Thursday, March 24, 2011

Zine Post Six

Dixon Ticonderoga, by Stevan Allred
Sort of a paean to pencils, with texts by several authors and some illustrations. The analog realness and old-school-ness of zine and of pencils complement one another in this digital, virtual age.

Moira: a sneak preview, by Chelsea Baker
Very thorough science comic about Down Syndrome, inspired by the author's sister. The illustrations and text work together very well, and I particularly was struck by the sperm "factory" drawing.

Dangerous Aromas, Chapter 1, Beans and Ambition, by the Soft Sciences
Globe-trotting intrigue from the dank jungle to the highest echelons of competitive coffee roasting. Kind of odd, sometimes awkward dialogue, but also some funny bits.

McGriddle Defense, edited by Ryan Gratzer
"Selected short works about the breakfast sandwich" and a must-read for anyone who's succumbed to the temptation of droplets of syrup embedded in fat little pancakes that embrace egg and sausage like delectable parentheses. Includes a choose-your-own-adventure story.

Somnambulist #15, Martha Grover
Grover's long-running series has covered a lot of ground and includes many genres. This edition is a collection of "minutes" from family meetings she attended after moving back home for a while as an adult. Laugh out loud hilarious, but lots of pathos too.

Ride the Lightning, by John Isaacson
Comics interpretation of Metallica lyrics. I'm not a fan of heavy metal (though I do like the long-haired dudes), so it didn't do much for me, and I'm not totally comfortable judging.

Alien Boy: a zine about the life of James Chasse, by Erin Yanke & Icky A.
In one of my other postings of zine reviews I said I was trying to learn when to shut up, so I'm going to say only that this tribute to Chasse comes with a CD.

Beard Month 2010, by Greg Hinkle
Nominated for an award at Stumptown Comics Fest, but it seemed kind of unfocused to me. I had a beard when I read this one, but I'm kind of over beards now.

Colophons, or a note on the type, by Vanessa Gelvin
I can totally dork-out over typefaces (and explain the difference between a typeface and a font), and I've always thought that if I ever get published I'll insist my book include "a note on the type," so I loved this zine a lot.

Trigger No. 1, by Mike Bertino, edited by Dave Nuss
Pleasantly bizarre and trashy comics about bars, teachers that accidently pick up hookers, unicorns, and buttheads. And then a dreamlike one about chronic pain and confronting an abusive past.

A History of Humans Breathing Underwater: an educational zine, by Owen Curtsinger
Very informative, but I wish it were longer. It's small, with drawings and text. The title is quite clear, and you'll get what it promises.

You Are Here, [anthology]
If I'm remembering the right zine, this is a collection of maps and map-related musings by a variety of contributors in a variety of formats: a map of smells and garbage in San Francisco, parallels between Oakland and Paris, different moons in NoLa and Minnesota.

Biophile #2, The scientific method
Biophile #3, Eels, the magic and the mystery
A Pocket Guide to Evolution: a Biophile special
, [author unknown]
Teeny but lovely, all three are great examples of science zines. Possible best quote ever in the history of the world: "We can put a man on the moon, but we can't force eels to make babies."

The Malaise Trap, by Jack Bracken and Reid Psaltis
An amazing and beautiful comic about collecting and compulsion, purging and emptiness, and bugs. If it's not a true story, it should be.

She's So Unusual #1, Cyndi Lauper, [author unknown]
A tribute to our favorite she-bopper, this zine includes hair dyeing tips, a recipe for "True Colors" cupcakes, and other Lauper-esque projects. Volume 2 is about Joan Crawford and has instructions for crocheted wire hanger covers.

The Life and Death of the X-Ray Cafe (Oregon History Comics vol. 2), by Sarah Mirk I moved to Portland long enough ago to have seen the X-Ray Cafe, but I never went there. Mirk's series of comics about lesser-known aspects of Oregon history is a great idea and a big win.

Astronomiae Instauratae Grylli, by J. Horn
Sound science and effective story-telling in a mini-comic about a photon traversing the universe and very, very creative integration of words in and around the drawings, although occasionally hard to read as a result.

The Lou Reeder, by Corina Fastwolf
You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory, by Matt Monochrome
Musical memories, drawings, lists, even a crossword puzzle by a dynamic duo of extreme zine fame. (For the record, I did not do the puzzle and do not condone writing in library material; if you want to do the puzzle, make a photocopy or buy your own.)

Brains vol. 1, by Jesse Harrington
Three short stories about punks, skaters, skater-punks and the zombies they battle, and sometimes become. Zombies are the new pirates (as of a couple years ago), so dive in before something else becomes the new zombies.

Hyena in Petticoats: a Mary Wollstonecraft zine, by Alexis Wolf
An engaging biography of author, early feminista and liberated woman Mary Wollstonecraft, and her family, combined with a personal memoir of the zine author's immersion in all things related, including a pilgrimage to London.


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