68 pages, 8.5" x 5.5", $4.00, davida [at] leekinginc [dot] com + www.leekinginc.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?
- Current Music:The Contortionist - 'Exoplanet I: Egress'
40 pages, 5.5" x 4", by Billy Roberts >>> iknowbilly [at] gmail [dot] com + bunnyears.bandcamp.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...
- Current Music:The Contortionist - 'Flourish'
32 pages, 8.5" x 5.5", jepcomix [at] gmail [dot] com + www.misterjep.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.
- Current Music:Mencea - 'Pyrophoric'
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 + mysmallwebpage.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.
- Current Music:Persefone - 'The Endless Path'
68 pages, 11.5" x 8.5", $8.00 from Von Helle, 9 Ross Street, Dulwich Hill NSW 2203, AUSTRALIA + unbelievablybad [at] optusnet [dot] com [dot] au
Unbelievably Bad is damn slick. Not slick in the bad way but in the good way. Nice layout, quality paper, properly printed (and perfect bound!) and it's even got ads! Not annoying ads but ads that match the content. UB is like a proper magazine full of the kinds of music and people and writing that you would never find in a magazine available at newsagents. The only other magazines I can think of similar to it are Dudes Magazine and Razorcake.
As usual, the new issue is chockas full of great stuff. First of all I must mention the interview with Drew Gates [conducted by Glenno Smith]. Drew has written about six novels but I've only read his most recent one, Electric Spaghetti. It was so great I need to read all his others as soon as possible! Why hadn't I heard about this bloke before anyway?! No doubt I had my head stuck in a fascinating hole in the ground all these years!
Also in this issue: a page devoted to rock stars with missing body parts; Sydney hardcore band Hostile Objects answer 20 questions; Slugfuckers; part 12 of the never-ending interview with Herschell Gordon Lewis; Matt 'Skitz' Sanders; Fed X; a long interview with Bobby BeauSoleil; Loki Lockwood; something about GG Allin or a GG Allin cover band... okay I haven't read up to this part yet, I need to come back and add some stuff to this for sure...
- Current Music:Decembre Noir - 'Thorns'
5 pages, 12" x 8.5". The Usual, contact HY! at donbirnam [at] hotmail [dot] com
The first thing I do now when I receive a new issue of HY! is circle my favourite poems. Here's one of them:
I see them pushing their prams
and I don't think
those are the future scientists,
instead I think
those are the future junkies,
The sun shines down
Isn't it funny how doom and bleakness and negativity can inspire positive, relaxing, calming, even joyous feelings in some of us? Of course, it usually seems to work that way with those who have been through Hell. You know, they may have been frozen at the bottom of the lake, or chased around the neighbourhood by that black fucking dog. Some of us, nah really, not shitting ya, don't drink beer for the taste but for the medicinal benefits! ... Example!: Two boxes of beer, different brands, same price, but one is 4.6% alc/vol and the other is 5%. Which one do you choose? Eh? Eh? Some would scratch their head, rub their chin, and carefully weigh up the differences, but not me. It's 5 per cent, baby!
What does this all mean anyway in relation to Hiroshima Yeah!? Well, I may be wrong, although I doubt it, but I believe Mark and Gary would go for 5%.
- Current Music:Summoning - 'Of Pale White Morn'
28 pages, 11.5" x 8.5", by Leon >>> leon2640 [at] yahoo [dot] com for ordering info
It has taken me bloody ages to get around to this. What a slack shit! I even had a text message back-and-forth with Leon where he told me how to get a copy, but that must have been on my previous phone which no longer works because the fucking touchscreen will not recognise TOUCH. [Unrequited. *Blub!*]
Anyway, first of all, that cover could easily mislead you into the assumption that this zine is a collection of cosplay photos, and wouldn't that be wonderful! To have such a zine! It really would, but this is not that. Rather, it is a collection of interviews Leon conducted with three people - filmmaker Charles Nauman; artist and avant garde composer Peter Tyndall; and first-wave Aussie punker John Murphy.
- Current Music:Coprofago - 'The Inborn Mechanics'
28 pages, 8.5" x 6", by Curt Sibling, for ordering info contact >>> kurtzibling at yahoo dot co dot uk
[Megathanks to Shaun Craike for sending me this comic by one of his DeviantArt friends. Shaun even included a copy of the BABYMETAL CD album, which turns out to be the ideal soundtrack for MM! Thanks Shaun!]
"Welcome to Megaskank Manor! Home of the total spoiled brat and necromantic sorceress, Foxxxy! Not to mention her entourage of fangirl sockpuppets and zombie slaves!" With this introduction/warning we're blasted right into the midst of violent, sexy and foul-mouthed Foxxy and her pals. [The snappy trash talk could have been written by Ryan Vella.] Those who are easily offended are well-catered for, with every second panel at least. ... The art is great, and here and there strikingly reminiscent of local comix hotshots Anton Emdin and RossTesoriero. And am I imagining it or is Archie Comics a big influence on Sibling's drawings of girls? ... J Pop Culture fans will dig this too. Example: One of Foxxxy's fangirl pals is Dungarella : Hardliner Weeaboo. I couldn't describe this phenomenon better than Urban Dictionary has:
"Weeaboo: Someone who is obsessed with Japan/Japanese Culture/Anime, etc. and attempts to act as if they were Japanese, even though they're far from it. They use Japanese words but usually end up pronouncing them wrong and sounding like total assholes."Megaskank Mansion is funny and deranged in the most perfect way. Highly recommended!
- Current Music:BABYMETAL - 'BABYMETAL DEATH'