32 pages, $2.00 US / $3 World, Jason Rodgers, PO Box 62, Lawrence MA 01842, USA
Jason had some traumatic things happen in 2011, so this issue was done in January 2012, then circumstances and lack of resources delayed the release until he said enough, no more waiting, and published it in this digest format (rather than the usual large newsprint format, see my review of #16).
In his introduction Jason re-addresses his stance against technology after being attacked and ranted against by another zinester who refused to name him, referring to Jason only as a "conspiracy theorist". It seems to me that some people feel personally targeted for their use of technology after reading Jason's writings. An insecure reaction. I use the internet and various other 'new tech'. Everybody uses technology to various degrees. In this day and age, you have one extreme: the Neo-Luddite, who refuses all technology (I can't imagine living this way at all, I'll admit); to the other extreme: the rabid 'early adopter', those tech junkies who line up outside Apple stores for days waiting for the new version of iPhone or iPad. ... Anyway, while I don't agree completely with Jason's views on technology (I mean, where do you draw the line? Why not go back to hammer and chisel and clay tablets, eh? Ha ha!), it's obvious to me that some of these can be seen as a dumbing down. Example: I work in a museum and part of my job is to deal with visitor comments. Back in the day there were only hand-written comments on paper forms. Now many of them are tweets, and most of these read as written by some dumbass bag of rocks; no vowels, simple to the point of inanity, eg. "This exhibition rulz!!1!" or "This exhibition suxx!1!!" On the other hand, if we're talking about Tweeting, there's Stephen Fry, not only an embracer of new technologies like Twitter but one of the smartest and wittiest men alive. So, I guess while I value views like Jason's, I'm more in the middle of this whole technology thing, seeing the extremes in a similar way as I see extreme left-wing and right-wing politics - both as flawed as the other.
To continue the anti-Modern World theme is Sid Clark's piece, Rocks In Our Head', whose main argument is that the Modern World is very anti-life. It's targeted at those who resent being trapped in a world of dead things.
Next up is Jim Hayes's Neo-Neoist tenets, one of which is "Neo-Neoists must destroy the last 25 years of diaries, letters, blogs, collages, paintings, recordings, and photos; remember: it all sucked." Haw! I have a feeling some poor sonofabitch is gonna take this advice to heart, follow it, and at some later point experience some deep, deep regrets. On the other hand, this could be great if, creatively, you have been frozen at the bottom of the lake for the last 25 years, in which case this action could do the trick to rekindle that fire!
A long piece in here, 'Psychic Nomadism' by Jason Rodgers, made my damn brain short-circuit just with its opening two sentences: "I intend to become a psychic nomad, advancing theory and praxis as mobile actions. The sterilization, commodification, and repackaging of radical concepts as lifestyle brand accessories is inevitable." Okay, look. I think that if you dig Dada, Fluxus, Neo-Neoism and stuff like that, you'd probably dig this. For sure. Heh heh! ... I am out of my fucking depth.
There are a bunch of other contributors in here: Yves Albrechts, Reed Altemus, Haddock, PJM, Thompson, Neal Wilgus, Stuart Stratu ... Those are the folks I know, or at least whose stuff I've seen before that made an impression. There's also stuff from Darlene Altschul, John Bennett, Len Bracken, Lady V, Apio Ludd, Malok, Francois Marceau, Bob McGlynn, Simon Morris, Riddle Management, Lena Samol, Jack Saunders, J M Ward, and John Zerzan, and there's contact info for most of them. Real physical addresses! No stupid emails or URLs or hashtags!
P/P/J is old school, weird, smart, eccentric, cranky, and challenging. Recommended.
$4.00 each, by Dexter Cockburn, thecomixcompany.ecrater.com
This is smug, smirking, Asperger's nerd porn. This is porn for nerds who never matured past the age of 12 and who never had to prove their adulthood or manhood by doing anything more difficult than pushing buttons on a keyboard. This is porn for nerds who think the name Cockburn is funny because it signifies a burning cock. This is porn for nerds whose ideal, fantasy dream girl is a brainless, balloon-titted bimbo they can walk up to and unceremoniously stick their dick in.
This is porn for nerds who think "Peoria" is cute; or Scooby-Doo type characters saying "gosh", "golly" and "jeepers"; or a scientist exclaiming "ye gads!"; or a Louisiana Cajun exclaiming "lawks a mussy!" when he orgasms; or people in Brooklyn saying "shaddap", "da", "dat" and "dere" and having a fetish for Archie Bunker.
Cockburn is an unabashed comics history nerd. His comics are full of irritating and distracting retro style flourishes. Many of his backgrounds and inanimate objects have more personality and substance than his cartoon characters.
Cockburn tries to sell himself as being an heir to the 70's underground comic book tradition. Maybe so, but I was 18 in 1971 and I bought over a hundred underground titles and I'm here to tell you they weren't that great. You had to be stoned to enjoy most of them.
Personally, I prefer narrative porn, such as Titian Beresford. Narrative porn lets me conjure up my own mental images. But for cartoon fetish fun I prefer the on-line pros, such as Prissy, Sorenutz and Dezam.
In summary, this is some of the most obnoxious and insulting crap I ever read.
One page folded twice, 5.5 x 4.25 inches, Crites, PO Box 21448, Long Beach CA 90801, USA
Some readers will remember Crites's excellent zine Paniscus Revue, a big chunk of freaked out awesomeness that was responsible for the displacement of many popping eyeballs. So it's kinda funny that he's come back with a one-sheet-folded-twice mini mini zine, but shit, with postage costs going through the goddam roof these days (do you ever get the feeling somebody wants us to stop using the mail and just text, Twitter, FaceBook, etc.?) it's a smart move to downsize print materials. Hell, I even did it with Grunted Warning. The difference, sending something from Australia to the US, if it's under 50 grams postage is $2.35, if it's between 50-250 grams it jumps to $6.45.
Anyway, I'm blabbing ... each issue of PLA contains a bunch of words and images combined in such a way as to induce unorthodox, heightened brainwaves and possible flashbacks and/or flashforwards. Good stuff. Summer even liked 'em, and she's fussy.
Sid Clark for the guest review...Thanks to
32 pages, 8.5 x 6", $5.00, Ryan Vella, Lot 18 Homebush Road, Walkerston QLD 4751, AUSTRALIA
32 pages, 8.5 x 6", $5.00, Ryan Vella, Lot 18 Homebush Road, Walkerston QLD 4751, AUSTRALIA
Ryan Vella creates an alternate world where the cities are full of the violent clashes of super-heroic assholes.
I admit I'm disappointed that Vella chose to celebrate pop-star Michael Jackson's bizarre and loathsome behavior again (as in issue #1). Jackson always seemed like a big nothing to me but to Vella he seems to be "an oasis of horror in a desert of boredom". Jackson is represented in the comic in the person of Dingoman who is Jackson's psychotic, pederastic love child.
Vella's an excellent cartoonist but a few of the panels came out a little muddy due to all the blood and grit flying around.
Apart from these qualms and quibbles this is ace entertainment all the way around.
16 pages, 8.5 x 5.5", the usual, DJ Frederick, 36 West Main Street, Warner NH 03278, USA
It's a well-known fact that there can never be enough review zines. And here's another one! First up, though, DJ laments the closing of US post offices and suggests how we can fight to turn this around. For instance, pick up a pen and and write a real letter, or send a postcard! Unfortunately, the masses probably won't get this message, and besides, it's much easier to send a text or post on FaceBook. But on the subject of post offices, we in Australia don't seem to have that problem. Our post offices are just providing more and more services (like selling bus tickets, and letting you pay your phone and power bills there) and selling more and more stuff, like mobile phones, CDs, soft toys, board games, even lollies! Our post offices are beginning to resemble supermarkets where you have packets of Maltesers and Jelly Beans where you line up, as impulse items. Haw! Thankfully they still sell stamps and envelopes.
I do have one gripe about this zine - there's too much space. There's only seven zine reviews, and for a 16-page zine that's a pretty low review count. I mean, I just finished reviewing Media Junky and that's only 8 pages, but has more than four times as many reviews as One Minute Zine Reviews.
8 pages, 8.5 x 5.5", to get a copy send stamps, $1.00 or a nice letter to Jason Rodgers, PO Box 62, Lawrence MA 01842, USA
Always great to receive a new issue of Media Junky. Have I said that before? Well, it's still true!
It's the usual bunch of zine reviews (only zines with real actual physical addresses) along with music reviews. I really like his review of an Agathocles/GAP/ShitFuckingShit split - "GAP sounds like a military battalion of insects."
4 pages, 11.5 x 8.5", trade or friendly letter will get you a copy from Yves Albrechts, Postbus 100, 2000 Antwerpen 1, Groenplaats, BELGIUM + kapreles [at] gmail [dot] com
The usual mad stuff from Kapreles here, including single panels gags, a (fake?) movie review, breaking news on Pamela Anderson, drawings, and whatever else he feels like throwing in.
24 pages, 8.5 x 5.5", $2.00 US/$3.00 World, US cash or stamps, or your nation's currency >>> Post Office Box 2632, Bellingham WA 98227-2632, USA, or, "If you must", nodepajomo [at] gmail [dot] com
A terriffic zine for the papernetters here. "We endeavour to be a Real World access point for mailartists, tape traders, and the otherwise postally inclined." This issue is combined with Pukka Joint Massif, so the first half is listings for mail art projects, as well as other random projects. For example, one of the listings:
"RED 28.02.13. Send a drawing, object or whatever represents the idea RED. Doc to all. Gue Schmidt, c/o MAG3, Schiffamtsgasse 17, 1020, Vienna, AUSTRIA."
The other half, Pukka Joint Massif, is reviews, and there are dozens of 'em. Really great. You could happily get just this one zine and spend the whole year writing to those inside, participating in mail art projects, and trading zines, tapes, all kinds of stuff through the post.
If somebody asks you where the action is at, tell them it's right here.
ADULTS ONLY! 32 pages, 7.5 x 5.5 ", $4.00, by Dexter Cockburn, thecomixcompany.ecrater.com
In the middle of 'de-briefing' Ensign(?) Jane, space captain Marty Marz is called to the bridge by 'Number Two', Spunkmeyer. He and the rest of the crew are invited to the wedding of Lunaria, the only daughter of the King of the Moon, to Lord Smut. Before that happens, Spunkmeyer is seduced by the maidbot, F1F1; then at the moon we see the bride-to-be attended to by a couple of slave girls; then Marty reminisces about his sexual exploits with various alien women. We don't get to see the groom, Lord Smut. That will probably happen in Sweet Stuff #2, as this story is 'to be continued!'
Other porntacular shenanigans involve Pippa Creme having to stay back after class, and Junior Ranger Becky investigating who has been taking down the 'Do Not Feed The Bears' signs. You guessed it! It's Bosco the Bear.
Wall-to-wall smutty comix is the name of the game, so don't show this one to your granny. Unless she happens to be Andrea Dworkin.