• Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: Fishy Encounters

    Fishy Encounters
    Gina Ulgen

    Fishy Encounters is an A6 full-colour zine of collage style art with a distinctly fishy theme.

    I will do my best not to make any fishy puns in the course of this review.

    Fishy Encounters takes you right into the content of the zine and carries you all the way through to the end with a collage occupying every page – even the front inside cover. Inside, you will find a mostly wordless (save for words that are on/a part of the collages) zine with strange and, I found, often amusing combinations of images.

    I’m not sure if I’m supposed to find the images amusing or something else, but I appreciate the smiles nonetheless. I’m not particularly attracted to fish or the ocean on a larger scale, but I count that as a plus that I still found enjoyment in this.

    In fact, it reminds me of my friend Fishspit, who is the king of collage envelope art in my eyes.

    The two collages I enjoyed the most were black and white photos with ‘Fig. 2’ and ‘Fig. 4’ beneath them as well as descriptions for what is happening in the pictures. Fish pictures are put in just the right spots to make it funny, but the real special touch is that Gina found the word ‘fish’ in similar small fonts to cover certain words. For instance, Fig. 2 has been made into ‘Fig. 2 – Bathing a Fish’ thanks to that tiny word ‘fish’ being put over the original text.

    I hope I’m making sense with that. Bottom line, I found the collage with a man who has a fish on the lead with ‘Fig. 4 – Training a Fish. Teaching him to come to heel when called’ quite funny.

    I do have one small nitpick in the lack of contact details. ‘Gina Ulgen’ is printed on the back, so you’re not left completely in the dark, but I have become a bit spoiled and like direct links to things.

    Fishy Encounters is a short zine that made me smile a lot. If you like collage art, fish, or something a bit different, check out this zine.

  • Zine Reviews,  Zinewrimo

    Mega Mini-Zine Review: ZineWriMo 2017 Pack

    ZineWriMo 2017 Pack
    Samantha Riegl

    ZineWriMo 2017 Pack is a pack of 11 mini-zines – one ‘main’ one covering ZineWriMo 2017 prompts, and ten made when the prompt for the day call for making a zine.

    I love this, I love this, I love this. Plus, my bias is that I created the ZineWriMo prompt list. Just in case you don’t have time to read the whole review. Haha.

    I decided to review these zines as a bundle not only because they are all related but also because I really love this idea of ‘interconnected’ zines like a puzzle or separated chapters of a book that add extra content to the main book.

    The ‘main’ zine is a gorgeously chunky little zine. It opens with the prompts list, and I was delighted to find a table of contents (not usually a feature of the A7 sized zine) followed. It was so much fun to read about another zinemaker’s process and their interpretation of the prompts.

    Whenever I came to a ‘make a zine’ prompt take, I almost felt like I had a sort of advent calendar. Bonus content. It made for a different sort of zine reading experience putting aside the main zine so I could look at the next mini. Each additional mini has the day of ZineWriMo it corresponds to on the back (except the ‘wordless zine’ day mini) just in case, like me, you drop them and they get a little mixed up.

    Blackout Poetry and ‘How to Pronounce Zine’ are my equal favourites – the latter making me chuckle. However, I do think I really need to check out Animal Crossing now.

    I think this is a great, fun zine set, and I really hope people check it out (and feel inspired to make their own come November!).

  • Zine Reviews

    Mini Zine Review: Forever Incomplete #1

    Forever Incomplete #1

    Forever Incomplete is a perzine about life with OCD, confronting myths about OCD, living alone, and more.

    I must say that I do like a good a good intro. Forever Incomplete starts off with a short intro about who Kirsty is and what’s in the zine. While that isn’t exactly necessary, I do like knowing a bit about the person whose life I’ll be reading about as well as what they’ve chosen to share with me.

    From the introduction, Kirsty writes about life with OCD and how the stereotypes about OCD can be wrong. I appreciated the eye opener – especially when it came to busting the myths around OCD. It reminded me that there are nuances and facets to everything – even the stereotype that people with OCD are particularly neat and tidy.

    I identified a lot with Kirsty’s zine story and the particular kind of embarrassment that comes with really liking something that you’re not very good at. I’m glad that despite the comparisons and crafting ‘misses’ that zines stuck.

    I did have a private little smile at the ‘Things Which Don’t Happen to Heterosexual People’ because a few have definitely happened to me and Wanderer (hetero couple) because we’re in an age gap relationship. (Please don’t take this as me taking away from the disrespect and discrimination homosexual couples deal with regularly. I only mean to say that I empathise. Wanderer and I have also experienced the ‘triple take’ just for holding hands, etc.)

    I also have to point out how much I love the part about all the things you can do with an English MA. It’s regarded as such a useless degree when it’s actually a lot more flexible in terms of career paths than many other degrees.

    The cut and paste aesthetic is lovely and makes me want to get out my paper and scissors. Different sections are denoted by different fonts – something I’m seeing more that is growing on me.

    Forever Incomplete is an informative zine as well as a good perzine. There are plenty of reasons to read it, so check it out.

  • Zine Reviews

    Mini Zine Review: Practical Zine Making

    Practical Zine Making
    Vampire Sushi Distro

    Practical Zine Making is an A7 black and white zine about zine making – specifically about zine layout.

    Zine layout is one of those things that seems like it should be simple but can, at times, be annoying to try to get your head around. Practical Zine Making makes the whole thing a lot easier by not only writing about zine layout but by showing you with clear pictures how to make/number half-fold/A5 zines as well as quarter size/A6 zines.

    I think this is a fantastic little reference zine. I wish I had more copies to hand out/send out to zinemakers, as layout can often be a headache – especially when you’re just getting started.

    Definitely pick up a copy if layout is at all a pain for you.

  • Zine Reviews

    Mini Zine Review: Femme as in…

    Femme as in…
    Sab and Anni?

    Femme as in… is a full colour A7 mini-zine about what it means to be femme to the zinemaker.

    Femme has a collection of short, strong statements that would remind anyone about self-care and speaking for themselves. Place on backgrounds of delicate flowers, these statements feel even stronger and more confidence-inspiring.

    I was talking to a friend the other day about how nice mini-zines are because you can just slip them in your pocket for whenever you need them. With Femme, I can easily see this being someone’s ‘confidence in my pocket’ booklet.

    This mini zine didn’t have any contact details, but I do remember where it came from, so at least there’s that…

    Some of the statements were a bit aggressive for me personally, but I completely understand where it’s coming from.

    If you’re a femme and want some strong statements to keep close, this may be the mini-zine for you.

  • Zine Reviews

    Mini Zine Review: Inspo

    Inspo: What I Find Inspiring
    Latibule Art

    Inspo is an A7 full colour mini zine about finding inspiration.

    Inspiration can be a flighty creature, so I welcome anything that helps me with finding it. This zine is definitely a good source for doing so. There are written ideas to help guide you as well as an assortment of bits and bobs to help you feel creative.

    I really love the sense of texture in this zine with yarn, mini origami, pictures and all sorts put into the copy so the slightest shadows are picked up. There are so many different colours as well that I love flipping through it again and again. It’s so much fun to look at.

    This little zine is about inspiration but is inspiring in and of itself. Grab a copy and let the inspiration flow.

  • Zine Reviews

    Mini Zine Review: Pineapples


    Pineapples is actually an untitled zine that I’m giving a title for the sake of making it easier to talk about. It’s an A7 black and white mini-zine on yellow paper about pineapples.

    I think this is the first time I’ve ever felt grumpy about a zine. Haha. Only because I really don’t like pineapples.

    All that aside, it does have some interesting pineapple facts. Nothing that makes me like them in any sort of way, but still interesting.

    What makes this zine for me is the last page with what I think is a laugh out loud revelation about Zoe. I don’t want to spoil it though.

    Interested in pineapples? Check out this zine.

  • Zine Reviews

    Mini Zine Review: Weird Dudes

    Weird Dudes
    Bianca B & Hollie F
    Bianca: @flossytit77
    Hollie: @latibule_art

    Weird Dudes is a black and white A8 collab zine of weird dudes. Bianca wrote descriptions for Hollie’s weird dudes, and Hollie wrote descriptions for Bianca’s weird dudes.

    This itty bitty zine is full of very cute and funny itty bitty drawings. Each drawing comes with its own often-amusing description of the weird dude pictured.

    I really love this idea and wish I had some drawing talent so I could do something like this. This whole zine feels like a lot of fun, and it’s clear the artists weren’t taking themselves too seriously.

    Grab a copy for a smile.

  • Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: A Guide to Self-Care

    A Guide to Self-Care
    Latibule Art
    Latibule Art

    A Guide to Self-Care is a full-colour A7-sized mini-zine of self-care activities.

    Self-care can come in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes it means just doing something. In this little mini-zine, you will find ideas for solitary adventures that can easily be adapted to groups if you’d like.

    I like the adaptability of the activities in that way. For the most part, they are as ‘in’ or as ‘out and about’ as you’d like them to be (within the parameters of the activity itself).

    This is a lovely little zine for your pocket or wallet to give you ideas on days when thinking of something to do is difficult.

  • Announcements,  Zine Reviews

    200th Zine Review Celebration Awards: I Read a Zine, And I Liked It

    Wonderful, beloved zine friends. I’m so happy to be creating this post.

    It’s that time again – a time that probably isn’t familiar to a lot of you. When I reached my 100th review in May 2016, I felt inspired by the Golden Stapler Awards and celebrated by awarding zines with titles like ‘best binding’ and ‘funniest zine’.

    (100th Zine Review Celebration Awards: All You Need is Zine Love)

    I hit my 200th zine reviewed a few months ago, but with everything that was going on, I wasn’t able to get to things until now. I still wasn’t sure whether I would do this, but I do love sharing my zine enthusiasm and celebrating fun and cool zines.

    Things to remember:

    1. My apologies for any less than stellar photos.
    2. This is only meant to be a bit of fun.
    3. Zines often fit into more than one category. How they were sorted is all on me.
    4. Keep in mind these are limited to the second lot of 100 zines I’ve reviewed – roughly from May 2016 to July 2017. You can find the whole list: Zine Review Index
    5. Picking out the ‘best’ stinks. I love them all!

    Let’s do this.

    (I’m putting everything after a more tag because there are a lot of images.)

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