Sunday, March 31, 2013
16 pages / half letter / screen printed covers
available from Pioneers Press
When we lay down our pretenses, and speak our truth, true connection can happen. Elizabeth Rust is a persona (maybe) and a zine (definitely) and a creation of utter beauty and authenticity. The author’s quiet voice sings from the pages, discussing gender issues and identity. Reading this zine was like reading a letter from an old and trusted friend. There is even an envelop included to respond to the author. Elizabeth Rust is one more reason why I love zines.
Monday, March 25, 2013
Friday, March 22, 2013
$3.50 from artnoose
I don’t subscribe to Ker-bloom! Yet every time I buy a miscellaneous issue, I thoroughly enjoy reading this zine. Ker-bloom! Issue #99 is gorgeous in its presentation – gold and silver lettering set against a chocolate brown cover, with gold and green ink typeface within. This is an essay about celebrating Fellowship Day (December 25) from Lord of the Rings, and a meditation on the connections that have heart, meaning, and courage in our lives. Full disclosure: Since my reading initial reading of Tolkien’s trilogy in 1976 I have felt that his novels the finest works of literature I have read in my lifetime. It’s wonderful to see that people are creating new traditions inspired by Lord of the Rings and that Tolkien’s spirit lives on, not just in big budget films.
Friday, March 15, 2013
Glass Orchid #4 & #5
I suggest sending $7 minimum for both issues
Monday, March 11, 2013
photography by Tanner Ballengee
$3 / 48 pages / half letter
Tanner and his friend Connor spent the summer of 2012 motorbiking through
Nepal, Cambodia, Thailand,
VietNam and India. Harsh Barge is the photographic
document of that journey. Early on, I was wishing that there were captions to
some of these pictures but learned at the back of the zine that the pictures
are also available to view on Tanner’s blog with details on each photograph. I
enjoyed the sheer variety posted on the blog but prefer the black & white
photos in the zine for their stark otherworldly beauty and mystery. Maybe next
time we’ll get a zine that combines both visuals and narrative.
Galatea’s Pants 2000-2010
Lauren has been publishing Galatea’s Pants for over a decade. Previous issues that I’ve read were brimming with progressive thought, a panacea for consumerist / capitalist / fucked up culture. This issue, not so much.
Much of this issue is taken up with interviews. First, Lauren interviews Nishta Mehra about her food oriented blog. Then Aisha Sloan discusses her
based artists colony. Here’s an except from Lauren’s interview with Melanie
Cervantes, an artist / activist / printmaker: “…from 6:30 pm until about midnight we read and respond to email, do
some social networking, write blogs, read multiple online newspapers, websites
… on a good day we’ll get some time to draw or work on a design.” . This is
followed up with an interview with Anna Pulley who, when asked about her
writing process, explains “Usually I’ll
write a few sentences then go check Facebook. Then I’ll read a blog post …and
write another sentence before deciding to browse OK Cupid…”
It feels like what is being celebrated here is the shallow end of the pool … not what unites us in any real, tangible way. I’m unconvinced that the internet and social networking are contributing to the social well-being of community, in fact, Facebook, etc may be fracturing our attention and our relationships. As we become more insular, we actually communicate less and create less change … we become hypnotized by screens, complacent and comfortable with our cliques and cocoons. Even you are reading this blog, I am always considering unplugging completely from the internet to focus on reality – not virtual reality. These interviews didn't speak to me in any way, though I’m sure that my “demographic” is not the intended audience.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Alphabet Soup #2
20 pages / full size / $6 or 7 donation appreciated
By the time I reached page three of Alphabet Soup #2, my thoughts were deeply immersed in philosophical reflection, preoccupied with themes of awakening, conscious awareness, and allowing the light into our lives. Alphabet Soup is something fresh and refreshing, a collective project woven with poetry, drawings, and even recipes (I definitely look forward to making rosemary blackberry burgers).
Twenty pages feels like two hundred given the numerous delights within. A crossword poem! Answers to the editor! A lo-fi music cd! My personal favorite music on the cd were the folk psych meanderings of the Redball Orchestra, the baroque pop of Mendelssohn and the piano interludes of Jake Whitecar. The cd is like a community pot-luck of sounds – something for everyone to explore.
Full disclosure: I have a prose piece in this issue. It is truly an affirmation to be included with this talented group of creative people.
Music sampling from the cd: Locally Grown by Whole
Saturday, March 2, 2013
Ray X X-Rayer #94
This issue of the stalwart X-Rayer is several pages long & recounts Ray X’s past couple of months. He says the year got off to a rough start and I know the feeling. There is some discussion about a new neighbor with mental illness & Ray X’s concerns about their behavior. This is a tough one for me, being in the mental health field, also because I've known plenty of people who are not labelled mentally ill but who are scary as hell. Regardless, people have to live somewhere, yet community treatment is underfunded and so co-opted by the medical / insurance model that some mental health clinics now treat mental illness (when they provide treatment at all) like it is treating a cold – that you prescribe some remedy (psychotropic meds) and hope for the best. Sometimes, they turn people into zombie and other times, usually due to self motivation and peer support groups, people find a path of recovery and learn how to manage their symptoms.
Ray X updates us on the Peter Gersten 12/21/12 end of the world leap of faith – it appears Mr. Gersten didn’t find galactic center, but possibly made it to the moon. There’s an update on the LibertyNet (did someone mention mental illness?) and an article about tinfoil sideshows,
Sandy Hook conspiracy madness and more. This zine is
always a fantastic read. Will he make it to 100 issues? Damn, I hope so.