• Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: Intimacies Volume 1

    Intimacies Volume 1
    Dara Idris

    Intimacies Volume 1 is a black and white half-fold zine about a personal journey with physical intimacy, sex, and expectations told through a collection of short essays.

    By and large, I experience zines within the realms of zines that tell me things and zines that share things with me. It’s a delicate distinction and one that may only make sense to me (and I love both types). The difference is telling zines come across as ‘this is an experience, and this is what I take from it’ whereas sharing zines run more along the lines of ‘this is an experience – make what you will of it’.

    With the exception of the introduction, Intimacies Volume 1 is a zine that shared experiences.

    Over the course of various short pieces, Dara shares experiences from the view of someone who desires things like physical intimacy but questions those desires and the timeline in which to have them imposed by the world and society. Through these experiences you get a picture of what it’s like from the view of someone who explores everything from sex fantasies to the gravity of one’s first kiss – all with the same thought and respect.

    Aesthetically, this is a text-heavy zine, with essays broken up by quotes in larger fonts and ‘new section’ tables of contents. I feel like this is a zine you need to sit down and devote your full attention to.

    The writing can get a bit confusing as people are named as letters, and the only people who seem to be consistent are Dara and ‘you’. I did get confused in the first piece as to who was speaking with whom and who Dara really was in the context of that piece.

    The ‘background’ details got confusing for me at other times, too, but at those points I was so engaged on the thoughts about sex and intimacy being written about that it didn’t stop me.

    This zine also had single lines that really stuck out to me:

    ‘And who knows what I want, except me?’
    ‘…we were taught to take care of so much, not least our bodies which were never, ever ours.’

    Though the first line in the copyright note on the back was more about the laugh it gave me:

    ‘Don’t be a dick is a good rule, isn’t it!’

    By and large, the writing is incredibly vulnerable and open about such intimate things like sexual fantasy and self-pleasure that it gives the zine as a whole its own kind of beauty. It’s a zine of exploring thoughts but not presenting you with conclusions.

    If you think that sounds like the zine for you, then check out Intimacies Volume 1.

  • International Zine Month

    International Zine Month 2017 Day 14: ValenZINE’s Day

    Write to ZineCrush.com or your zine crush

    Luuuurve is in the air – zine love! (Remember – love is not contained just to romantic love and neither are crushes!)

    Okay, so as far as I can see, the URL mentioned isn’t operating, and the Twitter (https://twitter.com/zinecrush) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/zine.crush) haven’t been going to a while.

    So I reckon I’ll confess my zine crush here!

    I really admire Nichole (@corridorgirl) who writes the Pieces perzine series – the first perzine series that I really got into and identified with on many levels. I think they were the zines that made me feel like I could really make friends through zines.

    So that’s me. Do you have a zine crush?

    Other Zinesters Joining In (Let me know if you are, and I’ll add you to the list!):


    Play along with 31 Days of International Zine Month Activities here!

  • General

    Love From Adelaide – Part 2

    Zine Ninja in Adelaide

    Zine Ninja meets Adelaide

    Despite having every intention of getting zine reviews done in advance so this exact situation wouldn’t happen… Here we are.

    Maybe it doesn’t really mean anything to anyone other than me, but I do like to at least try for consistency here. It’s important to me that this be a place where people can – if nothing else – at least start their journey into the world of zines.

    When I was first contemplating making a real go of it here (after my half-hearted attempt years ago), I looked at many, many different zine websites. Mostly zine review websites. While there are certainly those that were and still are going strong (Zine Nation, Xerography Debt, to name a couple), there were many out there that had stopped recently or even years ago.

    I began to feel a little despondent, thinking that my reinvigorated passion for the community had come too late. The party had finished, the confetti was on the floor ready to be swept up, and not even the DJ was still around to say that it’d been great while it lasted.

    At that point, I realised that, while what came before certainly did matter, the fact that so many thing had already stopped or closed would not stop me. I’m not at this point exactly sure what my ‘end aim’ is – if there even is one at all – but I know I am determined to create a space where people can learn about zines if they are new to the community or feel comfortable to hang around if they aren’t new to the community.

    I don’t by any means see myself as anyone special, but I’ve felt that I can maybe – just maybe – create a space that amalgamates everything I love to the extent that it inspires others.


    Wanderer took this picture of me earlier… Overstimulated and exhausted.

    That’s why I become disappointed when I miss a review. That’s why, despite being fairly exhausted, I’m posting this here. I care, and I want to be the person I wish I could have had in so many different ways.

    That’s probably a long story that I shouldn’t get into at the moment.

    Anyway, what I am getting at in the most long-winded way possible is that I’m sorry I miss reviews – even if it turns out that none of you mind it too much. I am excited to tell you that I should be able to move into my forever home next year. And, no matter what it says of me, I am partly excited because I know that that means for what I will be able to do here.

    I thank you all in the most heartfelt way for all the support I have found here, the new friends, the new follows, the everything. I am so happy here in a life where I have had… Well, I’ve had my difficulties. Let’s just say that I’m so happy to be doing what I do here, and the fact that anyone is getting enjoyment out of it (let alone the number of people who have actually said as much to me) is an amazing, wonderful thing to me.

    I will accept that things are what they are right now. I will be back home this weekend and will endeavour to catch up with everything. I might even have the time and energy to plan something special for my birthday, but I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself (again). Haha.

    My absolute best wishes to you all.

  • Off Topic

    Is It Monday Already?

    I’m hitting a blank here.

    I think I’ve hit the Monday evening slump. It’s a little after 5pm as I’m typing this, and my get up and go has definitely got up and gone. Whoops.

    More and more, I’m coming to see that 2016 is going to be, well and truly, a strange and occasionally emotional year for me. I got on Facebook this morning to find many people had posted pictures and memes in celebration of Siblings Day. I did smile, even while I was trying to remember if so many people had posted about it last year. But then my smile died a little when I thought about family, and how that word means something different to me these days.

    I posted this:

    Apparently it’s Siblings Day. So here’s to all my sisters from other misters and brothers from other mothers. Blood is biology; family is time, effort and giving a damn – a big, important damn. Here’s to each and every one of you who invited me to be part of your lives and showed me what family truly is.

    What I didn’t post was how it took my breath away when I remembered that it’s been nearly ten years since either of the men I used to call family have spoken to me. I gave up writing letters a long time ago, but in that moment of clarity, it hit me exactly how long ago that time was.

    I don’t know how many biological nieces and nephews I have, though I could guess. I don’t know all their names or how their doing. I don’t know if they realise they have an aunt who loves them even if their parents don’t let me get to know them. I don’t know what those men look like or who they are in their thirties. They are forever frozen in my mind in their early twenties.

    Maybe it’s better that way.

    But there are people out there who love me. People who would adopt me even at my age. People who are proud to call me sister even though biology says it isn’t so. And the thing is, I AM an aunt to two boys and a girl who have never met me but know their aunty in Australia never misses a birthday postcard (even if they get there a little late sometimes).

    So here’s to siblings, by blood or by love alone.

    And here’s to a strange, Monday evening soapbox speech because sometimes even a zine blog needs a bit of variety. 😉

  • Zine Reviews

    Mini-Zine Review: X

    X-Files Zine

    Rebecca Sheedy

    The “X” is actually CUT OUT of the cover to reveal the green paper behind. I swear, if I love that any more, I would burst into a pile of confetti and doughnuts. Love it!

    X-Files Zine Cover

    There is so much work put into this one small zine – it’s fantastic. Very detailed, full colour art set up in a comicbook style, printed on nice glossy paper, the green paper just on the inside cover, the aforementioned ‘X’, and even a little sticker on the front to say that it’s a “Bonus Unsubmitted & Unfinished Honours Thesis” (with every purchase of its companion zine that you can find on the Etsy shop).

    I’ve come to see that I don’t quite have Rebecca’s level of love for the X-Files, but I’m happy to admit defeat to someone like Rebecca. This zine shares her dedication and love for the X-Files through her childhood/teenage years. I enjoyed following along with the various X-dedicated projects she did alone as well as with her friends.

    I like that this zine is about the X-Files (<3) on the surface, but it's also a reference back to some things in my childhood. From what I gathered in this zine, Rebecca is only a year older than me. This zine kept me smiling not only about the show but about things like becoming a master at pausing the VHS recording to skip the ad breaks and making my own newsletters in Microsoft Publisher 95.

    The only nitpick I have with this is that there aren't any sort of contact details on here. That in combination with a title like 'X' is going to make it hard for people to find the person who made it. I know this is a bonus zine sold with other zines, but things get separated.

    Definitely one for the permanent collection, that's for sure.

  • Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: Dear Crush


    Dear Crush
    Lydia Martin

    I didn’t intend for it to be ‘crush week’ in the review section of the blog, but here we are! I do love a good crush story (my first paid publication was about my crush), and Dear Crush presents notes the many crushes from her life – be them good and bad.

    Colour! Unless you’re printing at home (and sometimes even if you are printing at home), colour printing can get expensive, so I suppose it’s no surprise that one might be attracted to the colour zine covers in amongst the treasure trove that is Sticky Institute. Colour combined with subject matter landed this zine in my stack of zine purchases.

    Dear Crush features small pieces of art along with colour-copied sticky notes written out to crushes over Lydia’s life. Some where innocent. Some were quite obviously less so. I found myself wondering if the notes were in chronological order, as the seriousness of the ‘feels’ increased as the reading went on.

    They are all short reads, so I had to remind myself to slow down and really take in the words as well as the drawings that went alongside them.

    Art is like poetry to me – I often get the interpretations wrong. I couldn’t help my brain from being tickled by the presentation of the notes. They are, after all, on sticky notes. Reminders easily thrown away. I felt like Lydia might have been trying to say something about the nature of crushes by using sticky notes. In the end, though, I found myself feeling like there was a depth of feeling missing because of it. Maybe I’m supposed to feel that way? Perhaps that is the nature of crushes, the unrequited.

    Either way, I’m not sure. It made me feel something, which is the goal of most art, but the feeling was of that of a shared secret that ended up not being as important as I thought it would be.

    But hey, it made me think. It made me look at the presentation and content as one presentation instead of things that happen at the same time on the same page. Very curious, and an enjoyed intellectual dance.

    There is something that I feel I must add into this review that isn’t about the content. I confess that if I’d been less anxious and paying more attention to the price of this zine, I wouldn’t have bought it because of the price tag. I have no authority to say what a zine should be priced at or how a creator should value their work. Colour print can get bloody expensive, I know first hand, but one of the reasons I love zines is because I can afford them. At $10, this zine is out of my range. It’s only by the levels of my anxiety and the fact I ended up having enough cash that I was able to buy Dear Crush.

  • Off Topic

    Wishes for You This New Year

    Happy New Year

    At the time I’m starting to write this, there’s about seven and a half hours before 2016 crashes over my timezone like the inevitable wave that it is. I like New Year’s. I feel like it’s a real holiday where we celebrate because we’re happy to be alive – and happy to have a fresh start. (Be it possibly only a psychological one.)

    A lot about tonight and the coming days will focus on all the things that people want to accomplish in the coming year. I think that’s beautiful. I have a few goals myself, including more time spent here on this blog doing things I love.

    But I want to do something a smidge different for my New Year’s Wishes here on SGZ. I have some wishes for you in your new year.

    • I wish for you to never feel like you are alone in this world.
    • I wish for you to find joy in the little things.
    • I wish for you to find the strength to ask for help when you need it…
    • …and to have the strength to give it when you can.
    • I wish for you to always have a place where you feel safe.
    • I wish for your friendships – whether many or few – to have great meaning and love.
    • I wish for you to remember that it’s okay. To be. To feel. To want. To love. To dislike. It’s okay.
    • I wish for you to have great, wonderful happy moments.
    • But more than that, I wish for you to find contentment and peace in your Self.


    Happy New Year, beautiful people.

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