I’m sick and good for nothing. Here are those zines I mentioned. They were all purchased from Vampire Sushi, a small but quality UK-based zine distro that I highly recommend. It’s not often I get to read zines from the UK. I got:
but two and a half issues of Tukru’s excellent personal zine, Your Pretty Face is Going Straight to Hell. She continuously apologises for being ‘mopey’, but hell, what are zines good for if not indulging a bit of mopeyness? Anyway, while Tukru’s zine are very personal, in an unedited diary type of way, they’re never overwrought or melodramatic. The angst is all positioned in the everyday things – work, family, ‘relationships’ – that tend to grind at us in similar ways. Which is why they’re so good, even when the things she describes are private and heartbreaking. It occurs to me that finding relief in other people’s misery is pretty shit, really, but like I say, I’m sick and can’t make it sound un-shit at the moment.
Also, Tukru hand colours her covers, which is excellent.
Fanzine Ynfyntyn consists for the most part of a fairly long and amusing story about ‘Mr C’, one of the author’s school English teachers. I have to admit that I felt a bit sorry for Mr C, as bonkers as he clearly was.
A Music Paper contains little comics that lampoon ‘indie’ music lovers, from the experience of being an ‘indie’ music lover. On the whole, I thought that this comic spoke much truth about the pretentiousness that sometimes accompanies an overzealous attachment and commitment to discovering and uncovering new music. Though the division between the ‘music loving’ men and the ‘radio listening’ women annoyed me a little. It’s probably just part of the joke stereotyping, but some jokes wear thin (I say, flipping the fifth record in a row to side B, checking that I’m still a woman. When people who don’t know us very well come to mine and my boyfriend’s house, they generally assume that all the records belong to him. Is it just competitiveness, petulance, that makes me want to correct them? I think not).
Rum Lad is written and drawn by Steve Larder, and an excellent draw-er he is. I mean, he’s one of those people who can actually draw a picture of someone and make it look like a picture of them, not just some random, generic person. I think that Vampire Sushi described this as a ‘graphic zine’, in the sense of a graphic novel, which is a good way to put it. If you can imagine the layout of, say, a Harvey Pekar comic – not necessarily panels, just a mix of text and drawings – that’s Rum Lad. It contains an interview with Marv of Gadgie, a zine from Steve’s hometown in Lincolnshire, an account of the Mulheim zine fair, and a particularly great, short day-in-the-life type comic to finish. This zine’s so well done, and has already accompanied me on numerous train/bus trips (note dog-eared cover).
Ok. That’s enough advertising for zines you can get from Vampire Sushi. What about that notable Sydney based zine distro, Take Care? Well, I just uploaded a bunch of new stuff to the site. I haven’t done all of the descriptions yet, but they’re all worth checking out. Here are a few of my recent favourites.
Culture Slut‘s made by Amber in Montreal, and this full colour issue has just been added to the Take Care site. I’m not normally much of a fan of colour photocopying. It tends to highlight imperfections – like bad fitting room lighting – rather than obliterate them in the pleasing, graphic manner of a black and white copy. But this really works. It reminds me a little of probably the only thing I can stand about Sonic Youth these days – their album artwork (Amber mentions being a fan of SY in another of her zines, if you’re wondering where the hell that reference came from). Culture Slut #18 is a collection of polaroids, which of course have that special hazy, candy cane glow, like the cover of Sister or Daydream Nation. Yes, daydream: that’s the right word to describe this zine. It’s like participating in someone elses day-dream, colourful but wistful, and as if it happened another world away.
Actually, this has been on the site for a while, but it’s still very much worth mentioning. The latest issue of Doris is the final in the famed ‘encyclopeadia’ series of the zine, where Cindy would dedicate each issue to a few letters of the alphabet. As she says in this issue, she would mostly just write whatever she wanted and then make up an letter-appropriate heading later. So like I say, this is the final – uvwxyz – issue in the encyclopeadia, and I’m curious to see where Cindy will head next with her writing. Cindy also runs a distro – called riot grrr – which I will order from as soon as I have some money to spare, because it looks like she has some awesome stuff.
Perhaps it’s only because it features the down pipe on the factory next door to the one that, until very recently, my dad lived in, and because it’s made by Tim, whose photos get progressively better with each roll he takes, but I love this zine.
When Ivana first stocked her zines at Black Rose Lou very excitedly told everyone about this new awesome zine maker in town. Feels Like Friday is still awesome, and we’re very pleased to have the latest two issues for Take Care. Issue 12 is about politics and feminism, full of breathless urgency to be a part of the world and to make a world worth living in.
Oh, I’m so ill.
Before I go, here’s one last zine that you can’t get from Take Care. Sunil wrote this before leaving Sydney indefinitely. You might be able to pick up a copy from Black Rose if you’re in Sydney, if not, contact me and I’ll try to get you one. This zine is a sort of farewell and fuck off to a place you can only hate so much because it was/is actually important to you. And it sort of responds to some of the things Anwyn, Lou and I wrote in Walk so Differently, so it’s special to me for that reason.
Now, off to blow my nose, profusely.