• Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: The Beginner’s Book of Awesome Affirmations V.3


    The Beginner’s Book of Awesome Affirmations V.3
    Jess Freedom
    US-size half-fold

    The Beginner’s Book of Awesome Affirmations is exactly that – a starting point for anyone who would like to give affirmations a go but doesn’t know where to start (for whatever reason).

    I will be honest here: usually these kinds of zines usually piss me off. I’m bipolar, so someone telling me that I can think my way out of something rubs me the wrong way. But I love this zine. There’s a certain energy to it that spells out Jess’ efforts not to tell you what to do but to encourage you to try.

    The entire feel of this zine is awesome. It’s a cut and paste extravaganza with photo images mixed in with hand-drawn art. The pages are fun to read and to look at. She does muck around with the font size, but only a little bit and not so much that it becomes any sort of distraction. In a way, it reminds me of Dr Seuss and how half the journey is a visual one.

    How much do I love this woman for her contact page? A lot, that’s how much. There are links, an email address, and a snail mail address. They are all easy to read while still being written all over a page of crazy stars and sketches. Well done, Jess Freedom.

  • Pictures,  Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: Crafty Collage


    Crafty Collage
    Kelly Zarb

    I bought this zine on Etsy a couple years ago not only because I’m a crafty artist-type person but because it’s a zine that helped crack open this stubborn mind of mine to show that zines could be even more than I thought they were at the time.


    While this zine holds to the ‘traditional’ zine idea in many ways – A4 folded in half, copied, staples for binding – it also came with a little extra that I hadn’t seen before at the time: extra stuff! This zine came with a small bag filled with various bits and bobs to get you started on your way to making your first collage. While that might not seem like much to some people – and it’s a ‘little’ detail to me now – at the time, I thought it was fantastic. Now only were you getting tips on making various collage crafts, but the zine creator helped you to take the first step. Simple but pleasurable to receive.

    The zine itself is easy to read while taking advantage of the white space of the pages. There are plenty of drawings, and an artist bunny sort of guides you through the crafts. The bunny and the style of the drawings did make me feel a little like handing this off to someone younger – but that’s not a bad thing! This zine could be an amazing way to get an artsy young person into zines.

    Crafty Collage is a ‘cute’ zine, through and through. There’s no getting around that, so it’s not going to appeal to some people. But the less you appeal to some of the crowd, the more you appeal to the rest who are still looking. It all balances out.

    It does look a bit like she’s taken to only art on her Etsy shop, but that doesn’t stop you from sending a message to see if she has more zines…

  • Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: How to Turn Your Journal Into Your Best Friend, Your Life Coach, And a Visual Extravaganza

    How to Turn You Journal Into Your Best Friend, Your Life Coach, And a Visual Extravaganza

    How to Turn You Journal Into Your Best Friend, Your Life Coach, And a Visual Extravaganza
    By Asphyxia
    A6 – Single Sheet

    I bought this little lovely on Etsy partly because I am a newbie art journalist and partly because Asphyxia is in Melbourne. Score for learning stuff with cheaper postage.

    The other reason that I bought this zine is because of Asphyxia’s art style, which you see on the front of the zine. There is something incredibly familiar about it, but I have yet to put my finger on exactly what it reminds me of. Either way, I think it looks great.

    The first thing that I thought was neat about this zine is that it’s made from a single page. That in and of itself might not seem all that impressive, but it’s an A6. This means that the one sheet is an A3. This is the first time I’ve seen a zine printed out on an A3 and folded into an 8-page zine. I quite like the size.

    The inside is mostly text, which is completely understandable given the amount of information packed into this zine. You definitely won’t be left wanting for instructional content. I did find myself wanting some sort of artistic flair inside, though. I want to make it clear that I definitely didn’t hold anything against the zine for focusing on text. Definitely not. But there was an opportunity to make the zine a ‘visual extravaganza’ like the journal you’re learning to create.

    As for the actual subject matter, it’s excellent. She gets right to the point (no waffles here!*) and gets you on your way to getting more out of your journal.

    *I thought about how she doesn’t waffle in her writing, and that became ‘no waffles!’ I have that makes a smidge of sense.

  • Zine Reviews

    Zines! Glorious Zine (Reviews)!

    I was thinking about the other times I’ve mentioned other people’s zines that I have bought/received here, and it seemed to me like they were mini-reviews. Nothing flash, just a bit and bob and a link to buy.

    So I’m thinking I should keep up with that, eh?

    I went to Sticky Institute in Melbourne a little while ago, but I’m only just getting to talk about my gloooorious purchases. (Okay, it was hot, I was nervous, and I had somewhere to be – but it was still glorious!)

    I can’t seem to find all the zines I bought there on the Sticky, but I’ll put up whatever buy links I find.

    Conspiracy Corner #1

    Buy here!

    I bought this zine for my bloke in my effort to convert him to the zine side. We’re a bit ‘into’ conspiracies, so none of what was in the zine was new to us, but it is CC #1 and I imagine it would be a good introduction for people who aren’t as familiar. The few typos were a bit distracting just because my mind works like that, but I wouldn’t say that was a reason not to get it.

    I always find it amusing when I ‘just so happen’ to stumble across something that is so much bigger than I first thought it to be.

    This is a zine I got purely because it looked interesting and different. I say ‘got’ because, unknown to me, this is a free zine that had been appearing in Melbourne for years. Read the description on the sell page because it’ll do a better job, but this was a letter in a paper bag. The letter was beautiful and somehow strange. I’m glad I got it, though. I am thinking about saving for the anthology (also on the linked page).

    How to write a Mills & Boon-esque bodice ripper novel

    Buy it from Sticky! (scroll down)

    This zine wins the award for first zine to make me laugh out loud. This zine is a tongue-in-cheek guide to writing your bodice-ripper romance novel which, frankly, is a guide in writing the worst kind of romance possible. With quotes like “But make certain to never choose names that reek of boganess (‘Tayla’, for example). If you do you quash your chances of achieving an educated audience while undermining the aspirational delusions of bogan readers everywhere…”, you’re not going to get much better. Highly entertaining even on second and third reads.

    Instructions for surviving the zombie apocalypse: in rhyming couplets

    Buy it here! (scroll down)

    So simple yet so funny! I absolutely love this zine. The beauty comes in its simplicity and just goes to show that zines can be about anything. I just have to wonder how the creator ever thought of rhyming couplets for zombie survival instructions. Haha. Love it.

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