Tag Archives: DIY

A Homo Healed

fear.gaia (at) gmail.com
I got my copy at Sticky for $AUS 4 &
you can get it online through Take Care.

So, that’s a bit alarming: You discover the book ‘Can Homosexuality be healed?’ on your Catholic parent’s bookcase.

What are my options?
To someone struggling with homosexuality, churches can present a confusing message. Some insist that a repentant homosexual renounce all ties to the homosexual lifestyle and live out his or her days in celibacy. Others believe that since no one chooses to be homosexual, the only compassionate solution is complete acceptance. Neither viewpoint takes into account all aspects of the issue. Is there another option that incorporates not only the traditional position that homosexual acts are sinful but also the fundamental reality of every person’s need for love and acceptance?

Actually, there’s another option altogether: Check this zine out. Yes, it’s a bit pricey for what it is. File under ‘concept zine’.

So, that’s a bit marvellous: Zinemaker takes book, appropriates and reworks the text by act of selective subtraction, and ends up with A Homo Healed; proclaiming ‘I say that homosexuality/actually means/relevant/Change’ – and that ‘homosexuals/condemn/Hate/and/unjust discrimination/homosexuals/are/free’

Nothing is more liberating than: Taking words and making the awesome.

This will make you: Smile and want to plunder all good Catholic parents bookshelves.

After all: the/courage/of homosexual persons is very needed/


Ink & Fire
UK £2.50. I got my copy at sticky instore, you can get yours from etsy here

The best thing about this zine is: It’s all about some viking epic and the ENTIRE ZINE IS WRITTEN IN THE RUNIC ALPHABET. I love that there’s no way to read this zine unless you know the futhark alphabet and some others besides. Awesome. I was actually disappointed the zine includes a link to an online key for translation on the back cover.

The drawings are: Not completely technically accomplished, but not lacking illustrative skills either. The layout is well conceived and you can see many hours have been invested in the work.
And I think this is what I ultimately love about this zine: it’s not uber-illustration schmick cool, or digitally rendered whatever, it’s DIY and handcrafted with dedication.

I think this zine is about: some kind of zombie vikings (some of them don’t appear to have pupils?) versus regular vikings. There are voyages across the sea, warships, fire, feasts, and treasure involved. It all looks pretty epic.
For those about to read or write in runes, I salute you.


Zine Explorers’ Notebook no. 4

Spring 2013

I received my copy wonderfully unsolicited, you can get yours through correspondence, American cash/stamps or zine trade:
PO Box 5291 Richmond VA 23220 USA. Be generous.

A zine reviewing zines, but also an artform unto itself given the letterpress production and vintage graphics.

The small print: you have to have a postal address to be considered for review. Otherwise you’re just not a serious zinemaker.

What I imagined this zine would look like: some kind of little spiral bound notebook with lined pages and field sketches of small marsupials.

What the zine really looks like: a club newsletter from the late 50s, double-sided pages stapled on the right top corner and folded so it can be posted ‘as is’, envelope size. It’s all done on letterpress, which is a big deal, because it’s not a small arts project with a few strategically placed decorative letters. The entire publication has been painstakingly prepared offset and rolled through inking rollers. I repeat, every letter of every word has gone through a manual inking roller and maybe you can feel the applied pressure left ingrained in the paper afterwards, or maybe you’re imagining too hard. Any slight mechanical perfections are unique. Welcome to the romance of letterpress.

The best thing about this zine is: It is die-hard. The labour of love that goes into producing the zine is immediately obvious. Just so, in reviewing others’ zines the writer highly prizes considered writing, production values, pleasing layouts and thoughtful content. There’s a strong solidarity amongst those who cherish pre-digital printing forms and keeping old technologies working. I think I stumbled upon the papernet! Also, these people don’t like centralised government.

The kinds of titles that get covered in this zine: tend to share similar philosophical outlooks, with socialist or punk leanings. A lot of mail art and cool obscure titles are covered, as well as titles by zinemakers with PO Boxes who actively circulate their works for reviews and so become familiar players.

A review of the zine-review review style: The reviews are essentially concise, sometimes a simple description with an endorsement, other entries might include long excerpts from the zine itself, intricate analysis or personal digressions.

The letters section is: out of another century. And print tradition. Zines don’t typically have letters sections, but they are definitely part of an older amateur press/ fanzine format tradition and it fits within this zine logically and comfortably. It illustrates an active prison population readership and other die-hard print fans, all keen to discuss old typewriter models and, in this issue, photoengraving. Mad. Brilliant. And totally an Old Man thing. Not that the zine is intentionally exclusive in the passion for old skool methodologies, it’s absolutely not, but it does have a Old Man vibe. It’s the demographic I guess. (not a criticism, an observation).

Now that you’re into letterpress: check out ker-bloom from Pennsylvania, United States


Cheap Toys #13

xtramedium (at) laposte.net
I got my copy at sticky instore, AU $2
prix libéré ‘pay what you can’
available: http://busstoppress.weebly.com

Scholar punk travels internationally on limited resources (financially and philosophically) playing gigs and chronicling adventures. Self described “punk tourism”.

Bragging rights: being bilingual. Cheap Toys is equal parts English and French (the zinemaker is French). There’s a certain mystique that accompanies the novelty because part of me always wonders if the stories are a little different in French – a little more candid for the native readership? A few extra reveals in French that the English readers miss out on? Such are the tantalising mysteries of the bilingual zine.

Punk cred: High, given Cheap Toys is always, always priced decently. Some zines are a few itsy bitsy pages and they’re three dollars, this zine is always full of condensed type (or feels like it), is thick and it’s in two freaking languages. So you get bang for your buck. On his distro site, the zine is ‘pay what you can’.  The subject of pricing is also a favourite ranting topic of the zinemaker. In fact this issue opens on the topic.

This is probably my favourite issue so far because: Usually I find Cheap Toys a frustrating mix of interesting and irritating;

It always interests me because the zinemaker leads such a radically different life to mine and I love that it’s beyond any of my own personal points of reference. He is steadfast in his political passions, intense, and consistently criss crosses global terrain, nimbly moving through punk networks.

But I get irritated because everything is such a whirlwind of passing associations, community spaces, gigs and squats that the writing becomes almost a retrospective schedule than a sharing of personal experiences. And not being worldly, or punk, it all turns into so much transient euro slush to me.

But this issue is my favourite because the zinemaker shares a minute fraction of his love life, his favourite foreign sodas, and ultimately, reveals how he has supported his international lifestyle over the years – a small section at the back modestly titled “How I got ten thousand euros in the first place”. I guess how we fund our lifestyles is half our personal story – and for the zinemaker to share this aspect of his existence makes ‘Cheap Toys’ more holistic, somehow. Or at least provides some kind of broader context I always felt it lacked. It also prompts questions about capitalism and transactions that may or may not be punk ethical issues, but that’s something to muse about in your own time.

Comes with: section on travel games to play to fill in “awkward pauses”.

Countries featured: Australia and the Balkans.

Disclaimer: I shared time with Giz while he was in Australia; a weekend roadtrip to Canberra, the nation’s capital. I wrote an entire long-winded zine about the experience (here). In this zine, spanning the same time frame, Giz records his impressions of Canberra with a few sentences and the weekend barely rates a mention. From this we may come to two conclusions: One, it’s against nature to write an entire zine on Canberra as there is not much to the city; and Two, Giz has an infinitely more interesting and fast-paced life to chronicle.