Thursday, July 30, 2015

a few mini reviews for a heat wave

Bookin' It DIY by Allysa G
a responsible guide$4.00 /14 pages/ Half size

Time to dip into my recent archives & write a few reviews. July heat has been intense; not weather that is conducive to reading (unless maybe you're stretched out beneath a tree in a hammock). These zines, however, are perfect for a breezy summer read. 

DIY type zines tend to be my favorite genre. If you're interested in booking bands and musicians, Bookin' It DIY will get you pointed in the right direction with clear, useful information. Folks playing music for one another is a complete joy & a way to stave off the tyranny of the music "industry". WHat better time for a concert under the stars than Summer?

How to Send a Letter is a fun mini-zine that reminds us there are a million ways to send a letter. Or ... you can just send one! I found this one on etsy.  

Another mini-zine treasure I found on etsy not too long ago is Gatherer: A Pocket Foraging Handbook by Isabella Rotman. Mother Earth created everything we need for our survival. One doesn't need a PhD in botany to learn how to feed yourself in the woods and fields.  Gatherer: A Pocket Foraging Handbook is a beautifully lettered and illustrated guide to common wild foods: wild leeks, dandelions, fiddleheads & more. Concise, yet packed with useful tips and a brisk, enjoyable zine. 

When all else fails during a heat wave you can enjoy a nice cool ... ginger beer! Annie Soga has written and illustrated a fantastic field guide to ginger ales, packed with historical info and beverage reviews. Lots of love (and tasting) went into this zine - gorgeously printed and presented; if I weren't on a self-imposed nutrition plan, I would be sipping some Chelmsford Golden Ginger Ale right now (which wasn't reviewed in this zine.) 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

July Musings

Once again I find myself at a crossroads ... considering zine projects, and how to best spend my energy now that I am once again unemployed, trying to survive, and searching for full-time employment.

I've been a member of the American Amateur Press Association for several years & have spent 18 months as their official mailer. I am now President-Elect of the AAPA by default (there were no other candidates). Somehow I feel like I've just been handed the job of Captain of the Titanic at about 2:15 am on 15 April 1912.

I've had almost zero success with attracting the zine community to the AAPA, mostly because the zine community does not seem to understand the no-money-changes-hands nature of the AAPA. We give our journals, zines, art and printing projects away freely. No one sells anything. No one buys anything. We simply share.

If the "zine community" has an anti-capitalist streak, as I've read about in numerous places, I've not seen it - and that's been a serious disappointment. What will I read now that I am seriously broke & unable to buy zines? Who will trade with me? Who will send me zines out of the kindness of their heart? How will I even afford stamps? With my bank account in the negative, I have to stare down my demons & ask for help, which is not part of my stoic New Hampshire Yankee grain.

Stay tuned.