Sassyfrass Circus #3 - by Jenna - half size - 26 pagesThis may be my new favorite comic zine. Ever. Jenna is a wonderful, expressive comic artist. She draws about her own life - feeling lonely, her trip to Egypt, finding an awesome adult comic at a store (titled Wimmen's Comix - from the 70s!), and more. There's also a hilarious article that somehow manages to talk about both endangered gorillas and Google maps. Very fun read.
Sassyfrass Circus #4 - by Jenna - half size - 26 pagesMore wonderful comics by Jenna. She draws/writes about her work being compared to Cathy (that awful one-dimensional shoe-loving comic character), her neuroses and anxiety, getting locked out of her house, her love of communication/letters, how to avoid activist burnout, love of photocopiers, scabies, and more.
Sassyfrass Circus #5 - by Jenna - half size - 26 pagesThis issue of Sassyfrass is actually more text than comic, but still as interesting as ever. Jenna writes about losing her grandmother, falling in love, a frustrating experience with a clueless gynocologist, her dislike of being referred to as a "lady", and a lot more.
Scrappy #2: Radical Crafting – by Niku – half size – 22 pagesNiku writes about what radical crafting is (or what it can be/mean), and gives resources to different groups and collectives. You will also find, of course, craft tutorials: cross-stitch pattern, fancy bike streamers, and a vintage pillowcase reusable grocery bag. The coolest part about this zine is that you get a free iron-on cupcake! I love the style of this zine – it makes me want to get my craft on!
shortandqueer #12 - by Kelly - half size - 19 pagesThis issue of shortandqueer is subtitled "Menstruation, not punctuation (periods.)", and it's all about what you think it's about. Kelly, a self-identified trans guy, writes about his first period (which happened in the middle of class, and his dad had to go bring him a change of pants and pads), finding the right pad and underwear, never using tampons, his last period (and when it came back at one point!), and things that still stick with him even after his period - like how he sleeps and his inability to use a certain soap. Also included are stories from other people about their first and/or last periods. I love Kelly's writing style, and his stories are definitely relatable and engaging.
shortandqueer #13 - by Kelly - half size - 27 pagesThis is probably my favorite issue of Kelly's zine. He takes us on a musical journey of his life, starting with the early years of listening to New Kids on the Block, Color Me Badd, and Boys II Men, to present day where he listens to Estelle, Beyonce, and Fergie. He associates different times in his life with certain songs, and tells us stories about those times. It's very personal, and I felt so connected to it - probably because I listened to the same songs growing up. And he likes Mariah Carey! I think Kelly and I need to hang out and listen to some Mariah jams. In this issue, you'll also find a list of his favorite albums. So much fun! I adore it!
shortandqueer #14 - by Kelly - half size - 39 pagesThis is a very unique idea for a zine - maybe it's been done before, but I've never seen it. Kelly writes about the best thing that happened to him every day for an entire year. It's a text-heavy issue, and I read it in one sitting. I was so engrossed in his life, and I feel like I really got to know him. He writes about visiting with friends, taking square-dancing lessons, attending the murder trial of Angie Zapata (and the emotional activism involved), mental health issues, working at the Denver Zine Library, and more. There's so much here, and it's quite an interesting read.
Sometimes I’m Dreaming #3 – by Lisa – quarter size – 38 pagesI’ve never read Lisa’s zines before, and I don’t know how I managed to miss them! The first thing that made me want to see this zine was the beautiful layout. It’s very airy and Victorian-looking – just my cup of tea! Lisa writes about her decision to stop censoring herself, wishing her teenage-self read more (and books she should have read then, like Harry Potter and The Secret Garden, and her love of reading now. She also writes about changing majors in college, going from Linguistics to Japanese Studies. As someone who’s changed majors a number of times, I can relate. There are a lot of other great themes in this zine (including her love of gardens and dreaming), but you’ll have to pick this one up to see for yourself. I adored this.
Sometimes I’m Dreaming #4 – by Lisa – quarter size – 34 pagesThis issue deals with Lisa’s need to move back home, and returning to a place that stirs feelings of pain and bitterness. She manages to stay optimistic by focusing on her passions, like journaling, knitting, tea, and photography. A really fantastic zine about struggling through the hard times and hoping for the better ones; it’s about finding the strength within yourself. And, like her last issue, the layout is simply gorgeous.
Stolen Sharpie Revolution 2 - by Alex Wrekk - quarter size - 144 pagesThis is the second issue of the popular zine-makers guide. It's been completely rewritten, with a new layout, more pages, and an updated list of distros, shops, libraries, and zine fests. Also included in this professionally-bound zine are how-tos of zine layout, photocopying, submitting your work to distros, bookbinding, paper making, block printing, navigating the postal system, and starting your own distro. Plus, there's a bunch of tips and etiquette about trading, zinesters in prison, zine readings, organizing a zine event, and much much more. This little book is the ultimate guide for any zinester, from beginners to people who have been doing this for years.
Sugar Rush - by Bree - quarter size - 18 pagesTemporarily Sold Out - more coming in! This zine is by Bree, who also writes "Adorn" and made the photo zine "A Coney Island of My Mind". Sugar Rush is all about her experiences with her Type I diabetes, including information about the disease, what she does to take care of herself, assumptions people have about diabetes, and people's reactions to her symptoms. A very enlightening read, indeed!
Tattooed Memoirs #6 - by Sage - half size - 16 pagesI have had the pleasure of meeting Sage in person a few times over the years, and I adore how her lovely, creative nature really comes through in her zines. In this issue of Tattooed Memoirs, Sage writes about campaigning for Obama, finding clarity in her life after some troubling times in her marriage, and her love of creating and being with her family. She also touches briefly on her move from Philly to Georgia, and the death of her step-dad.
Tattooed Memoirs #7 - by Sage - quarter size - 22 pagesSage has been a tattoo artist for many years, and has a very strong passion for the art and lifestyle. This zine is about starting to lose that passion (mostly because of the way the industry is going, thanks to reality TV shows on tattoos and Ed Hardy-mania), and deciding to take a new direction with her career. Sage is now an adult party salesperson (think Avon, but with sex toys and lotions), and she writes about how she feels empowered by this, as well as empowering other women. As always, good read.
Telegram Ma'am #16 - by Maranda - quarter size - 22 pagesMaranda writes about streets, towns, and how they change - wanting to leave, and always feeling homesick wherever she is. She also discusses an old job, and the memories she takes from it. Here is an excerpt: “I like reading about towns and cities. I like reading about coffee shops and sidewalks and bedrooms and memories. I like writing about them too and I want to share my stories.”
Telegram Ma'am #18 / Your Pretty Face is Going Straight to Hell #9 split - by Maranda and Turku - quarter size - 70 pagesIt seems like I haven't seen as many split zines as I used to, so I was excited when I heard about this. Tukru writes about her strained relationship with her brother, visiting friends she knows on the internet and the awesomeness of it all (I can so relate!), feeling down on her birthdays, and starting anti-depressant medication. Maranda writes about her bike (riding it at night, visiting the library, her fear of getting it stolen, accidents, and more), being told she doesn't fit in in her town, being surrounded by negativity, and dealing with anxiety at zine gatherings.
Telegram Ma'am #19: The Winter Survival Issue - by Maranda - quarter size - 14 pagesWinter can be a depressing time – the days are short, there's lots of darkness, and the cold weather makes it difficult to get out. Maranda has compiled 28 tips on how to survive the winter – ranging from the silly yet funny (scoff at people who complain about the snow!), to the practical (write lots of letters to friends!). It's a simple and cute read, but it pretty much cured my winter lethargy.
Title Goes Here – by Betsy – half size – 12 pagesBetsy writes: “2010 was a memorable year. This zine is about things that I did for the first time last year. I’ve included stories about serving on a jury, adopting a dog, visiting Nevada, and watching my grandmother’s house burn down…This is my first zine, although I’ve been buying and reading them for six or seven years. It’s far from perfect, but by this point, I just want to get something out there in the world.” I think Betsy’s zine is quite good, especially for a first issue. The layout is beautiful, and I was super interested in the story about jury duty, since I’m always exempt from it because of my disability. I think other people will find that story the best one in this zine – but the other stories are good as well. Pick this up and write Betsy a letter congratulating her on her first zine!
When Language Runs Dry #2 - by Claire, Meredith, and contributors - half size - 48 pagesxThis zine is a very important read, and I’m glad I am finally selling it at the distro. Like the subtitle says, this is a zine for people with chronic pain and their allies. The introduction explains it the best: “How to sustain one’s self (and enthusiasm about ones health) when one has settled into the daily, long-term grind of chronic illness? Perhaps there WAS a time, at the onset, when this condition was acute when we sought care and healing with vigor – we saw the doctors, we exercised, we wrote about it in our journals, we tried the different medicines – but what happens when the acute phase has passed, and we are left with an ambivalence, knowing we must care for ourselves but feeling too bored, or tired, or angry to do so? A number of the pieces in this issue directly confront this reality of life with enduring pain. We hope that this issue can shed light on what it means that chronic pain is long-term, and on the things we feel and the ways we find to deal with it over time.” In addition to the personal stories in this zine, you will also find information about giving and receiving support for your chronic pain/illness, as well as recommended reading.
When Language Runs Dry #3 - by Claire, Meredith, and contributors - half size - 48 pagesThe intro reads: “In this issue we are lucky to have contributors who are sharing new and unique perspectives on living with chronic pain. Some of us are just starting our journey with pain, while others have lived with it for a long time. We talk about chronic pain, look closely at our relationships and roles with people in our families and withing our communities, and write and draw about things we’ve noticed while trying our best to navigate our lives and the world around us alongside the pain we experience.” Another fantastic and important issue of this zine – personal prose, comics, and recommended reading. I am really looking forward to future issues of this zine!
White Elephants #2 - by Katie - half size - 28 pagesI am a huge fan of yard sales and finding unique items, so this zine was right up my alley. Katie writes about the awesome finds she aquires at different yard and rummage sales she attends with her mom. Just the way she writes about them is fascinating, and it made me want to go out and track some yard sales down. This zine is for anyone who loves rummaging through people's used things! I am certainly one of those people.
White Elephants #3 - by Katie - half size - 32 pagesThis is a continuation of Katie's thrifty explorations. She writes a lot about different experiences at yard sales/rummage sales, the people who attend them, and the people who run them. I could picture every sale and item in my head, and this was just so much fun to read. Pick this up if you geek out about old stuff!
You've Got a Friend in Pennsylvania #1 - by Sari - half size - 24 pagesThis zine is mostly a travel diary of Sari's three-week study-abroad trip to Slovenija. I always enjoy reading about people's travels, since I'm really afraid to fly and will probably never go anywhere that isn't within driving distance. Also included is a letter to a friend, thoughts on queer invisibility, conversations with hir mother, and a funny story about juggalos. Check this one out!