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.

Each issue of Behind the Zines is such a joy to read and warms my heart so much. Zine lifers, independent publishers, and artists of all stripes gather together to tell stories that never otherwise get told. (Like, in this issue, Todd Taylor of Razorcake's journey into a warehouse postal audit with rejected snake meat and live chickens.)

This issue's highlight: an essay from our own Gina Sarti about the ten-year anniversary of her ridiculously popular zine Shit's Fucked: A Positivity Guide. It's the rare story of making tons of lovely connections by way of a small zine that randomly went viral on Reddit a decade ago and never stopped.

Close-second highlight: Jonathan Valelly's deep-dive into the Broken Pencil Zine Awards—a massive, wonderful operation (that old-school zinesters love to hate on).

There's also: zine tattoos, first-time zinesters, postal bliss, experimental hip-hop collective zines, the pandemic zine fest scene, the most unwanted zine, anarchist zine printing, retro zine reviews, and an interview with Jolie Ruin (of The Escapist Artist).

32 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.

A wonderful new zine about gleaning, otherwise known as "harvesting surplus produce and giving it to people who otherwise might not have access to fresh fruit and veggies." But it's also so much more than that, as well: Glean Zine is a compact introduction to food waste the world over and how we can begin thinking differently about our food habits.

Gorgeous comics and illustrations from the one-and-only Nicki Sabalu (DIY or Don't We) throughout. (Plus charts and graphs and many other well-informed things.)

36 pages, cut half-letter size.

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.

A deep-dive into the animated television show BoJack Horseman, by way of personal essays, comics, tarot, and interviews.

Within: alcoholism, international fandom, the history of screwball comedies, unlikeable cartoon women, absurdism, representation in voice acting, the power of Lisa Hanawalt, and much more. For fans, as well as those who can't understand what there is to love in a cartoon about addiction and depression. 

With words from: Joshua James Amberson, Timothy Day, Jessica Fonvergne, Lauren Hobson, Tessa Livingstone, M.L. Schepps, Jourdain Searles, and Molly E. Simas. Plus an interview with Leca from BoJack Hidden Jokes

Illustrations from: Eileen Chavez, Ross Jackson, Naomi Marshall, and Liz Yerby. Cover and back cover art by Sarah Mirk. 

Winner of the Broken Pencil Best Fanzine of 2020 award. All proceeds from the zine benefit Black Resilience Fund and the National Lawyers Guild.

Printed by Eberhardt Press. 68 pages, half-letter size.