Call for Art Submissions: Arospec Poetry Network

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The Arospec Poetry Network is seeking submissions from arospec visual artists to illustrate the second issue of its collective art/poetry zine “Don’t Talk To Me Of Love”.

This issue will center around the theme of freedom.

Artists have the choice between directly submitting original content related to this theme, or getting in touch with our members to work in closer relation and illustrate a particular piece of poetry.

We accept traditional art, digital art, photography, comics (1 to 2 pages), … You can always get in touch if you’re not sure whether you’re artwork would fit our zine.

All rights will remain with the artists. Since the zine is going to be a free publication, we cannot offer financial compensation. Submissions limited to three pieces at a time.

Due date for submissions is May 1st.
The zine should be released in June

You can contact us and/or send in your submissions per e-mail: meenilevi@gmail.com or through tumblr: @arospecpoetrynet.

Calling Zine Makers, Libraries, Distros, And the Like

I’m at the very beginning stages of working on a new zine project. As part of this, I would like to include A5/A6 spaces (maybe even A7, if that works for you) that feature things like:

*Zines that have a rolling call for submissions (even if your zine changes theme/topic from issue to issue, an overarching ‘flier’ for the whole series would be awesome)
*Zine distros – whether you want to say ‘check out my distro’, are looking for zines to sell in your distro, or both!
*Zine libraries – again, whether it’s a ‘check us out’, ‘looking for zine donations’, or both, I’d love to see it
*Zine people who want to be included in an ‘open to trades’ section. I’m thinking name, preferred contact (or your mailing addy, if that’s the way you roll), and a few likes/dislikes.

The key thing here is that things be ‘undated’ (hence sharing a zine series rather than one specific call for submissions) so things aren’t out of date before I get the chance to create the thing.

Ideally, I’d like things to be images with text on them because of the limited space involved (with the exception of the trades section, which will be text only). But I want to be flexible, too. This project is really in its early days, so I’m still figuring a lot out.

If you want to get involved straight away (please do!) then you can shoot me an email (theauthor at inkyblots.com)

Call for Submissions: True Trans Bike Rebel (Taking the Lane #15)

Taking the Lane #15 is called True Trans Bike Rebel, and we are looking for nonfiction writing about the experience of being transgender and bicycling. Submissions can be essays or reporting about bicycling, or other topics or stories in which bicycles play a part (or other human-powered transportation).

Submissions can be any length; word count between 500 and 2500 words is ideal for this format. Single-color illustrations and photos are also sought. Please submit your work as an attachment or link in an email to elly at taking the lane dot com. The deadline is July 1, 2017.

All contributors will be paid a share of the net profits from the Kickstarter project used to fund the zine.

Taking the Lane is a feminist bicycle zine published since 2010.

Zine Review: The Magic of Mail

The Magic of Mail: A Zine for Lovers & Learners
Mullein King – Monster Ducky Press
themonsterducky.com
themonsterducky@gmail.com

A zine about snail mail? Yes, please!

The Magic of Mail: A Zine for Lovers & Learners is all about the ins and outs of sending mail and how to be a good/better pen pal.

I started reading this zine somewhat expecting that I knew how it would go, so I was pretty impressed that not only was procrastination mentioned, but it was also mentioned in the beginning. I appreciate the dose of reality (we all get behind/lose motivation) and that it was mentioned so early.

I enjoyed the visual side to this zine a lot. The front and back covers are designed to look like envelopes, Mullein’s handwriting is clear, and there are a bunch of drawings inside that are all fun. There’s even a bit of lettering art in the form of various section titles and headers. They’re sort of an inspiration for upping your lettering skills without devoting a section specifically to lettering.

The Magic of Mail is a touch US-centric, but only with little things. A note about checking customs pages when sending internationally would have been a good touch, but at the same time, I’m mainly saying that because you shouldn’t send tea to Australia. Plus there are times when Mullein adds things like: “Addresses are written in this fashion in the USA…” All up, it’s not a hindrance, and it leaves the door open for a part two if Mullein wants to expand it into the international mail realm.

I definitely have to give points in regards to the ‘couldn’t be clearer’ table of contents and contact details right on the front inside cover. What I liked even more, though, is how Mullein has made the zine usable. In the back you will find a fun mail log and place to stick your used stamps.

I always love to see a zine someone has made out of love for that subject. This zine makes it obvious that Mullein really loves mail, and it’s nice to get a refresher on the ins and outs of snail mail even if you think it’s old hat.

Mini-Zine Review: Too Pretentious For Melbourne

Too Pretentious for Melbourne: How to Alienate a Community You’re Desperately Trying to Build
Sober Bob
IG: @soberbobmonthly
soberbobmonthly@gmail.com

I have heard the expression so much, but reading this zine title is the first time I’ve actually said, “Shots fired…”

Too Pretentious for Melbourne is a zine about Sober Bob’s recent journey to Melbourne and Festival of the Photocopier. In it, Bob shares thoughts about Melbourne the city as well as thoughts on FotP.

As much as the title and the first paragraph of this zine prepared me for some toasty hot flaming, I found myself very glad that Sober Bob took it back a bit to the prep for travel and the like rather than launching straight into critique. Not only does it make the whole ‘story’ complete, it reminds the reader that this isn’t some random, faceless rant; this is a real person sharing their experience.

I quite like Melbourne and was gearing myself up to defend it, as I wasn’t sure what to expect with this zine. I love to perve on a good flaming as much as the next person, but Melbourne? Alas, I found myself nodding along. Sober Bob definitely takes a few solid prods at the Victorian capital, but nothing that I think is unwarranted. Reading along, I was reminded of the town I live in: a place considered lovely but ever searching for more, different, shiny and so on ways to identify itself.

But what about FotP? What would Sober Bob say about that?

I felt more geared up to defend FotP than Melbourne itself, which may have been a touch more warranted, as Sober Bob is more direct with criticisms of the event. Again, I found myself nodding along. Some might argue that it’s semantics, but I looked at the things written as weaknesses for FotP rather than blatant ‘this is wrong’. I think Sober Bob made some very good points about tweaks that could be made for a more enjoyable experience for all. As much as there is frustration there, I think it came from a place of experience (as Sober Bob has participated in organising zine events).

Aesthetically, I really love this zine and want to see more like it. There are little notes, drawings, and doodles to go along with everything. While they refer to what is being written about in the main type, they are almost like bonus content within the zines. Director’s commentary, if you will.

For something that is a critical piece, I feel like this could be the beginning of a conversation – or comparing notes, at least. It’s a growl and a touch of rant, but I think it’s born of dashed expectations and the knowledge that things can be better. Melbourne… I don’t know what to do about Melbourne. But Festival of the Photocopier is experiencing growing pains. Commentary, even in zine form, can be taken on board to improve things for the future.

All up, this zine made me nervous at first, because any kind of conflict (even simply perceived) gives me anxiety. But I ended up getting right into what Sober Bob has written here and appreciate that making this zine means that at least Bob gives a damn.

*Apologies for using the Happy Mail picture to show the cover of the zine. I can’t seem to find anything today – neither the picture I already took of the zine alone nor the zine itself so I can take another picture. Grrrr.

Even Reviewers Get Reviewed

Yep, even reviewers get reviewed. Or maybe especially? Though Fishspit doesn’t seem to be taking any particular revenge on this reviewer. Enjoy Joe Fishpit’s review of Don’t Call Me Cupcake 7.

Don’t Call Me Cupcake #7 is like looking at a beautiful dark cloud that has a silver lining. I’m very fond of clouds, especially dark clouds, and i’m very fond of this zine.

Nyx is one weird goddamned chick . . . and she struggles mightily . . . but if she wasn’t so weird, and she didn’t suffer more than her share, we wouldn’t have such a delightful zine.

I have no ability to think or write linear, so let’s just pop around. Asimov! If you don’t adore cats, i’ve got no use for you. I find anything written about a person’s cat fascinating. Asimov went through the ringer. Nyx’s angst follows him through his trials. She includes pictures and that cat is one fine looking fellow. I’ve never met him so i can’t say for sure, but he looks delightfully stoic . . . with a touch of sorrow in in his huge eyes . . . maybe over man’s inhumanity to animals.

For the first time in a Cupcake Nyx includes some of her fiction . . . from an upcoming novel. Yes . . . this bluestocking writes novels too. It’s a schizo experience because her fiction voice is completely different than her zine voice. I guess that’s what makes her a true writer . . . one who can disengage from their usual voice. It’s good fiction! This surprised me! I assumed that Nyx wrote insipid, gomer type literature for over-sized lesbian broads that dress up as some sort of cross between Bigfoot and Sheena for their fantasy cons. I was wrong.

92 Truths is the stuff of strange humor by one that has had to laugh to keep from crying. On Manic Panic: you know when you are in the grocery store and there’s a cart sitting there . . . with a few things in it . . . but no one is around to claim it? That’s Nyx’s cart! She’s “gone baby gone!”

On I Don’t Love Myself – And That’s Okay: Even the little neurotic woman that lives in Nyx’s brain has a neurotic woman living in her brain! You’d want Nyx’s brain about as much as you’d want a case of leprosy. Check it out! Nyx is a pretty positive person for being a completely whacked out weirdo . . . and even this delve into the realms of negativity has weird twists into P.M.A. (positive mental attitude – like the Bad Brains song). Nyx is an absolute expert at overthinking things. You like a good ping pong match? You’ll love this article!

One of my fave parts of Cupcake is the Little Thoughts. Another bunch of bubbles of wonderful wit and crazy insight in this issue.

If you don’t order this zine you are robbing yourself the pleasure of looking into one of the most fascinating minds in the zine world. I guarantee you will dig this zine! If you don’t . . . well . . . “I pity the fool.”