Zines

In this issue of Balcony there's a public apology, an essay about Lewis Hyde's The Gift, an interview with left-field hip-hop musician Sterling Toles, in-depth record reviews, and a couple poems by Charles Gonsalves. But as in every issue of Balcony, it's also much more than that. A surprising, quietly exceptional zine.

32 pages, half-letter size.

 

"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. 

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. 

 

Our favorite zine about zines. And there's just so much good. Kate Foray and Dan Nelson discuss the upswing in wrestling zines. Frederick Moe dives into amateur press associations. Jess Hogan tells the nontraditional story of Neither/Nor Distro and how it can work in other places. Plus words, interviews, and features from some of our faves: Anna Jo Beck, Julia Eff, Kari Tervo, Saeko Reed, and so many more.

Highlight: Razorcake co-founder Todd Taylor gives a brief history of the magazine. Which includes a peek into the legendary Flipside and the interlinked cultures of punk, zines, and vinyl. (And there's also a great zine crossword to boot.)

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.

Essays and comics about cats from the likes of Katie Haegele, Keet Geniza, Mardou, Joe Biel, Trista Vercher, and Nicholas Beckett. Highlight: a wild, long-form fairytale cat comic from Dame Darcy of MeatCake fame!

36 pages, half-letter size.

The latest in the Cat Party zine series, a companion to Katie Haegele's book Cats I've Known. For this issue, Katie asked writers and artists to create work about lost and found cats—cats who came in unexpectedly or disappeared without warning—and received the gorgeous assortment of comics, drawings, songs, and essays collected here.

Work from: visual artist and performer Julia S. Owens, musician Marina Murayama Nir, comics artist Ashley Punt, writer Alexis Campbell, and writer/baker/activist Ailbhe Pascal. 

28 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 35-year anniversary issue of Cometbus, Aaron interviews cartoonists. Made for both the diehards and those generally wary of comics, the zine is a dive into New York comic culture—from those in the spotlight to those lighting the world behind the scenes.

Interviews with Gabrielle Bell, Robin Enrico, Jeffrey Lewis, Julia Wertz, Bill Kartalopoulos, Gary Panter, Adrian Tomine, Ben Katchor, Paul Levitz, Drew Friedman, Karen Green, Gabe Fowler, Kim Deitch, and Al Jaffee. With contributing interviewers Zak Sally and Charle Brownstein.

100 pages, half-letter size, perfect-bound. Cover art by Jeffrey Lewis, cartoonist portraits by Nate Powell.