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Blackguard #5 : the Science issue

BG5 cover BG5 Contents

Dear Blackguard Comix fans,
I should have posted this email long before now, like for example, closer to back in May when the two boxes of Blackguard #5: the Science issue arrived from Printmaster Theo. What can I say? I need more staff! ... It's lonely here all by myself!
Anyway, Blackguard 5 is ready for your inspection - featuring a Scientifically Awesome cover by Glenno Smith, back cover by Michael Em, inside covers by Michael Amaral and SCAR, comix by Ross Tesoriero, Chris Mikul, Shaun Craike, Neale Blanden, Leigh Rigozzi, Ryan Vella, SCAR, Bize, Giles Kilham & Brett Weekes, David Puckeridge, Julie, Kapreles, Stratu; and short stories by Damain McDonald and Drew Gates. Plus nine pages of comix and zine reviews by me.
Get your copy by sending $6.00 [if you're in Australia] or $8.00 [if you're a Foreigner] Pay Pal to or cash money to Stratu, PO Box 35, Marrickville NSW 2204, AUSTRALIA.

Hiroshima Yeah! #112 - June 2014

HY112 June 2014 HY112 p2

5 pages, 12" x 8.5", by Mark Ritchie and Gary Simmons >>> donbirnam [at] hotmail [dot] com

I've got some catching up to do with HY! - issues 113 and 114 are here screaming their paper screams for attention - so for now I'll simply say that HY! #112 Page 1 has the customary unique masthead followed by more singular, great poems from Mark; and Page 2 offers another enthralling and hilarious chapter from Gary on prison life [although I'm pretty sure he's out now, and free like a bird in a tree]. Also a gig, a book, a movie and album reviews from Mark [and one by Dan Susnara, a fellow who seems to be part of the 'Why-end-a-sentence-with-a-full-stop-when-you-can-end-it-with-an-exclamation-point!' movement], and another of his microfictions. This issue also has some zine reviews by Rob Hayler.

If you're somebody who goes out to the balcony to smoke a cigarette and read something, you will thank me later for recommending HY! as that something.

CADs Thanksgiving Poetry Special Nov 2013

One page, Clark Dissmeyer, 917 E 25th St. #5, Kearney NE 68847, USA

Best poetry I've read since Mark Ritchie's in the last issue of Hiroshima Yeah!

Write Clark a nice letter and he will send you something cool like this in the mail! Go on. Put it on your 'To Do' list right now.

Facebook Sucks! [Feb 2014]

Facebook Sucks Feb 2014

Two pages, Clark Dissmeyer, 917 E 25th St. #5, Kearney NE 68847, USA

Self-igniting iPhones; screaming amorous pigs; Heroin Happy Meals, and more similarly unusual and noteworthy news clippings, with an occasional comment from CAD.

[This is just one of Clark's many projects. He's mainly a cartoonist responsible for thousands of hilarious minicomics, that I need to post and write about here...]

Facebook Sucks! [Jan 2014]

Facebook Sucks Jan 2014

One page, Clark Dissmeyer, 917 E 25th St. #5, Kearney NE 68847, USA

The bookless library is coming to save our feet - "Books are heavy, if you've ever had one fall on your foot."

Unbelievably Bad #13 Hard Ons Special

UB Hard Ons Special UB 13 Hard Ons Blackie

68 pages, 11.5" x 8", $13.00, Von Helle, 9 Ross Street, Dulwich Hill NSW 2203, AUSTRALIA + unbelievablybad [at] optusnet [dot] com [dot] au

I've noticed something getting mentioned and discussed more often lately, and that is artists and musicians and other creative types and the fact that more often than not, they must support themselves by means other than playing in bands, or drawing comics or writing novels. A few weeks ago I read an interview with two guys from metal band Neurosis, and one of them [Steve Von Till] admitted that his 'day job' was a primary school teacher. Then a week later I read that a new music blog had launched - this blog (as I understood it... I need to go back and find out more about it...) focusses on what band members do outside their band lives, to make a living.

What the hell has all this got to do with the UB Hard Ons special that you're supposed to be reviewing, ya knob head? I hear you ask. Well, it is the fact that Hard Ons guitarist Blackie is also a taxi driver and back in May 2012 he was smashed in the back of the head with a skateboard by a 14-year-old girl while Blackie was attempting to subdue her 16-year-old boyfriend.

A novel I read recently contained a scene that took place between a forensic pathologist and a detective over the corpse of a man who died from head injuries. The pathologist explains that hits to the front and side and top of the head are one thing, but a hit to the back of the head, being closest to the cerebellum, is the most dangerous part of the skull when it comes to blunt trauma. So Blackie is very lucky to have survived, and to have recovered to the stage where he returned to playing guitar with The Hard Ons.

Back to the zine... There are multiple interviews with Blackie, Ray and Keish [and the 'new guys' Pete Kostic and Murray Ruse] conducted tag-team style by UB's Matt Reekie and Glenno; tons of Hard Ons flyer art; and an exclusive flexi-single ['Darth Vader Pretends']

This publication is so great. Hard Ons are a Sydney institution. Punk Rock Metal Legends.

If Von Helle hasn't already sent copies to the National Library of Australia and State Library of NSW for Legal Deposit, well here's a reminder.

Xerography Debt #35 - June 2014


68 pages, 8.5" x 5.5", $4.00, davida [at] leekinginc [dot] com +

Editor Davida kicks the new issue off with a three-and-a-half-page article on the evils of Amazon. Like Davida, I haven't bought books from Amazon for years either, but for different reasons. I wasn't aware of their "sick" practises, rather I found AbeBooks a better option postage-wise, but it looks like it could be a smart and conscientious idea for Amazon book-buying customers to switch to AbeBooks too. From Davida's piece: "Consumers now assume they have to buy from Amazon." Well, I would strongly urge them to try AbeBooks. [And a public thanks to my bibliophile friend Pete ["Professor Slippy"] who hipped me to Abe back in 2008!] ... One more item I will share from Davida's Amazon article is this link to 'Worse Than Wal-Mart: Amazon's sick brutality and secret history of ruthlessly intimidating workers'

In other columns - Joe Biel writes about elements of the zine community's misguided attack on AK Press and Microcosm; Gianni Simone gives an excerpt of his interview with Mail Art networker Ruud Janssen; Jeff Somers reveals his blogging activities (as well as a recent near death experience where he came within an inch of falling through a skylight); Josh Medsker interviews magazine publisher Justin 'Lovers and Other Strangers' Bacolo; new columnist Kari Tervo contributes her thoughts on the unique appeal and importance of Zinedom; Ken Bausert interviews Andria Alefhi (We'll Never Have Paris zine and co-host of Brooklyn's annual Pete's Mini Zine Fest); and [phew!] Kris Mininger interviews Ned Brooks (It Goes on the Shelf zine).

Then there are fifty pages of zine reviews by the usual gang plus new reviewer Andria Alefhi! ... Hey! Where have I heard that name before?

Last Night At The Casino #8

LNatC 8 July 2014 LNatC 8 July 2014 Louis

40 pages, 5.5" x 4", by Billy Roberts >>> iknowbilly [at] gmail [dot] com +

The only person I know who works at a casino also does a zine about it, and that's Billy, and this is the new issue of his zine, Last Night at the Casino. This time Billy teamed up with his friend Chris. For years they have been pen pals, sending each other letters and drawings and stuff through the mail. Billy really loves Chris's drawings so he had the idea to write short descriptions of some of the characters who come through the casino, and send them to Chris to draw them, not having any idea what these people actually look like, just working from the descriptions. Pretty cool. The result is a winner [Haw! Get it? Casino? Winner?]. Billy's right: Chris's drawings are really great, and Billy's descriptions are so funny. Example:

"Edna. She's short, in her 50s, with a face full of pock marks and scars. Her glasses are huge, and it's sort of tough to tell if she's male or female. Very nice, but never tips, so she can fuck off with her bad complexion and all. Rarely plays craps but when she does she'll play for 8 or 9 hours straight."

Next day... I finished reading this at work and when I saw the 'Karl' page I knew I had to add it...

LNatC 8 July 2014 Karl

The True Adventures of Jep Comix #4

Jep Comix 4 Jep Comix 4 Roger

32 pages, 8.5" x 5.5", jepcomix [at] gmail [dot] com +

Quick! Click on the sample page above. Like it? Good. There's also an email address. Don't dilly dally, rather email Jep at once and find out if there are any copies left because only 40 were made. Apparently they are only 35 cents each too!

If you're still not sure though, what you got here is a collection of autobio strips, some very short [one page], some longer, like the 10-page 'Roger' about a gay neighbour who had a crush on Jep but got upset when he found out Jep just got married, and Jep not being sure what to say, ends up saying, "I guess you're going to have to get over it." Haw! Sometimes you gotta be cruel to be kind, right?

That's the strongest thing in here. Others tend to be kind of rambling, like the high school conversation about religion class, and the one with the phone conversation with his little sister. Then there is one called 'Fake Bladder' with a character who looks like Lucy from Peanuts in a toilet cubicle who is accused of having a fake bladder by the girl in the next cubicle. What.

Nice print job and a good price at 35 cents, but these didn't really do it for me.


The Portable NMSD [Not My Small Diary]

TPNMSD cover TPNMSD Sam Spina p5of6

212 pages, 8.5" x 5.5", $7.50 + shipping [US $3.50; Canada $6.50], contact Delaine Derry Green >>> DELANGEL3 [at] hotmail [dot] com +

After 17 issues of Delaine's Not My Small Diary anthology, here's a real actual perfect bound book collection!

I arrived late to this party, sad to say, only coming in at issue 16. But that first introduction made a big impact on me. That issue had the theme 'Brushes With Celebrity' and included a strip by Box Brown about spotting Louis CK. Back then [May 2010] I didn't know who Louis CK was, and this strip inspired me to find out. ... And this is only from reading one issue of NMSD. I can only imagine how many other stories people fondly recall connected to Delaine's comics anthology.

With me, it's only the comics and zines I REALLY enjoy that I go to the trouble of circling things in and making marks and underlinings and comments, and this was one of them. [see scanned Contents page below.] I was reading TPNMSD on the bus to and from work and every time one of the strips really hit me in the guts, I drew a circle next to it in the Contents page. It's not a huge percentage of them [26%] but I was tough! ... Big shout out to Sam Spina! ... High fives to John Porcellino, Misun Oh, Ben Snakepit, Dave Kiersh, Julia Wertz, Max Clotfelter, Sarah Oleksyk, Alixopulos, Hellen Jo, De Kwok, Kevin Van Hyning, Donna Barr, Brad Dale, MariNaomi, Jeff Zenick, Kevin Friend, Adam Pasion, Carrie McNinch, Noah Van Sciver, Jess Smart Smiley, and Shawn Granton!

If you get one perfect bound diary comics anthology collection this year, make it this one.

TPNMSD contents



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