May 24th, 2015

The Vellum Underground #1



28 pages, 8" x 5.5", free! just ask for a copy, David LaBounty, PO Box 250382, Plano TX 75025-0382, USA + info [at] thevellumunderground.com

Some terrific writing in here about zines including Zine World [and the passing of], V. Vale's [RE/Search] ZINES!, and David's transformation from a "review zine snob" into somebody who drops everything to read the latest issue of Zine World. There's also David's thoroughly absorbing account of his 'writing life' - when he started, University experiences, first sale of a poem, his friend Jeff Adams [editor of Equipment World, "a glossy publication about the construction industry"], his discovery and obsession with 'Father of Children's Literature' John Newbery, and reading Yates, Keats and Byron, and in particular, Byron's Don Juan which contains this wonderful stanza:

But 'why then publish?- There are no
      rewards,
Of fame or profit when ther world grows
    weary.
I ask in turn, - Why do you play at cards?
    Why drink? Why read? - To make
      some hour less dreary.
It occupies me to turn back regards
  on what I've seen or ponder'd, sad or
    cheery;
And what I write I cast upon the stream,
To swim or sink - I have had at least my
      dream.


David also writes about his discovery of Kathy Moseley's zine SemiBold - "...this 16-page perzine blew me away. ... After reading it, I realized that this was what zining was about. You put everything out there and it doesn't matter if no one reads it or if a thousand people read it." This is followed by a piece written by Kathy about how she came to publish SemiBold, and sending the first issue to Factsheet 5, hoping for a review. Not only was it reviewed, but it was in the EDITOR'S CHOICE section!

Great zine. Write for your copy now!

Extra Mild Comix #2 [May 2015]



20 pages, 11.5" x 8", $5.00, comix trades welcome, David Puckeridge, PO Box 491, Freshwater NSW 2096, AUSTRALIA

Specially prepared for the May 2015 Other Worlds zine fair, it's Extra Mild Comix #2! Featuring a violent, toad-licking David Attensnooze; cooking with Jamie O'Liver, Nigelly Lawson and Heston BlueCheese; 'Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions for Posties' [This three-pager contains real actual questions asked by people on David's postal run. Example: "Do you know what time the bus comes?"]; 'The Madprentice' with Donald Trump; new TV sit-com 'The Prawns'; and a bunch of David's fake ads, two of which are for Bunnings, which lead me to suspect that David must be a regular at these aircraft-hangar sized hardware megastores.

Les Carnets de Rastapopoulos #10 [March 2015]



20 pages, 8.5" x 7", free upon request, Rob, Les Carnets de Rastapopoulos, 2-7 Larch Street, Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA K1R 6W4

Rob's tenth issue [his first issue was born twenty years ago!] is a 'best of' collection, "...a collection of excerpts, short stories, and sketches from the first ten issues." These include a piece on Czech pop queen Hana Zagorova [one source for information on Hana turned out to be Cyndi Lauper's website - Cyndi was also a big fan!]; 'Welcome to Rockall', about the tiny island in the North Atlantic Ocean; this is followed by 'My Choice of Favourite Hard to Get To Islands' [including Starbuck Island, which due to being a young fan of the TV series Battlestar Galactica, became the favourite make-believe place for Rob and his friends. Starbuck Island has been described as "a deserted island surrounded by hordes of stingrays and sharks"]; 'bad girl of Czech pop music' Jana Kratochvilova; Pope Alexander VI [1431-1503] "...he shunned modesty and discretion, revelling in gold, women, and murder"; 'Excentric? Or just Wierd?' about Royal Astronomer George Biddell Airy. ... I also really liked what Rob wrote on his last page... "Participating in zine culture is like being in a secret society. Rarely do you meet ordinary people who know what a zine is, nor are you able to point out a zinester in a crowd."

[Note: It's rare indeed to meet those you trade zines with, especially if you live on different continents, but that's exactly what happened yesterday at Sydney's Other Worlds zine fair at Glebe Town Hall. Rob had emailed me about six weeks earlier to say he would coincidentally be in town at the same time our May zine fairs are held [MCA and Other Worlds] and would I be attending? I told him me and my comix zine friends would have a table at Other Worlds, and sure enough Rob dropped by to say hello and to buy and trade some comix and zines! It was good to meet him. We compared our respective zine scenes - according to Rob, ours is much healthier and vibrant than that of Canada. And on a more personal note, Rob assured me that people out there in the world do actually read and appreciate these comix and zine reviews I post up here at Blackguard! [Sometimes it sure does seem otherwise!] Thanks Rob, and it was a pleasure to meet you!]