• Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: Portraits Issue 1

    Portraits Issue 1
    Chloe Henderson

    I hate to admit it, but I do feel a touch of envy when I see such talented artists – especially those who can draw people well. Chloe Henderson is definitely no exception to this.

    Portraits Issue 1 is a collection of portraits – mostly in black and white but some with colour elements – printed on glossy paper. Most of the portraits are of celebrities, but some are more personal – and all contain fantastical elements.

    Reading this zine is like going to an art show. Each portrait on the right hand page is paired with a title and text – a brief description of how the piece came to be. I liked taking it at my own pace – taking in the portrait, letting my thoughts wander in regard to it, and then bringing myself back over to the text so I could learn more from the artist’s perspective.

    The higher quality paper really served Chloe well in this zine. So much of her art style can draw you in to the tiniest details, and shadowing through from other pages would have ruined that effect. I think it also helped the limited use of colour pop all the more.

    Usually with these sorts of zines, I pick a page or a picture that sticks out as a favourite to me, but it’s so hard in this one. I think ‘definitely Jennifer Lawrence’ but then I look at Neil Gaiman again. And there is something very different about the last of the collection that sets it apart on its own amongst the other portraits.

    So I’ll have to say sorry because a favourite is not jumping out at me. I like them all.

    Holy contact details, Batman! Talk about a contact page. The back cover has pics of Chloe, a bio, links, and even Chloe’s logo. If you’re going to be clear about who you are and where you’re at, then check out the back cover of this zine.

    If you like zines with art and drawings, then this zine should be a part of your collection.

  • Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: SlowQuest – A Choose Your Own Adventure Zine – Quest I: The Goblin Guard


    SlowQuest – A Choose Your Own Adventure Zine – Quest I: The Goblin Guard

    Sometimes you see a zine, and you instantly know that you want to get a copy. This is one of those zines.

    SlowQuest is a choose your own adventure zine taking you on an adventure for glory and riches! Standing in your way? A goblin guard…

    I love this zine so much. On the aesthetic side, it’s superb. It’s well made, the art is incredibly detailed and invites you to inspect it closely, the cream-coloured interior paper suits very well, everything is so nicely put together, and even the corners are rounded. The whole thing is not only fun but speaks to a dedication to making even the tactile experience of the zine a good one.

    I have talked a little bit about zine re-readability in reviews, but this is re-readability of a different sort. After I found out that my ‘natural instinct’ adventurer days would be about as monetarily rewarding as my actual life (hahaha), I immediately went back to trying all the different possibilities. The size of the zine is deceptive in that there were even more options than I expected there to be.

    I felt like a kid again, and it was awesome.

    Also, two thumbs way up for clear contact details:


    This is one of those zines that I’m probably going to have to get another copy to loan out because I don’t want anyone messing with my copy.

    PS. Shout out to Zine-O-Matic for having such good taste in zines and for granting a wish on my zine wishlist. 🙂

  • Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: There is No Relief or Release From Sorrow

    There is No Relief or Release From Sorrow Zine

    There is No Relief or Release From Sorrow
    Philip Dearest & Others

    If the name sounds familiar, Philip Dearest
    This Has All Been Too Much For Me Today, I Think I’ll Go Back to Bed, another zine of mental illness-inspired art.

    By its own description,

    There is No Relief or Release From Sorrow is an art therapy zine about depression/grief/loneliness.

    Philip has curated a number of pieces created by people expressing themselves and their experiences through words and art.

    The art is all beautiful, and sad, and heartbreaking… For me, it was a strange combination of wanting to make each and every artist feel better as well as the sad comfort of knowing that I am not alone. The choice to make the words and art white on black instead of the other way around adds to the entire feel of the zine.

    The title of this zine suggests something so hopeless, but I think the fact that this is a collaboration is, in and of itself, a hopeful thing.

    I only noticed after a few looks through that this is actually volume four, so I’m looking forward to finding volumes one through three.

  • Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: Mild Scribbling #6

    Mild Scribblings 6 Zine

    Mild Scribbling #6
    Rebecca Sheedy

    I reviewed Mild Scribblings #5 a while ago and found myself craving something similar to get back into the swing of reviewing zines again. Lo and behold, I was trying to organise my ‘to be read’ zine pile, and I found I had Mild Scribblings #6.

    It’s all coming up Nyx.

    The fact that this zine series is called Mild Scribblings seems oh, so appropriate when I look through at the lovely art inside. There’s something literally calming about it for me. It reminds me of when I was a kid and things got so overwhelming at times that I just sat down with a book and lost myself in the illustrations for a while.

    Rebecca continues to make everyday life into art in a way I find engaging as well as relaxing. I absolutely adore her small but detailed art, the fact that the zine is full-colour, and her tiny, tiny handwriting. (Seriously, do you write that small? Either way, love.)

    The new names for Cadbury Roses chocolates is definitely my favourite. Or maybe the product ideas… Or both.

    Check out Rebecca’s Tumblr! You, too, can check out this interesting, colourful art. If you like what you see there, then definitely pick up this zine, because you will love it, too.

    PS. I have to say that I absolutely adore the idea of the ‘beverage segmentation’ glass. Except maybe segmented vertically like a peace sign so you could have three sections and three straws!

    PPS. My cat has a glow in the dark collar. It is a thing! 😀 Seeing a glowing thing silently making its way across the floor in the middle of the night is super creepy.

  • Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: This Has All Been Too Much For Me Today, I Think I’ll Go Back to Bed

    This Has All Been Too Much For Me Today Zine

    This Has All Been Too Much For Me Today, I Think I’ll Go Back to Bed
    Philip Dearest

    I got this zine on Etsy a while back, but I can’t get back to the Etsy shop to provide the link. I have no idea what’s happening there, so I apologise to Philip Dearest.

    This Has All Been Too Much is a mini-zine that links words and art to express thoughts from the anxious and/or depressed mind. The phrases easily struck home for me, and it was a sad reminder of the things so many people go through.

    I’ll be the first to say that I can be a little dense when it comes to art, but seeing statements like, “I can’t stop thinking” fleshed out as a potted plant was a lot more interesting than what I imagine it sounds like. I like the combination of words and uncomplicated art to express mental health issues.

    The printing of this zine is intriguing as it appears to be white printed on black instead of the other way around. I fully admit that I had my nose pretty close to this zine to get a better look.

    My one hesitation with this zine is that, while it may provide a way for people to not feel so alone, the messages might further feed into a dark place. Sometimes it’s a thin line between the two things, and this zine is one of those times.

    I found This Has All Been Too Much to be a somewhat bittersweet experience, but the fact it made me feel something is a goal accomplished.

  • Zine Reviews

    Mini-Zine Review: Bus Driver Blues

    Bus Driver Blues Zine

    Bus Driver Blues
    Kathy Sarpi

    Another lovely mini-comic zine by Kathy Sarpi, and another one for Nyx’s forever collection.

    I reviewed On Motivation a few weeks ago and absolutely fell in love with Kathy’s style.

    This zine continues on with that gorgeous, liquidy type of art that serves the black and white oh-so-well. Her art is like a romance between ink and paper, and nothing will spoil it. A little heavy? Probably, but I am both adoring and a smidge envious of Kathy’s talent.

    The way she uses the combination of thick and thin lines along with the flow creates something that I really want to see happening in a graphic novel. I want to write a story just to have her bring it to life with her art.

    The story held inside is a beautiful slice of life that also serves as a reminder that you can never truly know what someone else’s live experience is. What they’ve been through. How they’ve survived up until the moment you meet them. All within the context of a short, sweet story of taking a moment to think.


  • Zine Reviews

    Mini-Zine Review: On Self-Motivation by Kathy Sarpi

    On Self-Motivation

    On Self-Motivation
    Kathy Sarpi

    Hello, zine I bought on first sight! Sometimes, you just know about a zine, and I just knew about this zine when I saw it on sale at Festival of the Photocopier.

    No regrets whatsoever, and we have another lovely addition to my ‘forever keeps’ zine pile. Lurve.

    I love the art style in this zine. On Self-Motivation really tempted me to break my ‘no pictures of the insides’ rule in regard to zines. Luck is with us, however, in that I have no such qualms for posting awesome little pictures that happen to be on the back cover.

    Kathy Audrey

    Kathy’s style reminds me of graphic novels I used to read when I was younger – the Boneville series, I think it was called. I’ll probably look back and see that they’re nothing alike, but what I’m trying to get at is I love the combination of thick lines and thin details coming together to create something that manages to look so fluid. Everything is sort of round and squishy.

    Given the content of the zine (self-doubt, fear of failure), I think it’s perfect. Whenever I am having a bad day or am on the cusp losing it in some way, I always describe it as ‘melting into a puddle’. Thus the art is perfect in a subtle sort of way. Plus the message itself is a beautifully simple one that we creatives need to hear. Sometimes often.

    Anyway, all up?

    I want to give this zine to all of my friends who create to remind them that we all doubt.

    (Plus, I should keep this on my desk at all times to battle on my behalf with the Doubt Monster.)

  • Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: Mild Scribbling #5

    Mild Scribblings 5

    Mild Scribbling #5
    Rebecca Sheedy

    I had to get my hands on Rebecca’s X-Files zine, and while in her shop, I saw this zine, too and thought I’d take a peek.

    Mild Scribbling #5 is a collection of small, colour art set on nice, slightly glossy paper featuring everyday art. Not that the art is ‘everyday’ but that the art isn’t abstract. There is a hotdog. And a sock. And other wonderful, cute little things. She draws things regarding her Easter 2014, Reasons Why Adam Buxton is Fantastic, and a Hot/Not list.

    I don’t want to give away anything as such, but I did want to give a tiny little peek inside (apologies for the less than stellar photo):

    2016-02-11 17.25.26

    Mild Scribbling #5 reminds me a little of The Third Biannual Mildly Informative Booklet Depicting Graphical Representations of General Occurrences and Observations and Every Morning in that it takes something people usually take for granted or don’t think about and turns it into something lovely.

    In this case, adorable, colourful art.

    It does involve some tiny, tiny writing (which adds to the adorableness of it) that might be a problem for some, but it’s not a good day unless I’m getting up close and personal with a zine at some point.

    There’s something so fresh and simple to this zine that it easily earns its way into my permanent collection.

  • Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: Every Morning

    Every Morning Zine

    Every Morning
    Mel Stringer

    Sometimes, it’s better to let the zine creator to describe the zine:

    Every Morning, as a zine, is an intimate collection of portraits of real and rad women who were willing to have their portrait drawn whilst sharing the simple notion of what their everyday morning looks like.

    Every now and then, I fall hard for a zine because it’s so nice in so many ways, and I can’t find a single thing that I don’t like about it. This is one of those zines.

    As mentioned above, Every Morning features the self-described morning routines of fascinating women I’ve never met. I love reading about the small, ‘normal’ moments in a life, and I have never before seen someone take on ‘the morning routine’.

    It’s one of those ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ moments for me, but I’m glad I didn’t because I couldn’t have done such a wonderful job. I love everything about ‘Every Morning’, from the subject matter to the layout to the paper. (The paper. OMG. The paper. I love ‘petting’ this zine. Is that weird?) It pleases every part of my personality (writer, zine maker, graphic communications student).

    I am, however, beginning to wonder if I’m one of the few left in the universe who doesn’t wear makeup… Anyway.

    Peeking into lives is one of my guilty pleasures (I’m not weird…), and Every Morning executes that guilty pleasure in superb fashion.

    Quote to remember: ‘Plus it’s good to say ‘fuck you!’ to something at least once a day.’

    Every Morning definitely one for the permanent collection.

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