kirsty MacColl newcomers alike, and I felt most drawn to Chris Wilde’s reviews of favourite songs, from 1979’s They Don’t Know to 2000’s Us Amazonians, with sexuality being a recurring theme. Such a great read!
We Don’t Go Nowhere / $2.00 / 25g
Clara completed this zine in December 2014 during her stint at the Fight Boredom Zine Residency. We threw a sweet little launch party where we served hot apple cider and she did tarot readings for people, and now the zine is finally available for all. Named for a Julie Doiron song and inspired by a particularly rough winter, this zine features eighteen illustrations showing many of the things that Clara loves about the season – breaking into ice rinks for a secret midnight skate, knotting someone’s scarf for them, refusing to retire summer dresses (layer ’em!) and more. She calls it a micro-document of hope.
Your Secretary #10 / Dig Deep #3 / $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.
Zine Crush #1 / $1.00 / 40g
This is a compilation zine made in Portland, Oregon, featuring stories by fifteen different people about their zine crushes. There’s the classic zinefest-crush, then having a strange older man show up at your mom’s front door when you’re fifteen, moving in with your zine crush only to sabotage the relationship, and imagined zine babes not yet met. The stories run the gamut from adorable to uncomfortable, but it’s all-in-all a fun read.
Zine Crush #2 / $1.00 / 40g
Confessions of like. This zine is compiled anonymously in Portland, Oregon and contains fourteen stories of zine crushes – from a lonely cat waiting to dive into a box of zines, to best friendship, to the inevitable missed connections at zinefests – and my very first comic! I contributed a piece about two zine crushes and a postal scam. This is a pretty endearing read, and the creation of this zine has helped me to acknowledge my crushes and be less afraid of making myself vulnerable. Win win!
Zine Crush #3 / $1.00 / 40g
And here is the third issue of the sometimes-cute and sometimes-weird compilation zine about crushes. Although there’s still a lotta writing, I’m really into the move toward more comics. This time around, there are seventeen contributors, and a cover illustrated by Liz Prince. Some of my favourite stories include Tim Murphy’s piece about getting into queer zines in 1996 through reading Holy Titclamps, J.D.s, Outpunk, Mutate and more, Rachel Lee-Carman’s comic that tells a zinefest crush story but also shares drawing tips, and the anonymous zine editor’s illustrations of OkCupid matches who list zines as an interest on their profile.