Last Thursday, a friend contacted me about proofreading his novel – by Monday. It’s hard to say no to a paying job, so I told him I’d have a go. I managed to do it by editing from Friday arvo to Sunday night with breaks only for sleeping. I’m actually proud of getting it done on time, but I had to put everything else aside. I still haven’t caught up.
I have a few smaller zines for you this week, so I figured I would review them in one post. Not to take away from the awesomeness and importance of mini-zines. More that I figure two or three mini-zines adds up to the prattling I do on one bigger zine.
I apologise for the pics being a little dark. First up, a poster edition of YOU.
I’ll be honest: I can’t resist a free zine – even in poster form. I’m a big fan of YOU in all its incarnations. If you want to know more about that, then check out this post.
My Learnings is a very simple mini-zine filled with simple life truths – most of which are fewer than seven words. It’s not a complex read by any means, but perhaps that is the point. It’s a quick read but a pleasant one.
Mini Moz Fanzine
A7… or is it! Surprise when you fold it out to A4
Mini Moz is a passionate tribute to Morrissey. Not quite the traditional mini-zine, you don’t just read it through. There are different bits written in different directions, making it more of an exploration. I quite liked that unexpected treat – even if I’m not all that familiar with Morrissey.
Both mini-zines do prod a pet peeve of mine, which is no contact details, no blog URL, so on and so forth. I don’t begrudge anyone the desire to remain anonymous (Dear Anonymous, anyone?), but I would have liked to check out more. Especially Mini Moz given she’s such a talented artist.
This one? A page in a greaseproof bag. Next one? Who knows?
Writing a review of an edition of YOU is like reviewing a limited edition Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavour; it’s iconic for some parts of the world, and you never quite know what you’re going to get until you dig in.
Good analogy? I’m not sure, but I don’t think I can think of anything better.
According to its Zine Wiki:
YOU (November 2001-) zine takes the form of a free anonymous letter addressed to you from various writers, usually handwritten, often sealed in a paper bag, published by Luke You.
YOU ties into the curiosity that is so intrinsic to most of us. Something sealed in a paper bag? For free? I must know what’s inside. This curiosity is followed closely by an urge in much of the population – voyeurism. While it grants the writer the bliss of anonymity, it also gives the reader a glimpse into a life that the reader would very likely never know.
For me, YOU is like a present. Someone has given me something special: a moment of their life. I’ll never know the writer, and the writer will never know me, but I will still be able to hold onto this moment. This little piece of life that someone threw out into the universe.
This particular letter is about a beautiful moment. I smiled even though I didn’t know some of the names referenced. I dwelled on the handwriting, curious about the hand and the person that would write with those particular words and curves of the letters. Even before all that, I got to open the bag – getting the same kind of enjoyment I get from opening happy mail.
I love it, through and through.
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
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
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
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.