40 pages, magazine size, $6.00 Aust/$8.00 World, by Chris Mikul, PO Box K546, Haymarket NSW 1240, AUSTRALIA + cathob [at] zip.com.au
I don't think I've written about how I discovered Chris Mikul and his wonderful Bizarrism zine. It was 1995 or 1996 and I was working for a pathology company, driving around picking up blood and urine samples from medical centres and nursing homes. One day as I was driving around in the company's hatchback loaded with bodily fluids and listening to JJJ, Chris was interviewed. He was talking about eccentric Sydney characters and it was so fascinating, then the DJ asked him to let the listeners know how to order a copy of his zine. I screeched hard over to the side of the road, grabbed a pen and wrote down the info and when I got home dashed off a note with five bucks, and the rest is history.
This new issue is great as usual, this time around featuring articles about stigmatic Padre Pio; the Grainger Museum at the University of Melbourne (Percy Grainger [1882-1961] was a prodigiously talented pianist, composer, and confirmed sado-masochist); a terrific piece on the history of the Hare Krishnas; vagina tattooist Roderick Mackenzie; 'My Favourite Dictators No. 6 : Mussolini'. ... These days people think they can Google anything to find info, no need to hunt down books, or go out of one's way for research, but that ain't so. As Chris writes about his Mussolini quest: "I thought researching a figure as famous as Mussolini would be a doddle, but this turned out not to be the case..." He ended up reading four books to collect material for his article. And that's another cool thing about Bizarrism - every issue ends with a bibliography of sources for each piece.
If you're not hip to Bizarrism yet, now is the time. One of my Top Five Zines.