• Happy Mail

    Happy Mail – Zine Pack Goodness

    Wind and rain, wind and rain, and some happy mail to make me feel all warm and fuzzy.

    brainscan-zine-pack

    This Brainscan Zine Pack came all the way from Portland Button Works. The pack came with Brainscan 21, 25, 26, 27 and 28, and it was like getting a basket of Easter eggs. They are all Brainscan, but they come in all different shapes, sizes and colours! It does my head in a little. 🙂

    missmuffcake-zine-pack

    Yes, I’m showing the happy mail after I reviewed one of the zines (It Will Be Okay). Missmuffcake just so happened to have the awesome timing to have sent a zine so I received it right when I needed to read it.

    I’ve been eyeing up The Stay At Home Girlfriend series for ages now, so I’m excited to finally have one. 🙂

    As always, thank you so much to everyone who sends me mail. Happy mail makes me feel, well, happy – especially in the past few months where we seem to have some pretty bad luck happening!

  • Announcements,  Dear Anonymous,  Happy Mail

    The Good News, The Bad News & The Happy… Mail

    The Good News

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    Fly my pretties, fly! Dear Anonymous 3 contributor copies are flying out into the world. They have been delivered to the postal deities and will arrive at their destinations in 7-10 business days. I’m so glad they are. There’s not a lot that I hate more than missing a deadline when that deadline involves other people.

    PS. I may watch Don’t Starve Together play videos while sewing zines. I don’t have a problem…

    The Bad News

    I had it in the back of my mind that this might happen eventually, but I didn’t give it too much thought because I didn’t think it would happen anytime soon. Alas, it has.

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    Yeah… Today I went out to the post office to send out contributor copies. Because there were so many contributors (I’m not complaining – it’s awesome!) there were not only a lot of envelopes but the zine also weighed more. As in over 50g. As in jumped up considerably for those mere grams extra.

    I wouldn’t say anything, but the fact of the matter is that it was a complete fluke that I even had the money to send all this. Complete fluke. I know I should have figured out the cost going in, but I think I knew it was going to be a lot so I didn’t want to face it. (You can see why I’m rolling in the big bucks after being so financially savvy for my entire life.)

    So… It’s with a very sad heart that I have to say Dear Anonymous 3 is the last zine for which I can offer physical copies for contributors.

    Sigh.

    I seriously did not want to have to do it. I’m sorry.

    The Happy Mail!

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    This lovely envelope of goodness comes from my friend Karley. Karley was one of the first contributors to Dear Anonymous, and she ran an awesome fiction/poetry/music zine called The Filth. She’s sent me a zine she likes that she thought I should check out along with a bunch of clippings from this and that for my various creative works.

    Sweeeeet.

  • Dear Anonymous,  General,  Pictures

    Eventually…

    Eventually, I will stop being a workaholic.
    Eventually, I will be strict and only allow myself to work normal hours.
    Eventually, I’ll be able to say ‘no’ and.or ‘not right now’.

    Eventually, I will learn to put the deadlines I set in my calendar. That way, when I say that Dear Anonymous 3 will be sent out to contributors at the end of January, Dear Anonymous 3 will be sent out at the end of January.

    Hell or high water, these are going out to contributors on Monday. After that, I will actually stick to my commitments like posting up two reviews a week and engaging with other bloggers.

    Dear Anonymous 3

  • General

    Sick Day

    Yesterday was a sick day for both me and my computer. I required a lot of rest and sleep; my computer required a rebuild. *wince* Today I’m a smidge less foggy than yesterday, so I’ve spent most of the day finishing up some cards while reinstalling all of my programs.

    Very exciting stuff, I assure you.

    However, just in case you are bored, this happened:

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    Back soon.

  • Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: Fontainebleau

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    Fontainebleau
    ?
    9.5cm x 11.5cm
    ?

    I bought this little lovely on my big ol’ Sticky Institute distro last year. It was a zine that forced me to face my attraction to pretty things, my uncontrollable judgment-by-cover nature, and my unbridled, passtionate affection for 3D glasses.

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    Yep. That happened. And I even took a selfie. Ugh. I am thoroughly disgusted.

    But enough about me.

    Fontainebleau – if you hadn’t already guessed – is French. Beyond that, I’m not sure. I took one semester of French when I was a teen, and I can only remember enough to be able to say “My name is Nyx” and “You petite cabbage”.

    But, as seems to be my custom with zines I enjoy, I don’t care! I don’t care about not knowing the words because the novelty and experience of the zine is so much fun.

    Fontainbleau is printed on lovely glossy paper – something I wholeheartedly approve of for art zines. Its size is odd, but that is no deterrent, as it’s packaged with an A6 piece of thicker board to protect it. The zine, the glasses, and the board are all packaged together in a clear cellophane bag. I felt a bit like a child opening it and looking forward to my ‘toy’ 3D glasses that came with the ‘main’.

    Perhaps stretching a metaphor thin, but I’ll move along.

    I won’t lie; art is often like poetry to me in that I can appreciate it but am often left with the feeling that it is saying something that I’m not understanding. The pleasantly strange images are a curiosity to the normal gaze. That surrealism (not using the art term, just picking the word) takes on a whole new level when you slip the red and blue glasses.

    There’s a quote in the beginning that starts with the line ‘Under the water’. Those words repeated in my mind as I looked at the pictures with the glasses on. Everything seemed suspended in a strange world…

    If you don’t like art zines, then not even the novelty of 3D glasses is going to make this any more appealing. If you do, however, why not take it a bit further and make some popcorn as well.

    **If you know anything more about this zine, feel free to contact me. I’ve done sweet little research with my swamped schedule, if I’m to be honest, and I would appreciate any factual tidbits.

  • Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: Hand Job Zine Issue 6

    What a whopper of a review! Forgive my long-windedness!

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    Hand Job Zine Issue 6
    Jim and Sophie (and contributors)
    A5
    https://handjobzine.wordpress.com/

    Sometimes you just know when you’ll like a zine. I do come into these reviews with a bit of naivete because I’m hoping for a good zine, but this one? This one I had a good feeling about.

    Right away, I was taken to what I view as the more ‘traditional’ (not a bad word!) style. There are copied edges and smudges, different fonts and handwriting, pictures, stories… It rings true with cut and paste style. Seeing all this in my initial flip through had me eager to dig in.

    I’m used to a table of contents of some sort in zine, used to being gently invited in to continue on reading. HJ6 doesn’t have a table of contents or even page numbers – but it works! It works to a magnificent degree with this zine because of the tone set on the very first piece – a poetic, melodic (in my mind) welcome from Jim and Sophie.

    I have no idea who Jim and Sophie are, but I already think they’re pretty cool. The introduction is excellent in that I think you’ll know straight away whether this zine is for you. Either you put it down or you feel that ‘Boom. You’re here, so why not keep reading?’ that the intro really set the stage for in my reading experience.

    Pull up a stool, have a smoke and enjoy.

    The pieces including were all interesting and sometimes shocking in the way that a story can lure you in, calm you down and then slap you across the face, all while maintaining the same tone. I went back more than once to read a sentence here, an entire piece there. While that might be something that puts others off, I liked the feeling that written pieces were as much art as literature. (And all that without needing to read Jane Eyre!)

    I can’t say that I’ve understood all the poetry, but I’ve taken enough English classes to know that I’ll come ’round.

    While a zine maker who accepts contributions can only work with what they have, I feel like this zine was set up in a way that screws with my expectations. The aforementioned English classes could have me reading into it too much, but I found myself shocked out of my expectations more than once. ‘Him Upstairs’ was a slap across the face (at the end), followed by a picture, followed by another piece with something special about it (no spoilers), and so on. The review toward the end and the very last piece – a list – continued to take my expectations and laugh at them. A strange but enjoyable experience.

    This isn’t a zine to sit down for a casual flip-through. There is a lot of content and a lot of room for contemplation, so you be so inclined.

    PS. Hand Job Zine is calling for submissions! Be sure to click on their blog link at the top of this review and check out their blog.

  • Dear Anonymous,  My Zines,  Pictures

    Dear Anonymous 3 Sneak Peek

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    ‘Grocery list? Nyx, why are you showing us a grocery list?’
    ‘Let me explain…’

    I love making Dear Anonymous. The Perfect Pocket Guinness Guide might be the first zine I ever made, but Dear Anonymous was my first zine idea.

    Whenever I receive a letter to put into the zine, most times I know exactly how I want to present it. The picture of what to do with the words, what art (if any) to include, pops into my head almost instantaneously. There has been one or two times when I have stared at a letter and come up with a big zero, but I shrug those off.

    So, what’s up with the grocery list?

    From my attempts at sketching in the first zine to this zine, my style has changed a lot. I use a lot more typing, more elements, etc. This grocery list? Well, I got it into my head that one letter for DA3 had to be a note on the front of a refrigerator. Don’t ask me why, because I don’t know. Not a clue. I just cut up the bits of paper, drew on them and taped them to the page…

    So, because I’ve taken so long with DA3 and because I missed the reviews last week, I figured I would break my own rules and give you a full-page sneak peek of one of the DA3 letters. This is the original, so it will look different in the finished zine. I think you can imagine what the black and white version will be like.

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    I’m currently working on a fake yearbook autograph page for a background for another letter. It never lets up, this crazy mind of mine.

  • Pictures,  Zine Reviews

    Zine Review: Crafty Collage

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    Crafty Collage
    Kelly Zarb
    A5
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/kellyzarb

    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.

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    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…

  • Dear Anonymous,  General,  Pictures

    Getting My Zine On – Hot & Toasty Style

    It is a hot and heavy 38C/101F in my local patch of Oz today, and my office is mighty toasty. But a fan on my desk and a bottle of cold water are suiting me just fine as I work on Dear Anonymous 3.

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    I love making zines, but DA has a little bit of extra special. I ‘let the muse take me’ when it comes to how I present the letters that are sent to me. The weird thing is that, with nearly every letter, an idea instantly pops into my head. Then it’s simply up to me to figure out how to put that image into the zine.

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