blackguard23 (blackguard23) wrote,

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Orga{ni}sm #3 / Call & Response #3 split

How wonderful it was to recently learn about Gianni Simone's zines Orga{ni}sm and Call & Response (thanks to Xerography Debt!). In 1992 Gianni moved from Italy to Japan and has been living there ever since. He is a language teacher, teaching Italian to the Japanese. In 2004 he started up a zine, or two zines (not sure which came first since both are at #3) as a means to share his experiences and opinions of life in Japan. Gianni generously sent me Orga{ni}sm #1 and 2 plus the split Orga{ni}sm #3/Call & Response #3. His covers are very nice, with obvious handmade touches. When I was reading one on the bus I had people giving me curious and envious looks. All they had was a crummy iPod. Inside I read about Gianni's history and explanation of how he came to move to Japan, as well as his involvement with *mail art*. He rides an old streetcar line and documents the journey. Elsewhere he writes about food, like that available at Techno Sushi, a sushi restaurant where they blast deafening techno music to make you eat fast and leave quickly, and Strictly Ramen, a ramen joint ruled by the iron fist of Tokyo's answer to Seinfeld's Soup Nazi. On the grimmer side, his split zine focusses on prison and state-organised punishment of all kinds. Most fascinating in this issue was the details about life in a Japanese prison and the accompanying illustrations by Kazuichi Hanawa, a manga artist who spent time in prison and drew a manga about it. The zine also contains contributions from actual prisoners.
All three zines are fantastic and highly recommended.  [Email Gianni at to order copies, he is up for selective trades.]
Tags: call & response, gianni simone, organism, reviews

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