• Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: What’s Mine is Yours: The Zine Gang Distro Origin Story

    What’s Mine is Yours: The Zine Gang Distro Origin Story
    Mel Buttigieg
    https://www.instagram.com/zinegangdistro/
    https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/ZineGangDistro

    What’s Mind is Yours is an A7 black and white zine about how Zine Gang Distro got started.

    This is going to be a short and sweet review, but I love this zine to bits and want to share.

    What’s Mind is Yours is a cute and relatable mini about moving in with someone and the level of sharing and ‘sharing’ that can happen when you do. Sharing of things turns into sharing that zine love…

    I’m trying not to give too much away, but even if I have, check this one out. It’s fun and good for a smile.

  • Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: A Guide to Soap Operas

    A Guide to Soap Operas
    Amber is Blue
    AmberIsBlue.com
    https://amberisblue.wixsite.com/amberisblue/shop

    A Guide to Soap Operas is a small square black and white text mini about Amber’s love of soap operas, why soap operas are special, iconic soap opera couples and plot lines, and more.

    I picked this zine up because I was pleasantly surprised to see a zine on this topic. There’s so often negativity attached to the shows and watching them – something Amber addresses.

    They open by writing about how having bad childhood asthma led to many days spend at home – with time to watch soap operas.

    Amber had me hooked and enjoying so much nostalgia whey they mentioned the first soap they watched was Days of Our Lives. Haha. Hope and Bo! But’sit’s not all about the nostalgia – as pleasant as that is. Amber also touches on the other cool aspects of soap operas.

    I’d never really thought about the longevity of these shows or about the actors in them, but it is pretty amazing. Amber mentions the abundance of strong female characters – one in particular who has been on one soap opera longer than Amber has been alive!

    If you like/d soap operas and would like a smile, this is a zine for you.

  • Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: Barren: On Infertility and Creation

    Barren: On Infertility and Creation
    Avery Flinders
    http://chickencollective.storenvy.com/

    Barren is an A6, handwritten black and white zine about infertility, gardening, and the mysteries of growing life.

    I knew I would get a lot from reading this zine, but I didn’t expect to be so immediately and completely focused on the writing that I didn’t want to stop reading even just to write review notes.

    Avery writes about the impact of suddenly finding out they are infertile and the subsequent attempts at fertility treatment. They share their feelings of sadness and shame, of envy of their friends’ pregnancy news, and around the IVF process. They also examine some of the language used around fertility – how it’s so often called a journey while Avery relates more to the metaphor of being stuck in place.

    There is so much in this zine that grabs my heart. So very much. Avery has found words to express their feeling around infertility that have helped me so much in processing my own. I had many ‘I feel the same’ moments while reading this zine. I appreciated the nuance of the topic and the ways Avery found strength as well as the moments of knowing that some things are up to the mysterious lottery of the universe.

    This is obviously a zine on a very specific topic – a topic that effects my life and, by extension, my feelings. But you of someone you know is dealing with infertility, I can speak firsthand that this zine could be a comfort because it was and is to me.

  • Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: Ghosting

    Ghosting
    Mr Zinester
    https://www.instagram.com/misterzinester/

    Ghosting is a landscape, full colour mini-zine both comic and art in two parts.

    I’ll state right at the start that I really love Mr Zinester’s work, and I’m so excited to get the chance to share my excitement with you.

    Mr Zinester once again blurs lines between zine, comic, and art piece with Ghosting. Twenty-three cards are held together by two bulldog clips, and with no cover, title, or introduction, you’re immediately thrust into the work itself.

    Ghosting consists of two parts. The first half is printed on lovely textured cream paper in the drawing style you see pictured above with the text clearly separated by a box at the bottom of each. The second part is a completely different art style – more anime in nature with visual call backs to the first part that made me smile. This section is more akin to a realistic anime style and is printed on beautiful holographic card.

    I don’t usually go into the physical aspects of a zine straight away, but they were the first things I noticed about this zine. Taking it out of the bag, I immediately stopped to run my fingertips along the textured paper before flipping it to run them along the smooth holographic paper. I loved Mr Zinester’s paper choices so much that I took the bulldog clips off rather than use them as a binding and risking possible damage to the cards.

    Being familiar with Mr Zinester’s work, I happily Googled the words that went along with the pictures. Lo and behold, this is another piece inspired by (I’m assuming) and featuring song lyrics! I won’t spoil the song, but I felt like it was a fun little near-secret.

    I was a little sad to see no mention of Mr Zinester anywhere on the zine. On one hand, I understand the desire to let the work be the work and want to assume that any sort of social or contact details would be given along with the zine on a separate card or something of the like. On the other hand, that is an assumption.

    Mr Zinester is one of the zinemakers who intrigues me by pushing boundaries in regards to what is a zine and how you can make them. If you get the chance, I highly recommend you check out Ghosting and everything else Mr Zinester creates.

  • Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: Stories Behind the Ink

    Stories Behind the Ink
    Compiled by Mel Buttigieg
    https://zinegang.home.blog/
    https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/ZineGangDistro

    Stories Behind the Ink is an A5, full-colour zine collection of real tattoos and the stories behind them.

    If I have biases with this zine, they’re that I like tattoos, have tattoos, and am irritated by the amount of unwelcome commentary people with tattoos get from others.

    Mel says much of the same at the start of this zine. With black print on a red background, the first page isn’t one to read in low lighting. However, it was worth the light delay of finding a better lamp as Mel writes about the strange (annoying, confronting, etc) phenomena where some people think they have a right to ask personal questions of and even touch tattooed people simply because they bear art on their skin.

    But enough with the things that get my teeth grinding in profound understanding and empathy.

    Stories Behind the Ink shows off glorious tattoo photos in full colour and on glossy paper. Along with the tattoo/s, each page shares the pertinent details (age, artist, etc) and the stories behind the art. Every page (with a full spread or two) are clearly titled with the person’s name.

    I think I would have enjoyed this zine even if I didn’t have tattoos. It’s so interesting to me to read about the decisions behind each tattoos, the memories, the fun, and sometimes the heartfelt meanings. Whether they chose the art for smiles or to honour others and themselves, I loved reading about it.

    I really adored Sylvia’s story – one of how even seeming permanence can still change. Of how we can adapt and grow with those changes.

    I think this is a great zine to pick up. Especially if you have tattoos, want tattoos, or are a tattoo voyeur. Haha.

  • Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: Adventures in Predictive Text

    Adventures in Predictive Text
    Saff Miro
    https://www.instagram.com/saffmiro/

    Adventures in Predictive Text is an A6 black and white zine predictive text written by Saff Miro’s phone and tablet. Hehe.

    If you’re on Facebook, you’ve very likely seen the ‘type this on your phone and let predictive text finish the sentence’ type of posts. Tapping on that suggested next word again and again can create sentences that are strange, funny, and occasionally deep.

    It was only a matter of time before someone made a zine of it, and I’m glad they did.

    Adventures opens with Saff explaining how they went about making this zine. At the top of each page you find the few prompt words that started each predictive response below. With prompts like ‘In 2018’ and ‘My New Year’s Resolution Is’ there are some pretty funny responses. There’s even one response that got trapped in a loop of ‘again and again and again and again’ so Saff ended up using an infinity symbol when they ran out of room for text. Haha.

    I thought I would pick a favourite response for this review, but it was a lot harder than I’d thought it would be to pick! So many of the responses made me smile. I mean, there are Bananagrams and mentions of hashtags taking over the world.

    Maybe Saff’s phone is trying to warn us all.

    Adventures in Predictive Text is a fun zine that made me smile a lot and also made me want to go on some predictive text adventures of my own. A win on all counts.

  • Guest Posts,  Zine Reviews

    Guest Mini Zine Review: Oh Shit. I Accidentally Lived to be 24. What Now??

    I’m Amber and I make zines under the name Amber is Blue. I’m writing a couple of mini zine reviews for Nyx while they’re unwell.

    I’m a chronically ill artist and zine maker, most of my work focuses on my mental illnesses to show people in a relatable and accessible way what living with mental illness is really like and how specific symptoms impact everyday behaviours. Through my art I want to encourage people to look at mental illness without stigma. I’m also non-binary and so gender identity and expression also feature heavily in my work.

    https://linktr.ee/amberisblue

    Oh Shit. I Accidentally Lived to be 24. What Now??
    https://www.instagram.com/smallbabyslug/

    This was my favourite zine that I got at Festival of the Photocopier last month – and I got a lot of zines at Festival of the Photocopier last month.

    Oh Shit. I Accidentally Lived to be 24. What Now?? consists of a personal essay about Small Baby Slug’s move to Melbourne and them coming to terms with how amazing and talented they are. It is so hard to put your art out there and expose your vulnerabilities so I really appreciate Small Baby Slug’s work.

  • Guest Posts,  Zine Reviews

    Guest Mini Zine Review: It’s Better Than Nothing

    I’m Amber and I make zines under the name Amber is Blue. I’m writing a couple of mini zine reviews for Nyx while they’re unwell.

    I’m a chronically ill artist and zine maker, most of my work focuses on my mental illnesses to show people in a relatable and accessible way what living with mental illness is really like and how specific symptoms impact everyday behaviours. Through my art I want to encourage people to look at mental illness without stigma. I’m also non-binary and so gender identity and expression also feature heavily in my work.

    https://linktr.ee/amberisblue

    It’s Better Than Nothing by
    Baby With a Nail Gun
    https://www.instagram.com/babywithanailgun/

    It’s Better Than Nothing is a full colour mini zine by Baby With a Nail Gun/Ziggy.

    This is a very special zine because the original was all hand embroidered, which is incredible. When looking at the zine you can really see the time and the work it took to create. All of Ziggy’s work is incredibly personal and touching, which is why I relate to it so much. This is one of those zines that you read and it makes you think: ‘I feel the exact same way, I just couldn’t put it into words’.

  • Guest Posts,  Zine Reviews

    Guest Mini Zine Review: Paris on Film and Amsterdam on Film

    I’m Amber and I make zines under the name Amber is Blue. I’m writing a couple of mini zine reviews for Nyx while they’re unwell.

    I’m a chronically ill artist and zine maker, most of my work focuses on my mental illnesses to show people in a relatable and accessible way what living with mental illness is really like and how specific symptoms impact everyday behaviours. Through my art I want to encourage people to look at mental illness without stigma. I’m also non-binary and so gender identity and expression also feature heavily in my work.

    https://linktr.ee/amberisblue

    Paris on Film / Amsterdam on Film
    Monica Lauren
    https://linktr.ee/baby__mon

    Paris on Film and Amsterdam on Film are two full colour mini zines by Monica Lauren, which contain several 35mm photographs taken by them during their trip overseas.

    Not only are both zines full of incredibly beautiful photographs, but they also give you a look at what Paris and Amsterdam are like from the view point of an artist – you discover what’s important to Monica, what things touched their heart the most about the two cities. I love both these zines. Monica is a beautiful photographer.

  • Guest Posts,  Zine Reviews

    Guest Zine Review: Oishii Expressions (Reviewed by J.E.M. Hast)

    Oishii Expressions
    Creepy Cheese

    https://www.instagram.com/thecreepycheese/
    https://linktr.ee/thecreepycheese

    Oishii Expressions is a A7 one-page folded and thrice stapled mini containing a fun selection of Japanese phrases for when things aren’t going your way.

    I picked up this zine at Festival of the Photocopier in February. I love bilingual zines and have a particular soft spot for Japanese. More importantly, I couldn’t resist the cheeky smile of the soy sauce fish!

    Each of the six pages has a phrase written in hiragana, Japanese script, with the romaji (or Roman characters) transliteration. I thought this was a really cool feature which makes the zine accessible and useful for people with different levels of Japanese. As someone who understands hiragana, I enjoyed being able to read the zine in the original language as well.

    The English translation is beneath my favourite part: the full colour illustrations of highly expressive sushi. The faces these critters pull demonstrate the meaning of the phrase just as well as the text. These sushi pals aren’t just your standard California roll either – I was really happy to see an onigiri rice ball!

    If you’re keen on languages or adorable sushi characters, nab yourself a copy of Oishii Expressions.

    This has been a guest zine review by J.E.M. Hast!

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