68 pages, 8.5" x 5.5", $4.00, Davida Gypsy Breier, PO Box 347, Glen Arm MD 21057, USA + davida [at] leekinginc [dot] com + www.leekinginc.com
In her introduction, Davida gives us a history of her PO Boxes, from her first at a small town post office in northern Maryland [where she received one of her all-time favourite pieces of correspondence - a paper cut-out inserted in a plastic bottle, mailed with a few stamps on it], through the problematic Baltimore City period [PO Box 21212], up to present day in Glen Arm, Maryland. This post office was tiny - it was love at first sight. Second visit they even recognised her before she said anything! A stark comparison with the former 21212, where even after ten years she was still asked to show ID. ... A terrific Introduction for us PO box-renting die-hards, then it's on with the rest of the show...
This issue welcomes new reviewer David LaBounty [The Vellum Underground and The First Line.] Welcome aboard! We look forward to your mandatory Watch the Closing Doors/Brooklyn! reviews!
Another lineup change this issue - William P. Tandy is warming the bench, however I note that last issue he only contributed one review, so perhaps he simply needs to re-charge the ol' batteries.
Yet another noteworthy development in #38 - in her column 'Where Are They Now?', a snowed-in Davida found herself wondering what happened to people she used to trade zines with. One of those was TR Miller, a '90s-era cartoonist with an almost too-weird-to-be-true innocent, naive, hopeful style of single panel cartoons. Yet nobody seemed to know anything about this person. But one zinester did manage to interview TR Miller, only for it to come out as mocking and disrespectful. After that, Miller vanished. Davida decided to see if she could make contact with the elusive one. And she did! [Don't for a split second think I'm gonna spoil the ending to this story here! Buy your own copy! You can't Google it! Haw!]
There are more terrific columns here too! Gianni Simone interviews Cool Japan Guide author Abby Denson; Jeff Somers explains why he stopped publishing his zine; Joe Biel writes about living and publishing with Asperger's [sort of...half of it is about the twenty-year History of Microscosm he has been writing]; Josh Medsker interviews Mike Diana; and Ken Bausert reveals how he recycles zines he no longer wants. I know a little about that too! It ain't easy! [You can bet I was taking notes throughout Ken's column!]
Then follows over 120 reviews! I've already circled the ones I'm gonna send away for!
One final thing I'm going to comment on, at the risk of seeming like a big meanie... DJ Frederick in one of his reviews criticises the overuse of the word "awesome". Well, one of XD's reviewers in this very issue would appear to be guilty of a similar crime! Carlos Palacios seems to be obsessed with 'the perfect fit'! Here are examples from 3 of his 6 reviews: review of Philistines Vol 1 - "...nice cut and past work that fits perfect with the old school vibe..."; review of Phantom Billstickers Cafe Reader Vol 5 - "...nice photo work that fits perfectly with the words."; review of Mad House Jump - "...a very old-school vibe going on and that just fits perfect with the style of music..." I was on the bus reading all this and thought it was funny enough that I grabbed my pencil out of my bag and circled and underlined it all. That's why I had to mention it! I'm not a big meanie after all! It's just that I'm on the Autism Spectrum!
P.S. Comment from Davida: "Carlos speaks and writes at least three languages and English is not his native tongue. He gets props from me, as does Gianni, for his language skills."
Reply from me: "Davida, understood. It's not the same thing as overusing the word "awesome". ... I can only speak/write/read one language! Props to Carlos and Gianni from me too!"