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.)

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Zine Review: Comics & Beer


Comics & Beer

I’ve never been so excited to see that this was an ‘issue 1’ (implying there would be more) and so disappointed to find there were no more. That sort of stuff happens in the zine world, but I would be all over a sequel to this, no matter how many years later.

Comics & Beer is about life. Rory’s life. From the get-go, you know this isn’t going to be the ‘usual’ sort of perzine thanks to the intro being more of a multiple choice reaction quiz than a ‘hi, my name is X and I’m X years old’.

Rory has a great writing voice that has liberal pinches of sarcasm, dark humour, and disillusionment. It’s what grabbed me from page one and kept me reading. There are little pieces of humour that you might not catch upon first read. There’s even a mini-zine within the zine with short movie reviews. As far as added touches go, this is an excellent one.

That’s not to say there aren’t serious moments. In the piece about TV and our (humanity’s) relationship to it, this quote really got me:

I have shared probably 100 times as many emotional moments with a stupid plastic box as any other living person.

I love what I love and often read in those areas, so it can be a lot of fun when something like this comes to shake up my reading a bit. When it comes to my own perzines, I’m so stuffy about things and try to have themes and whatnot. It was really refreshing – and reminds me to loosen up! – to read a perzine that felt so wonderfully random in picking snippets of life. Even better, I love perzine that leave me wanting to read the next one in the series straight away. Alas…

The contact site listed doesn’t work, but that very well could be because (sigh) this is the only zine in this series. I was sad to find that out when I hunted down the Etsy site. At least you can still get copies of this zine, though. You should, too.

Zine Review: Pieces #5 On Change

Pieces 5

Pieces #5 On Change

I’ve reviewed Pieces 1-4, so if you’d like to check them out, you can find the links in my recently updated *cough*it’sabouttime*cough* Zine Review Index.

When I first get a zine, I have a quick scan to get a sense of the layout and what kind of zine I’m about to get into. The Pieces series never fails to be a pleasurable scan. I am a huge fan of the A5/regular page half-fold zine, but there’s something about the A6(ish for US friend paper) size that makes it feel a tiny bit more like a zine. A fun little treasure just for me. Pieces #5 is a smidge smaller than A6, and I love it.

Plus, I love how she continues to use white text on black for the change to more stream-of-consciousness type writing. The visual change to go along with the writing style change is a nice touch.

Now enough about paper, Nyx. Not everyone has teh lurve for the stationery like you do.

Pieces 5 is all about, you guessed it: Change. Looking to go back into regular work, contemplating a move and facing fears are topics that we can all identify with. As with previous issues, Nichole does so with that hint of vulnerability that makes you feel like you’re having a conversation with a close friend.

It’s strange to read something that was written in the past (2011) and yet have it apply so well to things I’m dealing with now. This zine is all about change, and Nichole’s writer-ly background along with a keen craving for the creative sits her well with what 2015 Nyx is sorting through. Maybe I have a severe case of narcissism, but even when the situations are different, her questions and thoughts ring true.

The beautiful thing about a perzine is that it’s like getting to know a person. You can read all sorts of things, but they can still surprise you. Nichole’s foray into S&M was a surprise but a pleasant one. I admire her bravery in a number of ways: admitting her wants and needs to herself, pursuing them with another person, and writing about the whole lot. As I contemplate what to write in my second perzine, I read what Nichole has shared and think deeply about what I could share with the world.

Another win for Nichole in the Pieces series. I’m very happy to see that she is continuing on with Pieces and is on Pieces #12. Looks like I’ll have to catch up.