Nur Hauptlinge Und Keine Indianer
Black and white photocopy/stapled
8.5 x 5.5 in
Ok, I have no idea what that means. And our resident German left her phone on the back of the toilet this morning. I’ll let you know when I find out. I bought this because there’s a photograph of a tough looking fellow in a homemade dress and tights on the cover. He’s staring very evenly at the camera but his pose is sweet—hands in lap, legs crossed. Following inside are what appear to be some drunk Germans with their pants half off hanging around Hamburg. The photos are pleasant enough and there are a few stand-outs. My advice: Pay attention to the odd details, they make the pictures.
AND I just came across this selection of a ton of awesome looking German zines at Telefon Til Chefen. Since my German skills are powerfully lacking, I have no idea if you can buy these from the site or not. I did find some at Hamburger Eyes' Photographic Institute of Epicness. Even without an online shop, there's plenty of cool stuff to look at on their site.
UPDATE: haha. ok, the German finally came home and was like dude, that second site is Danish! Ooops. But anyway. She said it's a gallery and they have a lot of books and zines. So enjoy.
6.4 x 9.2 in, 76 pages
Black and white on pink paper
Not to sound too cool for school, but I've been into Butt since the beginning, though it's really caught on in the last two years, creating a hot-homo cultural explosion. Butt comes out of Amsterdam and is printed in black and white on pink matte paper utilizing a basic grid layout and only two fonts. This one-handed (heh) sized mag features interviews with famous, sub-famous homos and homos that aren’t particularly famous that the editors Gert and Jop find interesting, such as Dutch florist, ex-farmer Nard Weigmans (featured in Butt # 9). There are usually nude or partially nude photos of the cover star and photos and stories sent in from readers. The photo editing is impeccable – sexy, natural and sometimes playful. The photography has a documentary feel, but with contributors such as Wolfgang Tillmans and Andreas Larsson, its subjects are always presented with affection, fascination and often, humor. The interviews are warm and friendly, conveying a sense of personal familiarity and community, even and especially when they are dirty. When I open an issue of Butt - everything is right with the world. the ONLY magazine I NEVER miss buying.
The Butt boys, Gert and Jop, were in New York this past weekend for a book signing for their new book on the best from the first 5 years of Butt, and for a party at a questionable Manhattan (not in the good way) establishment. I went there for the most Butt of reasons, to check out and meet a cute boy. Each time they come to NY, the parties get more crowded as the tacky gays catch on - but it's still safe to say that Butt is an arbiter of cool.
Awesome, an issue I haven't seen yet of John Marr's infamous zine of bizarre deaths, murder, and mayhem is out. Murder Can Be Fun issue #19's theme is Musical Mayhem and includes stories on convicted Western Swing star Spade Cooley, the David Cassidy fan riot, Frank Rosolino, and great rock 'n roll deaths. This zine is very educational. It's like a super creepy history class with a hilariously deadpan true crime obsessed professor. Get this issue, as well as all the back issues still in print, here.
Let's have some history this morning. I just came across a Queer Zine Archive website that has PDF versions of some of the classic homo zines of our times. It has issues of Bruce LaBruce and G.B. Jones' great zine J.D.s, Brat Attack, Outpunk, and Holy Titclamps. I'm sad to see some of the major titles missing like Homocore (who's archives are in jpg form at this link) and Chainsaw and I would just die for a PDF of Now I Don The Mask of Melancholy—the most hilarious and amazing gay goth zine I've ever seen. Maybe we should scan our copies and send them in. Anyway, check them out, give them some support.
There are many reasons why I always end up going to Diner. The most important of which include: proximity to my apartment, pork chops, good wine, the fact that at any given time at least one person I know works there, neighboring oyster bar / store with local organic / artisenal / hippy / homemade interesting food items for sale like someone's dad's beef jerky and ginger ice cream and pizzas, cheese plate, did I say pork chops?, the perfect burger, lovely simple soups, cute bathrooms.
Ok, I'm sorry, I got carried away. This isn't my food blog. But I did have a point. The diner people have just started putting out a journal called, oddly enough, Diner Journal. It's cute. My favorite part is the scans of waiters' notes on the specials. Caroline Fidanze, their chef, and Elizabeth Schula, the pastry chef, compiled a nice collection of seasonal recipes including pork chops and pork stew. Yum. There are also articles on hot sauce and pickle making and local farms who supply Diner with some of their ingredients. Fall 2006 is out now and Winter 2007 is at the printer. Email Diner for information or drop by the restaurant. Also check out the blog by their grocery buyer for funny food tips and notes.
Archivision #1 and Now Let's Put On A Show #6
72 pages, 5.25 x 8.5
Last week's post about the Queer Zine Archive, and a subsequent rummage through some old boxes of zines, has got me thinking about The Confessional Zine. They were certainly popular when I was a kid--most of my friends and i wrote pages of diary-like prose and photocopied them into lil mags for the enjoyment of others. I was hoping to find some examples from some of my favorites so I could treat you with a little zine history today. I'm not really having much luck. I'm on the lookout for copies of Mr. Dog, Hessian Obsession, and anything by my disappeared friend Jason Pruitt. But I did discover that Joshua Plague of Behead The Prophet No Lord Shall Live fame and writer of Now I Don the Mask of Melancholy and Now I Devour You is now a chef, has a vegan cookbook out, and has been touring the country with a rock and roll cooking show.
He's also recently put out this thick compilation of stuff which he describes on the cover as, "A torrid tome of collected flyer art, flyers, amusing tales and dull recitations from various and sundry shows mostly from the 90s..." Maybe I'm just having a moment of nostalgia (gag), but this mag is hilarious and I'm totally enjoying it.
There was a time when I used to be so psyched every time a new issue of Scam came out. When I was done reading the thick tome packed with gleefull and hilarious tales of corner punk shows, late night swimming, and other adventures I'd get a little sad knowing that it'd be a long time before the next one. Each issue was always full of good survival tips for the broke, bored, restless and fabulous. I'd almost forgotten about Iggy until the other day while Christmas shopping on Valencia St. with my mom I came across Scam #5 1/2: the Hunt's Donuts Story. It's a slim volume, especially by Scam's usual standards, that tells the story of the intersection of 20th and Mission and the old donut shop that once stood there. I used to be a fan and late night Hunt's donut customer myself--the best time to go was 4am for a warm glazed donut fresh from the oven. My family has also lived in the Mission since my grandfather was a kid. Iggy's entertaining and well researched little book tells the Hunt's story, which really is the story of the neighborhood itself.
Buy it here, punk!
It's comforting to have Cometbus around, like an old friend who drops by once in a while and always has a ton of new good stories to tell. Like me, he enjoys life's simple pleasures: beer, coffee, water, the Sex Pistols, 24 hour donut shops, girls, travelling, and the Clash. I remember once a million years ago, I was staying over at the House of Failure on Valencia St. and Aaron showed up to sleep in my friend's room while she was away. We got some beers and shared some cigarettes. Then Holly and I went up to the roof to talk and enjoy the night and he settled down, kicked his shoes off, and read a book. At some point, up on the roof, we noticed a weird smell and couldn't figure out its origin for the longest time. Eventually we surmised that it must have been Aaron's socks. Siick!, we giggled knowingly. It's hard to keep your socks clean on the road.
He put out an issue recently with 7 new New York stories and some nice short interviews and I was psyched to sit down with it and a coffee. The Needles & Pens store is selling a set of twentysome back issues. At $88 it's not cheap but it's awesome for someone just getting into Cometbus or a rainy weekend trip down memory lane for an old fan. I have all the issues in the set of Cometbus back issues and pleased to note that it contains a few of my favorites.
I first saw/met the Daughters of Houdini at a Valentine's Day event at Artists' Television Access in San Francisco. They were sewn together, facing each other, with messy red yarn. It was barely loose enough to allow them to sit next to each other, shoulders smooshed together. I thought they seemed really exciting. The Daughters, Zoey Kroll and Carolyn Ryder Cooley, held performances and events around town but I was sort of too shy to go to them so instead I bought all their zines. They made these little photocopied items with stories and scratchy drawings. Their interests included: rats, bees, medical stuff, accordion, circus-y stuff, hysteria, witches, blood, pee, bodies, sex, childhood games involving rope and swimming holes and horses and funny feelings in certain places. Some of my favorites are the Daughters of Houdini Medical Series. For your viewing enjoyment, I've scanned 7 pages of Naughty Nursie, My Bloody Sister #3.
Carolyn Ryder Cooley is making art and has relocated to New York. Go look at her site and keep an eye out for any events she might have. Zoey Kroll, I'm not sure where you are, but if you're making stuff, let us know!
Continue Reading Daughters of Houdini
Fingered DVD Zine
DVD in screen printed cloth sleeve (comes with a button!)
Edition of 300
The Fingered DVD Zine is a series of discs dedicated to exposing and promoting art communities in the US and beyond. Artist Harrison Owen (who, when googled, comes up as a guy who wrote a book called The Practice of Peace. I don't think it's the same fellow.) Apparently our Harrison has been shooting his friends' bands for ages and editing the footage together to share. His first issue of Fingered focuses on Brooklyn bands with Excepter acting as the centerpiece and co-curator. This new issue is about all things San Francisco, a topic close to my west coast heart. Fabulous Oakland band Erase Errata is the main band on this DVD and their tour diary is cute and funny and full of rock. It's cool to see the original line-up together there and our friend Lauryn Siegel also has a cameo. Two other stand outs are the Tussle video and the Clipd Beaks video and artwork. You can buy this DVD as well as the first issue on the Fingered Media site or at cool bookstores.
Search and Destroy was a tabloid sized newsprint zine out of San Francisco. V. Vale started the legendary music/punk mag in 1977 with $200 of seed money from Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Vale later went on to start his own press, RE/Search Publications, and has published such classics as J. G. Ballard's Atrocity Exhibition, Incredibly Strange Music, and Modern Primitives. I love Search and Destroy. I have the issue pictured above framed in my living room. And the collected issues volumes 1 and 2 from RE/Search. And now that I see you can buy an original set of all 11 issues, I must have it. It's all there: interviews with Iggy Pop, Blondie, The Dils, The Avengers, Crime, writing by Jon Savage and Patti Smith. And it's put together in that great San Francisco collage-y paste-up style I talked about in an earlier post on Street Art, the SF punk poster book. Buy the books and zines from the RE/Search site.
Maximum Rock and Roll is another San Francisco newsprint music zine. It, along with a punk radio show, was started by the weird, crotchety, mean yet awesome Tim Yohannon in 1985. Tim Yo also started Blacklist Mailorder (a catalog of punk records and zines) and Epicenter Zone (a record store, venue, and community center) where I worked during my formative teen years. The Operation Phoenix Records website has a big archive of old issues of MRR in PDF form. My favorite things to read are the columns, the reviews and the scene reports. They also have issues of Flipside, Suburban Voice, and HeartattaCk zines.
Aw man. After 13 years and 80 issues, Chicago-based fanzine turned magazine Punk Planet is folding. Their distribution house went bankrupt last year and they took a big hit. Sound familiar? Punk Planet's first issue came out while I was working in a record/zine shop. I've been reading it on and off since and am sad to see it go. If you're unfamiliar with the mag, I'd suggest buying their collected interviews book. Here are some other responses: Chicago Tribune, The Portland Mercury, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian.
I was trolling around the internets just now looking for back issues and scanned spreads of old magazines I once loved... And I ran into the website for the great My Comrade, a sexy rag by drag queens and weird queers, that published regularly from 1987 to 1994. It came back in 2004 and has published two issues since. Their site has a covers gallery, go look at it. And if you can, donate some money to the fabulousness. I need more issues of My Comrade!
I just ducked into this coffee shop on the way to the train. I'm running a little late but it's so nice to just sit here and look around. The days of hanging around all day in coffee shops and record stores are long over for me but right now I'm having a moment. It's pouring rain outside, the coffee shop workers are singing along to The Supremes, I'm in the middle of a crossword puzzle, and there are some cute coffee drinkers here today. I have a copy of this adorable zine from years ago called Coffee Shop Crushes where in comic and short story form various artists and zinesters tell their stories of café love. I went looking around and found that Microcosm Publishing rereleased it earlier this year. Submissions include Nicole Georges (Invincible Summer), Shannon Wheeler (Too Much Coffee Man), Greig (Clutch), Aaron Renier (Spiral Bound), and Brad Adkins (Charm Bracelet). Buy from Microcosm directly and stay dry if you're in New York.
Published by Cederteg Publishing
5.5" x 8.5", 36 pages
edition of 100
Guttural Journal is a yearly photo zine from Swedish publishing house Cederteg Publishing. Tony Cederteg and his art direction team Sandberg & Timonen put out limited run fashion, photo and drawing zines. They're cheap and slim and really good. This first issue of Guttural Journal is in black and white and includes work by Armen Danilian, Linda Berlin, Todd Fisher, Jesper Ulvelius, Kento Mori, Magda Lipka Falck and Kristian Bengtsson. In this book I'm interested more in the formal aspects of the work (the textures and the shapes) than the people or events depicted. The pattern of pillow creases on an arm and back followed by the pattern of thin branches flash lit against the night sky--the second image almost creates a negative of the first. These particular ones are by Jesper Ulvelius. I've mentioned before that I've been into his work lately. Cederteg has a bunch of stuff out later this month, so keep an eye out while browsing your favorite zine store or read their blog. Two more pages from this zine after the jump...
Continue Reading Guttural Journal
Who What Where When Why (I think I love you)
By Lex McQuilkin
Published by Candy Bandit
4.25" x 5.5", 44 pages
Black and white photocopy
When I lived in San Francisco, my friends and I used to read the Missed Connections ads in our weekly papers religiously. We'd have coffee and pour over the classifieds looking for the weirdest, creepiest, saddest, and most hilarious ads placed. We'd read the best out loud. Once in a while we found an ad about someone we knew. I don't know if this is a west coast pastime or just a hobby of the under/unemployed but I pretty much forgot about Missed Connections when I moved to New York. Looking at this zine I remember why I loved them so. Oakland-based artist Lex McQuilkin compiled a selection of favorites and illustrated them. Each page has an ad written out in McQuilkin's handwriting and an ink drawing. Most of the drawings work really well with their ads. They have heart, and I feel myself getting a connection of my own to the anonymous shy office workers, BART cruisers, interstate flirters, and lonely housewives looking for their connection in the weekly. The first print run of Who, What is sold out, but McQuilkin plans on reprinting this month and putting out a second issue. Contact her via Candy Bandit if you're interested.
4.25" x 5.5"
28 pages, B/W photocopy, w/ color copy fold outs
Depending on who I ask, Edie Fake is from Chicago, New York, Los Angeles or possibly has just moved to San Francisco to apprentice at Black and Blue Tattoo. We appear to have a bunch of friends in common but I just met him the other day at the Art Book Fair. Met, actually, might be a strong word. I said hello, bought a comic, and as I was walking away mumbled something about sending him a lil photo-book when he asked if I too made things. It was early in the day and I hadn't yet hit my social stride.
Back to the zine at hand... I have Mr. Fake's awesome Gaylord Phoenix comic series about a mystical part robot creature of same name. The last issue was nominated for an Ignatz Award in 2006. This time, I picked up something new: UNISEX: Erotics and Esoterics, by Edie Fake. This little comic doesn't have a clear story to it. Some pages are overflowing with animals, magical symbols, handkerchief patterns, and plants. Others have single figures: from a fierce, sexy lady to a half/man half woman viking with some strategically placed hair. Fake also offers some exciting new hanky code options. As a sorcerer who fucks inanimate objects, I'll be adding a blood soaked sky blue hanky to my left pocket.
I'm not sure where you can buy this particular zine, as I can't find it on any site that sells Mr. Fake's other work. Perhaps you can email him directly through his website, or keep your eyes out while shopping at your local zine emporium.
Continue Reading Scorpio Rising, Virgo Faggot
Please Let Me Help
By Zack Sternwalker
8.5 x 5.5"
B/W, perfect bound
Ha! This book is hilarious. I just got off a red eye flight from San Francisco and was keeping my super cool looking seat neighbor awake with my giggling as I read it. Please Let Me Help is a collection of letters from our hero Zack Sternwalker, a recently unemployed and divorced fellow who's gained a bit of weight and had to move back in with his mother. He spends his now ample free time drinking lemonade, shooting sparrows at the bird feeder, practicing the oboe, and writing screenplays. Please Let Me Help is a collection of his letters suggesting various inventions, screenplay ideas and employment opportunities to all manner of people and corporations including Tom Cruise, Harley Davidson, Irish Spring soap, and Canada. One of my favorites is an impassioned plea to the port-a-potty company to let him put a vase of fresh flowers in every portable restroom. He also includes with each letter, as a sign of his good faith, a drawing of a vampire. Seriously, this will crack you up. I bought my copy at the wonderful Needles & Pens. Also look on the Microcosm site.
Dream Whip #14
1/4 Size, B/W, paperback, perfect bound
$10 in stores/$8 from Microcosm
Driving and sleeping. Sleeping and driving. When you've been on the road for a while, you can't really tell the difference between them. Even when you're not moving, your body is buzzing. Bill Brown talks about this and other traveling truths—like how the epic lateness of Amtrak trains alters your perception of time—in his new mega-issue of Dream Whip. Brown has been publishing accounts of his travel adventures in this zine since 1992 and I've been reading it since somewhere not too long after. He, like other favorites Aaron Cometbus and Al Burian, has a traveler's spirit. A kind of endless patience for anything that may or may not happen (including waiting 12 hours for a train in the middle of nowhere) coupled with a joy for life's simple pleasures (like staring out train windows, late night truck stop coffee and pie, riding around on bikes and buses, etc). Brown is funny, insightful, and romantic. At the beginning of a freighter trip across the Atlantic, he describes the first night in his room: "My cabin has a bed and a couch and a coffee table that's bolted to the floor. Those bolts worry me. They mean there are days on this ship when the furniture needs bolting down. I slept on the couch last night. Maybe that's out of habit. Maybe because I'm more comfortable on couches...I consider sleeping on the couch every night, like I'm couch surfing across the Atlantic Ocean. That's a couch surfer's dream, after all, catching a ride on some couch that'll take you around the world, like some slacker Magellan, mooching a circumnavigation." So good!
by Logan MacDonald
4.25" x 5.5", 36 pages, stapled
Black and white inside
Edition of 100
Inside this small edition you will find a whole oceanside world, which includes banana hammocks, swim meets and swim meat, old ladies in old bathing costumes, flame-like pubic hair, hopeful mermaids, and lots of hot posing. The draw-er, Logan MacDonald, is a member of a Canadian trio of queers called The Third Leg. I like his style. It has this kind of old fashioned feeling. I'm not sure exactly what I mean by that but I see it in the gaze of the sexy gentleman holding a diving ring or the poise of the lady in the bathing cap or the strength of the bearded Poseidon-like daddy toweling off. He mixes that with some morbid humor—Let's Die! in bold lettering next to some people tanning in front of a giant crab, a man who's arms end in a weird web of veiny things, or a crossed out woman getting abducted by aliens. Also included in this, ahem, package are a cut-out of the bust of a cowboy, Mr. MacDonald's business card, and what looks like a drawing of a made-up horror pulp novel.
Buy this zine from Cinders Gallery.
Stories by Mike Baker
4.25" x 5.5", 36 pages
$2, free to prisoners
Mike Baker set out to start a gay magazine but ended up stripping it down to a single section, originally titled "Self Love." I'm glad he did. What we ended up with is Lazy Boy, a slim, tight volume of stories that chronicles Mr. Baker's sexual odyssey. It reads kind of like one man's Straight to Hell. In fact, Mr. Baker says Lazy Boy is an homage to a book of gay my first times that a friend bought for him when he was young. One of the things I love about reading porn (as opposed to just watching) is all the little personal details that come through. And not just the sex details... people mention clothes, movies, books they like, the way their kitchen looked when they fucked the mailman on the counter, etc. Not that Lazy Boy is just a porno. The stories focus on sex and jacking off but through that they tell a life story. The emotions here are raw and familiar. He starts early with a creepy story about an older cousin and goes through the years of messing around with friends under the guise of other games like wrestling and onto porn shops and toilets and love, friendship and regret.
Email or write Mike Baker directly for a copy. email@example.com. P.O. Box 1174, Tallahassee, FL 32302
8.5 x 11", 136 pages,
BW, photocopied, perfect bound
Yesterday was the first really gorgeous day of Spring and I spent it wandering around Chelsea looking at stuff. In the back of my mind I knew I was supposed to go to a party for the first issue of VECTOR but I couldn't figure out where and when. En route to the train, I ran into a friend on her way to the party which was half a block away. How serendipitous!
from Otherlife by Hadassa Goldvicht
VECTOR is a journal of writing by artists, however not all the entries are made up entirely of words. One of my favorite pieces is a paper cutout collage situation by Cheryl Donegan (one page pictured after the jump). She makes the most out of the limitations of the printing process (photocopying) and residual bits of ink and weird lines become part of the work. Lars Norgard's journal entries about selling art, his pregnant wife, getting sick and being a crazy OCD nutcase are also a highlight. Photographer Erica Baum contributed some cool grainy images of UFO sightings and some prose poems made from first person accounts of the events. Also included are faxes, essays, interviews, lists, missed connections, notes, etc. Overall, VECTOR #1 is a decent first issue and I'm looking forward to seeing more.
VECTOR #1 is downloadable in PDF form from their website. You can buy a print copy for $10, also directly from them.
Continue Reading Vector
Put A Egg On It
Published by R&S
5.5" x 8.5" , 8 pages
$2.00 + shipping
Before we knew each other, both Ms. Keough and I made lots of little zines, but in all the years we've known each other we haven't done one together... till NOW! Is it about hot naked guys?! Is it about late night rock and roll punk rock messes?! Is it about avant-garde fashion!? NO! Its about the fact that our mamas taught us how to cook and we love to hang out with our friends and eat good food! For the first issue Ms. Keough wrote most everything and did all the photography, while I did all the illustration and design. It's short and cute (like Ms. Keough) and cheap (like Ms. Keough) and comes with a button (like Ms. keough)!
Available at the R&S Print Store for $2.00
The Loneliness of the Electric Menorah
by Aaron Elliott
96 pages, 1/2 size
It's been two years since the last proper issue of Cometbus and let me tell you #51 is worth the wait. Cometbus #51 is a well-researched and reported history of Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, California, the city of Aaron Elliott's and my birth. It begins in 1963 at Rambam, a short-lived bookstore run by two cranky, stubborn gentlemen: Moe Moskowitz and Bill Cartwright. Moe went on to open Moe's Books and Cartwright to start Shakespeare and Co.
The story of Telegraph Avenue continues and included are histories of underground comics, used booksellers, new age publishing, Lhasa Karnac, the battle of People's Park, North Berkeley yuppies, the SLA (Symbionese Liberation Army), the great Amoeba records, creepy Ken the owner of Rasputin Records and Blondie's Pizza, poster art, and a slew of other Berkeley characters. I've heard parts of these stories from my mom, though Elliott's starting point is a few years before her time as a student at Cal. I also spent plenty of my own time hanging around on Telegraph, getting coffee at the Med, buying records and trading books. Peppered throughout the story are certain Berkeley feelings, including a distaste for 4th Street, strong opinions on the changes in North Berkeley, and an incredulity as to why on earth anyone would move to Boulder, Colorado.
As a bay area kid, I am so happy to read more complete versions of stories I've been hearing for years. And anyone who knows what it's like to have a complicated relationship to a place will appreciate and understand this great issue. After I finished reading it, I sent my copy along to my mom who, hilariously, has moved to Boulder. Also inside are wonderful stencil art portraits of the major players in the story by Caroline Paquita.
Cometbus #51 is available for $3 from Microcosm or at your local cool bookshop.
by Lacey Prpic-Hedtke
25 pages, 2.25 x 11", b/w photocopy inside, notebook cover
I love making lists. On this laptop I have lists of novel titles, places I've lived, teen movie plot ideas, items that I've gotten in my eye and many many more. It's calming and entertaining to organize information in this fashion. In the same vein, I think, list zines are immensely satisfying. You can sort of read between the lines of words, the bits of information and put together a picture of a whole person. I picked up Likes/Dislikes at Printed Matter and sat down with a friend to read it. We didn't flip to the back for a bio until we'd had a chance to get to know our mystery list-maker. We hypothesize that Lacey Prpic-Hedtke, the writer, is fun (Likes: Laughing Uncontrollably; Riding my bike and singing), romantic (Likes: Those always ready for adventure; Patsy Cline; Men who write love letters), sexy, a good dancer, crafty, a reader, an artist, a teenager (dislikes: When people stare at me for no reason; When people tell me I'm not what I say I am), a punk, a cook, and so on. This zine is lively and entertaining and gives you the sort of thrill you might get from looking through someone else's notebook.
The Last Days of W
Photographs by Alec Soth
48 pages, 12 x18, color newsprint
The Presidential Inauguration is days away and I'm reading about past Inaugural addresses in the New Yorker, stressing out about layoffs at all magazines everywhere, feeling nervous, confused, dismayed, hopeful, hungry and amused at a sudden interest I'm developing in American history and politics. As usual, I waited until the last minute to think about this. After the intense joy and relief of election night, I wasn't quite ready to interpret every move, word, appointment and photograph of our soon-to-be president.
So now, a week before the Inauguration, I sit in my living room looking over The Last Days of W by photographer Alec Soth. Mr. Soth and Little Brown Mushroom published this nice big unbound newsprint selection immediately following election day. The book's title is the last line of a poem inside by Lester B. Morrison. Mr. Morrison's poem talks about the aftermath of the last 8 years--a kind of quiet, an almost boredom. I get it. I have an empty feeling looking at the empty spaces in Soth's photographs knowing the realities behind them are too enormous to process. He's gathered images from a decade of projects including the mortgage crisis in Stockton, California, mothers of Marines in Iraq, and the world's largest landfill. Moments of that old Weird America (tm) show up in some images--an awkward motivational Jesus poster, a papier maché terrorist, a prom king and queen in front of a mural of the Pyramids--but they're not sensational or grotesque or hilarious really. Everything kind of flattens out. Whether dawn or dusk, the book repeats a few times, wondering if this is The end, the beginning, or both. I'm not sure.
Free Danger #3
8.5 x 5.5
BW, photocopied and stitched
Free Danger is hilarious, gross, silly, creepy, boisterous, lo-fi and free. I met the kids responsible for it at their DJ night. We discussed methods of sneaky photocopying and tie-dying over whiskey and pickle juice. Their zine cracked me up. It's totally juvenile but in the best way and includes stories about swinger parents, OD'ing on water, gross fast food recipes, amputee sex, hitchhiking and puking. Go to their website to peruse their other offerings or shop at Cinders Gallery. This issue of Free Danger comes free with anything you buy or you could just email them directly about it.
Way back when I began my homosexual career I marveled at the copies of Straight to Hell that could be found in the bathrooms of my new co-workers in homosexualism. Soon, I was snatching up all the fag zines of the early 90's I could find. Although I was fascinated by these various photocopied "queer-core" zines - I didn't relate to what they were talking about for the most part. "Punks" sometimes take themselves a little to seriously (my opinion at the time was that there were no such thing as punk anymore. Also, I was never into the term "queer" as a self identifier).
But then came Butt! It put everything that came before - beefcake digests, Straight to Hell, queer zines - into a new refined amalgamation. Butt taped into a zeitgeist of world-wide fag community that no one had even noticed existed. POST post-gay. Since Butt launched it seems that every little arty homo wants to put out a zine with hot naked "real" guys, usually digest sized. Here I've listed the ones I have - although I'm certain there are many, many more. Images and links after the jump!
Continue Reading All Butt's Children and Straight to Hell's Granbabies
Etiquette ("For that special rude person you know.")
by Lacey Prpic-Hedtke
76 pages, 8.5x5"
Hand bound white copy paper with purple cardstock cover
Lacey, the mastermind behind the hilarious Likes/Dislikes zine, was tired of watching everyone treat each other like crap and took it upon herself to write us a guide to living, a book of manners for the common punk. She covers everything from sex to long bus rides to acceptable behavior on airplanes. I have a general fondness for books of etiquette so I liked this right off the bat. Lacey's book is especially fun/helpful because it covers incidents Emily Post would never dream of, like the polite locations for heroin shooting, the politics of the potluck party or what to do once you've accidentally puked on someone. Buy this useful handbook directly from Lacey's etsy site or from Microcosm and refer to it often.
The Slice Harvester, Issue 2
8.5 x 5.5 32 pages, b/w photocopy
I went record shopping the other day and the counter guy said "Hey have you seen this 'zine The Slice Harvester?" Then he looked at me and was like "Oh you know about it, right? It's awesome, isn't it!" I actually didn't know about it but suddenly felt compelled to buy it. And good thing I did, it's hilarious! Colin has set out to eat every slice of pizza in New York and each issue covers a different neighborhood. Issue 2 takes the Upper West Side... His slice parameters are in keeping with my own (just your basic triangular cheese slice) and his descriptions are thorough and helpful, including amusing asides on his moods and how they might be affecting his tasting abilities. Particularly helpful/awesome is a discussion on how The Ramones are like a pizza slice--"..Joey's singing is the sauce-sweet, but containing a hint of worldly bitterness...." His tangential stories of pizza-eating companions and adventures are also fun. I'm looking forward to an issue that covers a neighborhood where I spend more time. Mr. Harvester does have a blog though, so I may just have to start there. Purchase the zine from him directly or at Academy Records on N. 6th St. in Williamsburg (if you happen to be in New York).
A few years back I lamented a lack of collected issues of JANK on the internet or otherwise. I was just looking through some boxes of zines, trying to organize and protect (potential interns I'm looking at you here) all these piles of oddly-sized and delicate items when I came across a couple of copies of JANK and thought I'd do my part by posting them for you.
JANK was a house zine by Jeff Jank (above left) and Janelle Hessig (of Tales of Blarg! fame, above right). It was one sheet of letter paper folded in half the long way and I always picked it up at the comics shop in Berkeley. Among the many highlights were reviews of house guests (one of my favorite pastimes), hilariously profiled past US presidents, and goofy around town kind of adventure comics.
See issues 8 and 14 after the jump...
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