Zines

"A funny thing about regret is that it's better to regret something you have done than to regret something you haven't done." So begins the third issue of Balcony, the publishing outlet of musician Fred Thomas (Saturday Looks Good to Me, City Center).

Interviews with long-running New Zealand experimental rock band The Dead C, cultish songwriter Edith Frost, and ambient musician John Daniel of Forest Management. Plus a piece about names from Marcy Donelson. 

32 pages, half-letter size.

 

A zine in tribute to a maligned beauty of pop culture's past: the compact cassette tape. Twenty writers, musicians, DJs, label owners, publishers, and comic artists tell stories of how cassette tapes have affected their lives, for better or worse. 

Within: the art of the mixtape, the importance of the boombox, the intimacy of the Walkman. Plus tales of recording with cassettes, performing with cassettes, releasing cassettes, falling in love with cassettes. Nostalgia, subversion, frustration, possibility.

Contributions from: Andrew Barton, Ariel Birks, Karleigh Frisbie Brogan, Aaron Burch, Laura Daegling, Tim Devin, Fukumup, Aaron Gilbreath, Cynthia Carmina Gómez, Jack Lewis, Chask'e Lindgren, Pat Maley, Jason Martin, Sara Renberg, Kevin Sampsell, Gina Sarti, Christopher Sutton, Tucker Theodore, and Alexis Wolf.

Cover art by Rachel Lee-Carman. Risograph-printed throughout by Whatnow Press. 60 pages, half-letter size. 

The best zine about zines around. Within: Sarah Mirk's joy-inducing stories about her Year of Zines project. Corinne Halbert's "Zany Zinetiquette" comics. Gianni Simone's stories of how his early 2000s zines led to becoming a freelance writer in Japan. Ed Kemp and Mark Cunning's home copier treatises. Todd Taylor's personal history of Razorcake frugality. Liz Mason's hilarious Quimby's "Zine Data Mining." Brian Polk's brilliant imagined zines.

Not to mention words and pictures from zine superstars like: Anna Jo Beck, Nyx, Jenna Freedman, Mike Faloon, Johnnie B. Baker, and Ed Tillman.

Cover art by Sarah Mirk. 40 pages, half-letter size.

An exploration of the body, one part at a time, by Tomas Moniz. Written as poems, but reading more like vignettes or small essays about how complicated it is just to exist in your own frame. These pieces are sweet, emotionally heavy, sexy, and sometimes really funny. They are so honest that it leaves you wishing for that same openness in yourself, to be so unashamed of what we carry around and what we desire.

Illustrated by Portland's own Amanda Englund. Reprinted through 1984 Printing. 40 pages, quarter-size.

A highly enjoyable series of comics adapted from music biographies. Within: Bob Dylan's makeshift Blood on the Tracks backing band, Kurt & Courtney's mac-and-cheese trials, John & Yoko's primal scream therapy, John Coltrane being a good guy, Mike Watt wearing a pumpkin on his head, the feuds of J Mascis & Lou Barlow, and Kristin Hersh's evil self.

40 pages, half-letter size.

A fantastic new issue of the long-running Fluke Fanzine, this time focused on outsider art. Full of odd connections, scenes crossing over, countercultures meeting. Graffiti subcultures, freight-train monikers, '80s skateboarding culture, punk history, experimental film, queercore.

Within: filmmaker Bill Daniel (of Who is Bozo Texino? fame) on the influence of early '90s Cometbus and Sluggo! zines, photographer Garry Winogrand, and '80s Texas skate-punk band the Big Boys. A fascinating in-depth interview with graffiti historian Susan A. Phillips (The City Beneath: A Century of Los Angeles GraffitiWallbangin'). Linda Kite on her life with D Boon of Minutemen and seeing the '80s L.A. punk scene as conceptual art. Sergej Vutuc's dream-like skateboarding photography. Gary Floyd (of Dicks and Sister Double Happiness) on being a gay Texan punk in the 1970s and touring with Nirvana the year Nevermind broke. And legendary train-graffiti artist buZ blurr (AKA- Colossus of Roads) at the center of everything, holding everyone together. 

56 pages, cut half-letter size.

Last few copies! This DIY punk venue history is more than just an archive of the 21st-century Boston punk scene (though it is, very much, that), but also a brief history of DIY venues in general. Tracking the beginnings of the anti-corporate punk spirit of the late '70s and early '80s, to the "no stage" ethos of the early '90s, to the house show culture of the 2000s, this zine is for anyone interested in DIY culture.

An Incomplete History of Long-Gone Illegal Punk Venues in Boston is written by scene veteran Chris Strunk. It's full of fun anecdotes, but also documents the intense aggression of the Boston Police and the gentrification and noise ordinances that shut down much of the DIY venue culture. A fascinating read!

40 pages, half-letter size. Free the Future Press.

Songwriter and poet Sara Renberg begins her zine series looking at the often-maligned solo career of former Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus. Focusing on his 2001 solo debut (before officially becoming Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks), she takes us on a joyous song-by-song investigation of why people hate it and how much there is to love. It's a fun read, even if you don't know the album. Along the way, there's the end of Pavement, the making of Silver Jews' American Water, and life in Portland, Oregon.

The zine is also a personal journey of a rural kid in the big city, discovering indie music, coming out, and dating girls for the first time (all to the soundtrack of this album).

32 pages, half-letter size.

One Punk's Guide to Star Trek is both a great read and an accessible guide for the newcomer (as well as those who have just dipped a toe into the Trek universe). Effortlessly summing up the complex backstories and timelines, Seattle Trekkie-punk Kayla Greet gives a primer to 50+ years of the best in secular-humanist social-commentary sci-fi television programming. 

Focusing on The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, but also covering previous and present series, she gives a brief explanation of each and lists key entry-point episodes. It's hard to come out of this zine without wanting to watch!

There's also plenty of fantastic lines about what Star Trek says about the world-at-large and what it inspires in her. As she writes in the zine, "When I feel stuck as a working class citizen just trying to make it to the next paycheck among people who have more than they'll ever need, as well as people struggling even worse than me, I think of the Federation and how I can implement and model that type of society in the world around me. It feeds my brain with possibilities and my heart with hope. So if you ask me, Star Trek is just about as punk as it gets."

Illustrated by Ben Snakepit (of Snake Pit zine), edited by Todd Taylor (of Razorcake). 32 pages, half-letter size.

Shit's Fucked, Still is the long-awaited follow-up to our own Gina Sarti's tiny bestselling zine of useful suggestions for getting through tough times. And would you believe: it's even better than the first! Sweet, personal, practical, fun, and down to earth. 

Within: bad mood bag, home museum, floating flowers, magical Mondays, bathroom poems, comfort potatoes, and so much more.

20 pages, stapled wraps, quarter-size/pamphlet size (4.25" x 5.5", 108 mm x 140 mm).