[16 pages, half digest, $? from Elle, GPO Box 4201, Melbourne VIC 3001, AUSTRALIA]
First of all, I wanna say that after reading Elle's zine, I can reveal that she's got enough attitude and spunk more than equal to an army of ziners. Holy shit, this one gets into it and then some. First of all, she writes about her trip to Brisbane, and her observations are savage. Example: "An entire city's restaurant culture permanently set to "Pancake Parlour" where drinks are proudly served in sundae glasses, and every menu boasts large, heavy bogan Anglo hot winter meals in a city who's winter is still summer." Or how about this one: "Girls, walking around with this season's winter fashion - winter boots and mini skirts. White trash." (That term bugs me though since reading Jim Goad's excellent 'Redneck Manifesto'. See, it's OK for well-off, educated whites to get upset when people call other ethnic groups niggers, beaners, gooks, kikes, ragheads, etc, or call gays faggots, sausage jockeys, lezzo's, etc. but on the other hand it's open season on 'white trash' - poor, uneducated whites who, uh, don't know how to dress in hipster clothes, or whatever.)
OK, moving right along. Elle attends a Brisbane zine fair and this is where things get real interesting and controversial. Elle visits Elouise at her Smells Like Zines distro and finds out that Elouise is selling duplicate copies of one of Elle's old zines, and Elle knew nothing about this. In the zine world, this kind of thing is uncool. Then Elouise reveals that some dude called Luke Bartolo had sent them to Elouise (I don't know who this guy is, but Elle does.) So Elle's put Luke's head on the chopping block too, but she isn't finished. The next section is about Microcosm, the US zine distro. "You cannot NOT acknowledge the political clusterfuck that Microcosm has become", writes Elle, and continues, "... the most objectionable thing aside all the personal stuff is that Microcosm were making duplicates of their zines in stock to sell on and obviously profit from." This is heavy shit, man. Is it true? Let's have some evidence, some corroboration please. I've ordered zines from Microcosm and got some of their catalogues, so my interest level in this is peaking. And what's the deal with Joe Biel? ("It surprised me that Jeremy was unreserved about connecting himself to Joe Biel," - Elle.) What has Joe Biel done? I wanna know. I want to hear from the defense as well as the prosecution. The whole zine ethos is, from what I've understood, we don't fuck each other, and we don't do it for the money. In fact, from my experience, we lose money, but we love it and the connections we make are far more important.
Elle's zine here really started sparks zapping in my brain, asking questions, really got me involved. You can't ask much more from a zine. But there's more to this and I wanna go deeper, get the story from all sides.
[Full disclosure: Elle works (volunteers?) at Sticky. She sends me packets of zines each month to review for the monthly e-newsletter. She's a pleasure to deal with, I love her attitude and passion, so reviewing this zine I've tried to distance myself as though it was from somebody I didn't know.]