Zines

In this issue of Somnambulist, Martha Grover gathers thirteen different people to tell stories of being stuck—physically, metaphorically, or spiritually. Watercolored portraits accompany a wide range of stories and emotions.

44 pages, half-letter size. Screenprinted covers.

A fun how-to guide from Portland-born writer Martha Grover. Within: dealing with all the rain, taking care of your mental health, venturing out, staying in, eating soup (with recipes!), and the truth about umbrellas.

28 pages, half-letter size.

An art zine in tribute to the women of country music. Gorgeous, lush illustrations from the one-and-only Bijou Karman. Some of the greatest voices in country, complete with song recommendations, origins. A wonderful gift. 

16 pages, A5-size.

The history, meaning, and evolution of symbols through the ages, in graphic novel form. From Androgyne to Zodiac, this is the most fascinating trip through the alphabet you can take.

From Mannie Murphy, the author of the excellent I Still Live: Biography of a Spiritualist and I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (Fantagraphics).

32 pages, stapled wraps, magazine-size.

Comic artists and comic lovers think about comics and the importance of comics in their lives. (They even draw a few along the way.)

Within: A dusty comic book store in the '80s serving as salvation for a geeky teen girl; dealing with Asperger’s and learning social cues from comics; the current state of Heavy Metal; adapting The Secret Garden; a girl in the 70’s and her love of war comics; superheroes; Harvey Pekar; and much much more. (“Entries from the indexes of The Complete Peanuts, Vols 1-16” is a pretty amazing, easy to miss, moment.)

44 pages, half-letter size.

Rachel Lee-Carman's zines are, to me, the perfect manifestation of the potential inherent in zines. What can zines do that a mass-published book can't? Well, they can (like in this issue of The Thread) have pages you take out and fold to create mini zines within the larger zine. They can have a sheet of velum paper for you to write on and send to her to be part of a different zine. They can be full of sketchbook drawings and scrapbook photos, can break up stories in odd in interesting ways, have detailed (almost circular) instructions for making twine out of stinging nettles in the middle of the some really heartfelt writing. They can be wilder and freer and full of a raw life that gets edited out of 99% of books.

This issue of The Thread is an anniversary, of sorts. The 17th issue of a zine series Rachel Lee-Carman started 17 years ago when she was 17. It has meditations on keeping a journal, romantic friendships, the beauty and danger of rivers over the course of a lifetime, an imagined art show, three years of grieving a parent in a personal and atypical way, Pagan customs, food and poem pairings with Anis Mojgani, so much more.

40 pages, half-letter size.

A fantastic new issue of Alyssa Giannini's Wanderer zine. Within: new adventures in sobriety, attachment styles, the prevalence of men as DIY music gatekeepers, EMDR, the search for sober recklessness, and taking over the long-running DoDIY resource site. A great read!

The zine also comes with its own playlist. 24 pages, half-letter size. Cardstock covers, thread-bound.

A dreamy comic from UK artist Simon Moreton. Set in a '90s boyhood of meadows, sci-fi VHS tapes, MTV, crushes, first kisses.

Published by Kilgore Books. 40 pages, half-letter size. Color covers, B&W insides.

A completely stunning zine celebrating the women of '50s, '60s, and '70s folk music. A nice mix of well-known, recently rediscovered, and lesser-known artists. Biographies and gorgeous pen-and-ink drawings for each artist.

Included within: Vashti Bunyan, Connie Converse, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Carolyn Hester, Judee Sill, Judy Collins, Melanie Safka, Margo Guryan, Mary Travers, Karen Dalton, Mimi Farina, Nico, Sibylle Baier, Odetta, and Buffy Sainte-Marie.

40 pages, A5-size.