“Friendship is radical because so many of the things we’re told to care about and devote ourselves to suck so bad and friendship carves out a space apart from those things. Friendship gives lie to the idea that you should sell your time, forty hours a week or more, to the highest bidder, that you should let one (1) person into your heart at a time and it’s gotta be the person you’re having monogamous sex with, the idea that families are born not chosen.”
— PALS: The Radical Possibilities of Friendship (via lemonbuttz)
Thanks! I am pumped someone is enjoying my zine! It will be back in stock at Fight Boredom distro soon, and will also be available from Stranger Danger distro pending resolution of Mail Problems.
7:01 am • 9 December 2013 • 12 notes
20 pg. at 1/4 letter size
$4 or trade, contact the author to order
There are a lot of great zines out there where people share their experiences relating to mental health. However, there aren’t (yet) as many zines that talk about living with other health conditions, though When Language Runs Dry, about chronic pain, and Life, Death, Love, & ‘All of the Above’, which is about the author’s partner’s having leukemia come to mind.
Inspired by Dave Roche’s writings about his experiences with Crohn’s Disease, Stacy decided to write about her own history with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
The zine’s layout is lovely: clean and highly readable, and, as Stacy assures readers in her introduction, she doesn’t go into graphic detail about any of the symptons of IBS. Instead, she focuses on practical tips for living with the condition, intended both to help other folks with IBS, and to help the rest of us understand better what it’s like living with IBS:
"One question [people with IBS] will always ask if we are going to a new place is if the place has a bathroom or where the bathrooms are. Fun stuff, huh?"
In addition to all of the other reasons it’s not awesome to have a medical condition, IBS sufferers have to deal with living with something that they might not generally feel comfortable talking about, and that many other people will misunderstand or feel awkward discussing. It takes a special kind of highly admirable boldness to write publically about the state of your bowels, and Stacy does so with aplomb and class, entertainingly and informatively. Check it out!
- Lily Pepper
6:44 pm • 8 December 2013 • 14 notes
Birthday Party #1
48 pg. at 1/4 letter size
$2 from Brown Recluse Distro
I do really enjoy zines where someone zeroes in on a particular topic, whether it be whales or popcorn or sex dolls or the history of anarchist thought in China, but I also love a zine that just gives you a whole, wide swath of what the writer is doing and thinking and eating and talking about with their friends, and the memories that all of these bring up, and the forces that conspired to bring them to where they are. Birthday Party is a zine like that.
In this zine, K describes her residency at the Tulip Farm in Montréal, during which she wrote What To Keep, What to Give Away, which I wrote about here. She came away from the trip inspired to live a better life (as I always do too whenever I visit Montréal, the capital of funemployment), based on precepts like:
”- Devote more time to creative projects whether that is writing, collages, zines, letter writing, etc.
- Re-think and organize the way I spent time with my friends so that we didn’t just feed into this capitalist society’s ideas of fun”
However, K also writes about experiences with and thoughts on cultural appropriation, about balancing having a crush with wanting to remain celibate while she sorted out some thoughts and memories, about her relationship with her little sister, and about her conflicted relationship with punk as a person of colour, who doesn’t necessarily get read as punk despite having been involved in punk subcultures for many years.
She writes about learning Spanish, a language that her father speaks, but that she didn’t learn growing up, and the insights the process has given her about herself and her family. There is SO MUCH in this zine— it’s a great read, if not an easy one.
- Lily Pepper
5:01 pm • 5 December 2013 • 15 notes
how do you like them apples?
No Better Than Apples, Issue #8
by Kate Larson
64 pg. at 1/4 letter size
$3 from the author
Dang, this zine is a bruiser. At 64 pages, with a substantial and lovely cardstock cover, it has serious physical presence. The impression of substance continues, as one opens to the first page, and reads:
"Clearly, the best time to choose to bedazzle your arm cast is when you are soon to be attending the funeral of a family member."
From here, we jump right into Larson’s life, at a difficult time. She’s dealing with mysterious but serious health problems, her mother is sick, and her grandmother has passed away.
We hear about friends’ and family members’ medications, and the medications they’ve stopped taking, and the medications they’ve overdosed on. The zine jumps around in terms of topic and narrative and visual style, but manages to remain cohesive and compelling on the strength of Larson’s writing.
My favourite thing about this zine, and one of my favourite things a writer can do in general, is the precise descriptions of small, poignant objects or moments. In this zine, we get grand sweeps of family narrative, but without neglecting “the free clementines, the pancakes at dusk… the ball jars of cold maple sap that we drink like water”.
Larson is a hell of a writer, as many who saw her reading at Chicago Zine Fest 2013 have attested. When as bold and candid a writer as Cindy Crabb writes of you, “I’m not sure how she gets the courage to tell these stories”, you know you’re one tough cookie. It’s hard to write about this kind of stuff, and it’s even harder to do so without lapsing into cliché— we have so few words for these things, and the ones we have are so often lacking. Larson brings her descriptive powers to bear on moments of frailty, haircuts, and natural disasters. Oh, and there’s beautiful drawings in here too, for goodness’ sakes.
Issue #9 is now out, and it continues the story of Larson’s health crisis: “through a sudden hospitalization followed by lots of panic, adjustments, questions, doctor appointments, a diagnosis, and friends keeping me together”. On the strength of #8, I’m sure #9 is amazing. Go git’er!
- Lily Pepper
5:00 pm • 2 December 2013 • 15 notes
Just came back from doing some postering for the Ottawa installment of the Toronto Queer Zine Fair’s Winter Survival Tour.
You should come! Tell your pals!
3:25 pm • 1 December 2013 • 5 notes
real pups, real adventures
Crust Dog #3by Anthony Sorge
40 pages at half-letter size
$3 from the author
I don’t usually write about comics here, though when I recently compiled a list of zines I’ve reviewed, sorted by genre, I realized I’ve written about more comics than I’d thought. However, sometimes a thing is just really great, and this is true of Crust Dog. I am a little behind the times, as Crust Dog is now up to Issue #4.
Crust Dog #4 tells the tale of a pup who leaves its home in the suburbs and comes and finds to find its now-grown-up owner, who is now living in a punk house, dealing with rowdy roommates and a disappointing romance.
I opened Crust Dog expecting a silly comic, and I don’t want to give the story away, but that’s not what this is. Though Sorge’s art is appealingly simple and cartoony, the story is tremendously poignant. This issue also touches on the, regrettably, ever-topical problem of police raids on activists: Sorge writes that he was inspired in this by the cases of Matt Duran and Lea Plante.
If you buy this comic, you will get some funny pictures of dogs, and you will get a hell of a lot more than that too. I was really surprised and impressed by this one, I think you will be too.
- Lily Pepper
12:01 pm • 30 November 2013 • 17 notes
The Most Beautiful Rot
Help me self-publish my first novel, a slice of queer punkhouse love.
i am trying to publish my first novel. please feel free to reblog. thanks!
Ocean is a wonderful writer of zines, who has now written a WHOLE DARN BOOK! Help make it happen!
5:33 pm • 29 November 2013 • 15 notes
Toronto Queer Zine Fair Winter Survival Tour
Facebook Page for Ottawa Event - please share and invite pals!
The Toronto Queer Zine Fair collective is going on a Winter Survival Tour! They will be in Ottawa on December 19th to read from their zines and writings.
This tour is all about survival. What things do we do to survive the winter? What things do we do to survive every day? Lets share our tips, our strategies, our ways of coping, and our stories.
Maranda Elizabeth writes about mental health & illness, genderqueerosity, writing & creativity, self-care & support, and how to create a meaningful daily life.
Eric Levitt writes zines on the intersection of radical gayness, queerness, body fascism and radical politics.
Eddie O writes about supporting survivors and creating alternative structures of support and mutual aid with a focus on their own experience surviving abuse and recovering from trauma.
8:17 am • 24 November 2013 • 13 notes
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Collide #2: Passing
PLEASE REPOST WIDELY!
Collide is a compilation zine on the intersection of physical and mental illness.
Issue #1 covered these topics in a broad sense, and how they relate to the intertwining issues of the contributors, including deafness, chronic pain,…
This sounds really interesting!
4:19 pm • 23 November 2013 • 76 notes