Zine Review: Proof I Exist #20

Proof I Exist #20: “Why I’m in a band.”
Billy
iknowbilly@gmail.com
www.iknowbilly.etsy.com

Proof I Exist #20 is a black and white mini-zine about the love of music and being in a band.

High school band is as close as I ever got to playing music with other people, so to say I am not familiar with starting a band or band dynamics is an understatement. I was a little unsure as to whether this zine would be for me, but I shouldn’t have worried about a zine by Billy.

Billy throws you right into the story from page one with no intros, no table of contents, nada. He starts straight off with a high energy beginning reminiscent of a movie with the words, “The year was 1996, and I was just on the verge of discovering music.”

That energy is carried through the whole zine, mixing with nostalgia and a bit of regret along the way. Billy’s love of being in bands is practically palpable as you read. I could go on and on, but I really don’t want to spoil what this zine has in store for you if you pick it up.

This line really said it all for me:

“I began to realize that bands are not much different than relationships.”

Billy focuses on the story rather than pictures while still keeping to the cut and paste aesthetic. The words are typed and cut out in white strips that stand out starkly against the black background.

This is a gorgeous little zine full of love both past and present for bands and music. Even if you’re like me and not within that sort of world sphere, check it out anyway just because it’s fun.

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HELLO August!

It’s August already. Wowza.

I feel like I said something similar at the start of July, but the last four-ish weeks really take the cake for wooshing by.

And it doesn’t look like it’ll stop anytime soon. But before I get carried away…

I hope everyone had a lovely International Zine Month 2017! What a rush! I think I actually made it every day this year. Even if some of those were sort of cop outs due to various circumstances. Still, I’m pretty happy with the way things went, even despite the personal stress times and the fact I didn’t quite get to making a 24 hour zine.

The one-page mini sort of counts, right?

A few people asked about the zinester trading cards where I showed off the one featuring my sassy snap. I will be getting in touch with the person who makes them (Billy da Bunny) to find out if they are still a happening thing or whether they could happen again should the interest be there.

I think that’s all for IZM. Thank you for everyone who traded with me and everyone who jumped in for the giveaways. I wish I could have offered more, and I look forward to doing more things like that in the future.

What’s this? You’ll have to come back on Monday to check out the Happy Mail Monday post to find out…

Things will both settle down and not quite settle down here on SGZ this month. I definitely won’t be posting every day. That really took the wind out of me, plus, this move I keep babbling on about is coming up! There’s been a delay (of the yucky, legal, I don’t want to deal with it, why are big companies bullies kind) which means I’m 99% sure that I won’t be rocking into my forever home until September.

Disappointing, yes, but I’m digging the extra time I have to sort everything out.

Unfortunately, that does mean a delay in getting my new, shiny post box address. I’m going to put my current address in Don’t Call Me Cupcake 8 so I can get that going sooner rather than later. I’m still tossing up on whether to wait for the PO box to launch Paper Currency or to just launch and hope there’s some water in that pool to belly flop on.

Thoughts and opinions welcome.

While you’re waiting, if you want to get a sneak peek at the super amazingly awesome and spectacular cover for Paper Currency, my patrons on Patreon have already had a peek. *gasp!*

(1. Yeah, I already feel a little weird tossing out my Patreon like that. It feels weird. 2. I really do love the cover of Paper Currency, but I hope my enthusiasm doesn’t now make you think it’s going to be as colourful or all over the place as a bucket of unicorn poo.)

I’m a bit bouncy all over the place today at the moment, so I am going to leave things there and calm down a bit. It has been the most all over the place start to a month yet this year (and May started with my doc being convinced I had lupus – which I don’t have), so yeah. Back to the swing of things. I’m sure there’ll be plenty of news I’ve forgotten to tell you that I’ll be sharing soon!

Happy Mail Monday: Pin Rich Edition

It’s Happy Mail Monday when I celebrate and say thank to those who have spread a little sunshine in my postbox and my life.

My wonderful friend Billy from the States sent me a postcard update about things. He was playing with the idea of moving Down Under, but alas, he remains Up Over. I wonder how many people had a laugh like I did when they saw the alien. So cute.

Comedy is in the air with a cheeky Bush postcard from Erica D that made me laugh. Erica was giving me a heads up about her new address and reminded me that I’ll need to whip up a few ‘new address’ cards soon!

Shit’s Fucked completely surprised me with an envelope of zine goodness. They even sent me a couple of pins for my rapidly growing pin collection. I’m getting pin rich! Hehe.

Fun Fact: I first heard about Shit’s Fucked on It’s Pronounced Zine – a podcast I highly recommend.

Butts 4 life!

Many, many thanks to Billy, Erica, and Shit’s Fucked for making my post box and my life a brighter place. Nothing makes me happy like mail does, and I appreciate everything that comes my way.

That’s it for me for now. I’ll be back later with IZM Day 3!

Happy Mail: Pins and Keychains Edition

Happy Mail!

Yesterday was one heck of a day, so today we have happy mail on Tuesday. And oh the happy mail!

Isn’t this envelope amazing?! Emma from Puddleside Musings impressed everyone who saw it with this gorgeous envelope.

The lady at the post office handed it over to me very slowly (as she stared at it), and we both admired it right there at the counter for a while. 😀 So gorgeous. I think I am going to be relaxing with some colouring tonight.

Inside the gorgeous envelope came some lovely bits and bobs – and a postcard I can colour! – out of Flow magazine. Squee! The 30-Day Notebook is a question-a-day booklet that asks about goals and dreams. Definitely welcome timing given all I want to accomplish next month!

Take a look at this! It’s a pop up page like the books you used to read in school. The quote is so working for me in so many ways, but the writer’s theme is lovely too as I try (repeatedly) to scratch out the beginning chapters of my next novel!

Thank you so, so much Emma! Your timing and the smiles you’ve given me are more well timed than I can say right now.

The Life and Times of Billy Roberts! I’m pretty sure I say this every time I get a new issue of this, but I think more people should do this! It’s the family Christmas letter without the Christmas and, well, the boring bits. I adore that Billy does this and am so sad to hear that this series is soon coming to an end. Get in contact with Billy and get your hands on them while you can!

Oooo, I have been eagerly awaiting this package for a while now! Happy mail from Fishspit! There are so many cute goodies – including Fishspits very first collab zine with Dystatic!

Fishspit once again proves that he simply cannot resist sending things in plain envelopes. Simply not done! I save all of Fishspit’s envelopes and take them out to look at sometimes.

A close up in case you were wondering what it said.

How cute is this cat keychain?! I nearly forgot to take a picture of it because I stuck it on my house keys straight away. The little bell jingles louder than you would thing. As for the little plate that says Memory… Well, I think I’ll leave that as an inside joke. 😉 So cute!

Four pins! I am slowly but surely creating a collection of pins, and look at these new additions! I love that he’s taken the art from one of his zines and made it his zine icon – and then turned that into a button! (I really need to get a button machine.)

Last but definitely not least, the next issue of Wiseblood. It still boggles my mind that Fishspit has been making zines longer than I’ve been alive. May I be the mind-boggler to some young zinemaker someday!

***

Thank you with absolutely all of my heart to those who send me mail. You brighten my little world bubble more than I could ever properly express with words.

That’s all for me today. I hope everyone has had a great start to the week, and if you haven’t, that it gets better in a hurry!

Zine Review: Proof I Exist 22: International Zine Month

Proof I Exist 22: International Zine Month
Billy McCall
iknowbilly@gmail.com

International Zine Month is July, which means it’s coming up fast!

Proof I Exist 22 is about International Zine Month 2015 and the love of all things zine. If you’re not familiar, IZM has an ‘activity a day’ list created by Alex Wrekk (http://www.stolensharpierevolution.org/international-zine-month/) to go along with it, and Billy made a zine to document his progress.

You all know I’m always going to read a zine about zines, and adding in the perzine side of things is like hitting the zine jackpot for me. Talk about enjoyable and inspiring. As Billy himself says, this is a zine nerd’s zine, and I am all over that.

As much as I like that Billy made an IZM zine, I like that he didn’t make a zine of the prompts alone. He includes things like the zines he writes, the story of his first zine, and other things mixed in with the prompts. It makes the zine-y goodness that much better – plus I really enjoyed reading Billy’s story about his very first zine.

Aesthetically this zine is a bit different with the half-fold running vertically instead of horizontally. I found it interesting how one small choice could make it seem to different.

A fun sneaky little surprise in this zine is the mini-zine you find tucked inside. Have I mentioned that Billy called this a zine nerd’s zine? Because he’s not only embraced that but takes it to all kinds of fun levels.

As you may have guessed at this point, I love this zine and would love to see many more people celebrate International Zine Month in the same way.

Happy Mail Monday – Zine Book Edition

I’ll be frank with you all: I had a bit of a crappy weekend. I didn’t feel well, and I got downright grumpy about it. But with the sun (kind of) shining, and happy mail in my hands, everything is starting to look up.

Billy da Bunny! I think I’ve mentioned already how much I love these little newsletter-esque zines with a few life updates inside. They’re so fun, and I wish more people would make them. Billy is the generous sort who simply added me to the mailing list as a surprise. ^_^

This one wasn’t a surprise but was still absolutely just as lovely to receive. The newest edition of Make a Zine! Joe Biel asked for thoughts on zine community in one of the zine groups I’m in. Little did I know that contributing to the conversation could mean contributing to the book. Thanks so much for the copy!

Not only that; Joe also included a lovely card of thanks for what I do here at Sea Green Zines that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. It’s all too easy to forget that I’m not plugging away here in complete isolation.

A huge thanks to all the wonderful people who have sent me mail and do send me mail. I keep the mail from the past to go through on my down days, and incoming mail often means more than simple joy to me. I appreciate you all.

**Special Note: I am fully aware that Microcosm Publishing and, specifically, Joe Biel, are subjects of contention amongst some in the zine community. If people want a post on my thoughts about the whole thing, I can do that. If not, I’ll leave it at this: I absolutely adore zines and all they can do for people. I ‘raise my flag’ or ‘throw in my lot’ with no one and nothing but the actual zines. I am a coward in the truest sense when it comes to any sort of conflict, and all I ever want to do is hold zines close and hope the rest sorts itself out. I hope that no one thinks less of me for it, but I understand if you do.

Zine Review: The Life and Times of Billy Roberts Issue 78

billy-happy-mail

The Life and Times of Billy Roberts Issue 78
Billy
www.iknowbilly.etsy.com

The Life and Times of Billy Roberts Issue 78 is a single piece of paper folded in half to create four pages. It’s a reminder that zines don’t have to be gloss and colour, thick, thin, or any one thing. I find myself wishing that all my friends would create little life update zines like these so I could keep up with their lives when we can’t catch up otherwise.

Right away I could feel Billy’s depressed mood through his words. “I’ve already written 3 versions of this newsletter and thrown them all away” isn’t a good sign. In this zine, Billy talks about the US election, dealing with full-blown depression, and finding some good things in amongst the doom and gloom. It’s a zine-ified version of a letter from a friend. Even if you aren’t friends with Billy, I feel like you could get that sort of feeling from this zine nonetheless.

It’s hard to read about the hard times anyone is going through – friend or stranger. My heart went out to Billy, especially talking about not being able to do much more than stay still and watch television most days. I think that’s what makes it even more special that Billy is able to still talk about some happy things happening despite all the weight of depression.

If you’ve read my reviews for a while now, you know one thing that niggles me is no contact details. When the creator leaves the reader to hunt down further reading. I’m almost willing to ignore it on this one because it might be something ‘just for friends’ anyway, but you still never know where your little creations may go, so…

This is a zine I’m keeping not just for the reasons I like it but because it’s like keeping a letter from a penpal. It’s a zine that shows how much zines can connect people and remind us that we are all people dealing with our own struggles.