Is it weird to review a review zine? Am I going to poke a hole in the universe if I post this?
Last year, I was thinking about bundling up all my reviews into a zine review zine. Rather than jump right in, I decided to have a look around and see what, if anything, other people were doing with the idea. Let’s just say that when I came across ‘Xerography Debt’, I thought: Well, they have it covered.
Xerography Debt is amazing. I’ll put it right here toward the beginning of the review because that pretty much sums it up.
Aesthetically, I love this issue. The art is fantastic, the colours, and even the font of the words on the cover drew me in. They use great paper, a clear and readable font, and it’s one of those nice, thick zines that you know you’ll get to spend a lot of time with.
I usually don’t mention layouts, but this one bears mentioning. The inside cover has not only contact details but also lists out the whole Xerography Debt team, the table of contents, and breaks down the reviews into individual reviewer sections. Have I mentioned that they have 15 reviews on the team? Wowza. And an index in the back.
Even more, they have a “Basic stuff you should know” in the back in case this is your first issue of Xerography Debt.
This is where I start doodling ‘Nyx loves XD’ in my zine notebook.
As you would expect to see inside Xerography Debt, there are zine reviews. They tend to be on the shorter and sweeter side of things – at least, compared to my prattling on, they certainly are. Having a team of reviewers makes things even more interesting with the differing tastes and reviewing styles.
What gives the content that ‘frosting on top’ is that there are columns in there as well! There’s a perzine quality inserted into this review zine with columns that range from an interview to PO Box Withdrawal. I absolutely dug right in and loved the columns so much. I learned so much! For instance, I was reading one column that talked about amateur press associations. I lost hours researching APAs.
Backtracking a little to the first piece – the introduction – Davida beautifully states why it can still be a zine even if it has an ISBN:
[Zinesters] all try and stretch the boundaries of what can be done with photocopies and staples, but if what we have to say can’t be stapled, moving to book format makes perfect sense.
Boom. Done. Drop mic. There you go.
I must admit that letting myself loose with a zine that gave me even more zines to try to get my hands on might not have been the best idea, but I’m still glad I did it. Because zines. (Of course, now I have to get my hands on all the copies of this series…)
Do yourself a favour and grab an issue of Xerography Debt.