Zines

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. 

 

Written and assembled during the pandemic as a way to remember how intimate and celebratory live, small-scale, do-it-yourself shows can be, Best Show Ever brings together nearly 20 voices and distinct experiences. Scenes from all over the U.S., basements and yards and art spaces, makeshift stages, day-long festivals, shows from the 1990s, shows from just before things shut down. All collected here.

As it says on the first page: "This zine is a love letter to the basements and community spaces that felt like home. The songs that lived on mix tapes and CDs in our headphones and in our hearts, right up until the moment we got to yell the words in person, with a bunch of smiling strangers. This zine is dedicated to the bands and crowds that made us feel less alone. a nod to some of the best nights of our lives. This zine is for you."

With words from: Marigold, Colleen Fitzgerald, Jonquil Moore, Diego Romero-Aros, Julia Koschler, Toria Muñoz, Jackie Snyder, Ian Vanek, Peyton Kuzel, Shannon, Dakota Floyd, Joshua Hoey, Johnny Gainer, Shannon Bodrogi, Chris, Dandy Decipher, Dylan Gregor, Alyssa Giannini, and Rachel Jackson.

32 pages, half-letter size.

A pandemic short story about a lonely science teacher adopting stray animals, having distanced hook-ups, drinking beers in the park, watching planets align. As always with Tomas Moniz, it's a pleasure to read and finds a sweet, unexpected depth. 

32 pages, half-letter size.

This issue of Caboose considers the ways we connect. From pandemic depths, Liz Mason looks at virtual dance parties, advancements in karaoke technology, digitizing her old college radio show archives, her grade school media empire, wormholes, and much more.

48 pages, half-letter size.

The quarantine issue of everyone's favorite cat zine, Cat Party! Comics, illustrations, and essays about cat friends and being at home.

Art and words from Jay McQuirns, Christa Dippel, Missy Kulik, Vanessa Berry, Jackie Soro, Joseph Carlough, Keiko Ishibashi, and Helen Kaucher.

32 pages, half-letter size.

In this, the "pre-pandemic naivete" issue, we get comics about parenting, reading while walking, and explaining second-wave ska to children. Gorgeously printed.

40 pages, quarter-size, risograph printed.

In the "obligatory coronavirus" issue, we get comics about the pandemic. Life as a high school art teacher, worries, hobbies, boredom, so many questions.

40 pages, quarter-size, risograph printed.

We're offering free zine packs to those who are struggling financially or emotionally right now. Given the state of things, it's not much. But hopefully it can be something to help, in a small way, get you (or someone you know) through.

Just like with our zine care packages at the beginning of COVID-19, we won't ask what you're dealing with and you don't need to provide any details. 

Simply CONTACT US and say "hey, I'd love a zine care package," list some subjects you're interested in, provide your mailing address, and we'll send something your way.

[Due to postage costs, and our own precarious financial situation, we can only offer this to folks in the U.S.]

Good Night People of Earth is Moe Bowstern's daily digest zine, cataloging the months at the beginning of the pandemic. Stolen cars, giant communal grocery runs, John Prine tributes, rants worth ranting, songs to sing, COVID bingo, so much more.

Plus still relevant ideas like: "Day 12...how I visit my friends in the neighborhood, by having my co-isolationist photograph me in front of my friends' homes, and then texting a photo and saying hi and I love you. Most stalkery thing ever, and yet no complaints, more evidence of the flux that shared social understanding is currently in."

Highlight: "How to Shelter Alone as if You Live in a Group House." Priceless.

56 pages, half-letter size.

The second issue of Moe Bowstern's daily pandemic digest zine. This time capsule from the early months of the pandemic is a perfect reminder about what has and hasn't changed, the work we still have left to do.

What I love about this zine series is that Moe puzzles out the difficult questions: thinking on what it means to be in community with others, understanding how to be an activist with health limitations, figuring out how to be of service.

"I write these as a way to connect," Moe says, "to you, to myself, to the dream of a better world."

With contributions from Haya Bashir, Orla Kren Pierce, George Wilson, and Demian DinéYazhi.

44 pages, half-letter size.