Zine Review: Catzine 2

Catzine 2
Fafa Jaepelt & Others
https://www.instagram.com/fafapelts/
https://www.instagram.com/catarinacomixfestival/

Catzine 2 is an A5 black and white comic zine featuring cats!

Also, it’s in Portuguese.

Despite me not knowing a word of Portuguese, Henry and Fafa were kind enough to send me Catzine 1, and I absolutely loved it. Lo and behold, here is Catzine 2, and I am loving it even more! (Though if there is a Catzine 3, I think I should start learning Portuguese, yes?)

I’ve enjoyed making a little game of ‘what does it actually mean’ in which I look at a comic, guess what it’s about, and then translate the words to see if I’m right. I did pause once, though, and laughed at the whole delay involved in getting to the punchline when you have to type each bit into Google translate.

The comic wasn’t all laughs, however. There is one comic about being in the moment with those you love while they are around that really broke my heart. The art was so good that I didn’t need translate all that much to understand the story.

Like with Catzine 1, the art is fantastic. I love the variety, but I also noticed more of Fafa’s art involved, which is absolutely good by me. I also liked the little touches like printing on cream paper instead of white and vellum acting as an inner cover.

When you love something, you love something, and I love cats. I hope Catzine 3 exists or is on its way. If you love cats, check out this zine.

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200th Zine Review Celebration Awards: I Read a Zine, And I Liked It

Wonderful, beloved zine friends. I’m so happy to be creating this post.

It’s that time again – a time that probably isn’t familiar to a lot of you. When I reached my 100th review in May 2016, I felt inspired by the Golden Stapler Awards and celebrated by awarding zines with titles like ‘best binding’ and ‘funniest zine’.

(100th Zine Review Celebration Awards: All You Need is Zine Love)

I hit my 200th zine reviewed a few months ago, but with everything that was going on, I wasn’t able to get to things until now. I still wasn’t sure whether I would do this, but I do love sharing my zine enthusiasm and celebrating fun and cool zines.

Things to remember:

1. My apologies for any less than stellar photos.
2. This is only meant to be a bit of fun.
3. Zines often fit into more than one category. How they were sorted is all on me.
4. Keep in mind these are limited to the second lot of 100 zines I’ve reviewed – roughly from May 2016 to July 2017. You can find the whole list: Zine Review Index
5. Picking out the ‘best’ stinks. I love them all!

Let’s do this.

(I’m putting everything after a more tag because there are a lot of images.)

Read More »

#ZineWriMo Day 20 – Try a New Genre

Hello, zine friends, and happy start to the coming week (if Monday is your Monday, which it’s likely not, so I don’t know where to end this mid-sentence sidenote…). Today for ZineWriMo, we have the challenge of trying out a new genre.

Genres in zinedom are a little looser, a little less defined than in the literary world – but that’s what makes it fun, right? In general, though, there are a few (listed in no particular order):

*Your usual literary genres for fiction writing: fantasy, sci-fi, etc
*Poetry zine
*Comic
*Collab zines – zines containing pieces from multiple people
*Info/Educational zines
*Perzine – a personal, memoir or biography style zine
*Fanzine – a zine all about that thing/person/band/movie/game/etc you love
*Politizine – a politically oriented zine
*Music Scene Zine

So on and so forth. There are heaps of different takes, mixing and matching, and the like.

I was a bit stumped for this one for a while. I make a perzine, and collab zine, and have made info zines. Poetry, any sort of artistry, politics, and music all fall under this hazy veil for me, so I didn’t know what to make that was outside familiar territory.

Then it occurred to me…

Fanzine! I’ve never made a fanzine before, and I just so happened to make the cover for this one just yesterday. Haha. Go figure.

I’m a planner, so I’ve been scribbling down various notes and things for how I want to structure my fanzine and what information I would like to include in it. I’m very excited all over again to tear apart and examine a show I really love.

How did you go with today’s task? Did you try a new genre? Let me know about it in the comments!

Zine Review: Taking Up Space

Taking Up Space
Holly Casio
www.coolschmool.com

Taking Up Space is a black and white mini-zine comic about taking up space with your body.

This zine is so sweet and sad at the same time. As someone who takes up a considerable amount of space, I identified a lot with how uncomfortable it can be. It’s not only physically uncomfortable to try to make myself smaller for other people and their perceived expectations, but it’s mentally uncomfortable, too.

I like Holly’s art style. It’s soft and fun – perfectly suited to the zine and its message without taking away from it.

The comic ended on a lovely, fun note that left me feeling good about a subject that it’s all too easy to feel upset about. In few words and fewer panels, I felt empowered to give the world the metaphorical bird and take up whatever space I need to take. Love it.

If you take up space, then pick up this zine.

Zine Review: Scissors & Chainsaws

Scissors & Chainsaws
Zina
https://echopublishing.wordpress.com/
https://drawingsbynina.wordpress.com/

I am now utterly in love with diary comic zines and decree that everyone make them.

Scissors & Chainsaws is a black and white diary comic zine featuring daily entries though International Zine Month (July) 2013. Now you may think I love all zines about zines and, well, this zine keeps on with the trend. So much love.

Zina takes you from June 30th introduction and prep to final July 31st wrap up with future zine plans. For every day there are small drawings and brief descriptions about what’s happened on the day. As much as the focus is IZM, plenty of focus goes to things that don’t have to do with zines (other than being put in a zine). Zina doesn’t do every single daily activity, but honestly, I found myself enjoying everything so much that I didn’t mind at all. I was happy to read about the non-zine things, too. It is a diary comic, after all.

The aesthetics of this zine are so cute and fun – and I’m not just saying that because of the green cover and green string binding. Colour me green for being so envious of Zina ‘cute but not cutesy’ drawing style. I love it when the art and the words work around each other, influencing each others shapes and positions on the page rather than everything being so neatly squared and separated.

The addition of Chainsaw Bunny made me laugh and smile. I was delighted to see “I’ll be back” on the July 31st entry with him/her/bunbun.

All up, Scissors & Chainsaws is a nice, pleasant zine that gives you a glimpse into Zina’s life. Get a copy. Truly. If you love perzines, comics, diary comics, International Zine Month, any combination of any of those… Pick it up. Because I’m not lending mine out. Hehe.

PS. This cover is actually more nice warm green than mint, but I can’t for the life of me make my camera take pictures that match up with what my actual eyes see.

Zine Review: The Life and Times of Cashed Up Bogans

Terrible Comics Presents: The Life and Times of Cashed Up Bogans
Sober Bob Monthly
IG: @soberbobmonthly

There’s a saying in Australia – “not happy, Jan” – that sums of feelings of extreme annoyance. That saying came to mind when I read this comic zine. Sober Bob isn’t happy, Jan, and she’s not about to hold back on what she thinks.

Cashed Up Bogans is a full colour comic of cynical musings about modern so-called ‘middle class’ life and the dredges of suburban humanity. Each page has its own multi-panel comic featuring the hypocrises and shallowness that turn people into full-time cynics.

‘Draw Your Favourite Bogan*’ – a spot on the inside front cover – made me laugh out loud. But when it came to the comic about real estate… Well, after spending the past two years or so learning about the annoyances, discrimination, and outright BS in that system, I felt annoyed all over again.

Even though I’m a ‘why can’t we all just be a bit nicer to each other’ kind of woman, I fell right into this zine. I totally understood why Sober Bob made this zine, and I know a fair few friends of mine who would enjoy it as much as I have.

I feel like Cashed Up Bogans is a combination of rant, dark humour, and completely taking the piss out of common culture. Because, in the end, they are jokes (even if they have teeth). I definitely want to see more of the terrible comics series.

If you like to take a dark poke at humanity – more specifically the suburban class – then this zine is one to check out.

*Bogan is more or less the Australian equivalent of the US redneck mixed with the stereotypical trailer trash.

Zine Review: Ground

Ground
Lee Taylor
@thescreeverzine
www.facebook.com/thescreeverzine

Ground is the first zine in a sweet comic series about love, life, and working in a coffee shop. (Spoilers: I love it.)

I couldn’t help but be taken in by the physical qualities of this zine straight away. The cover is made of what looks like recycled paper (I’m pretty sure it is…) and is bound by string wound through triangular-shaped holes in the spine. The square you see on the cover in the picture above isn’t something stuck onto the cover but is actually a square cut into the cover.

I could get into the possible thematic implications of cutting the square into the cover to reveal some of the first page, but then I begin to wonder if I’m getting a little deep into it right from the get to.

With such pleasant expectations set up by the physical side of the zine, I began to wonder what I would find inside…

The humour in Ground is a ‘softer’ humour that I enjoyed. There were little things that made me smile and care about the characters as well as things that felt like ‘inside’ jokes for working in a coffee shop but that I still understood. (‘Can I just have a normal coffee?’ made me smile.)

The art in Ground is lovely with attention to detail and a lot of soft lines involved. You are introduced to the characters involved by getting a peek into the work lockers. I’m a bit of a nosey nelly, and I really liked that choice for introductions. I also enjoyed how Lee used both single panels as well as single pictures over multiple panels.

[Picture shared with permission from Lee Taylor]

(Just looking at that pour makes me want a coffee.)

While it’s definitely a beginning – a chapter one, if you will – I like that it didn’t just cut off in the middle of things. There’s certainly more story implied, but this first zine has a beginning, middle and end. I definitely want to read more, but I’m not left feeling rudely interrupted. At the same time, everything is set up for a series ahead.

All up, this is a lovely zine, and I already know that I want the whole series from start to finish. I recommend checking it out.

PS. I try to regard a zine in and of itself. That being said, this zine did come with a loyalty card on which you can stick letters that you collect by buying the Ground series zines. I really love this idea in and of itself, but the fact that it ties into the coffee shop theme makes it even more fun.