Social Animals, Issue #1
By Chloe Hodson
14 pg. at half-letter size
$4 for a print copy, PDF available for free from the author
So, previously, the address I gave in the sidebar where an interested party could ask me to review their zine was that of Ravenswing DIY Fair, an email address that I don’t check. It now leads to my personal e-mail, which I check incessantly. This is because someone else logged into the Ravenswing account and forwarded me a whole stack of emails, dating back months, from people asking me to review their zines, and I felt like a horse’s ass for unwittingly having let them linger there. Sorry, pals.
One of the zines that had been sent in was Social Animals (link goes to the zine’s Tumblr), by Chloe Hodson. Hodson, as she states in the zine, is a recent graduate of a teaching program, and this zine is an effort to combine teaching with zine-ing. It is a conceptual, choose-your-own-adventure type zine, with writing prompts, fragments of text, and earnest poetry and prose about her memories, and about, for lack of a less worse phrase, “the creative process”. I would have liked to see a little more content going down here, as this zine is a little slip of a thing with lots of white space, however, I think the idea of an interactive zine as an aid to thinking and writing is an interesting one. I will look forward to checking out Social Animals #2, and seeing where Hodson takes this concept.
Show Me The Money!, Issue #24
43 pg. at half-letter size
$2.50 from Quimby’s
If you’re interested in zines, you are probably at least something of an anti-capitalist, to be interested in something so… damnably unprofitable. But how good of an anti-capitalist are you, really? Do know the statistics and the exact mechanisms by which the free market and the government’s collusion with same is fucking people over? Are you thoroughly aware of historical and current ideological and economic systems that offer alternative ways of exchanging goods and services? Local currencies? Afrikan Nationalist economics?
You see what I’m getting at. This zine is an eclectic and well-informed look at economics, from an anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian point of view. It aggregates short articles from various sources. Some of them are somewhat technical, but this zine really rewards your attention with interesting and upsetting facts and figures that you ought to know about this world.
I picked up an old issue, it’s now up to #36. It’s dense, witty, and informative— highly recommended.
Querencia, Issue #9: “All My Kin”
by Jesse B. Staniforth, November 2010
52 pg. at half-letter size
$3 from the zine rack at Dépanneur Le Pick Up
I acquired this zine a while ago on a trip to Montreal. I was at Dépanneur Le Pick-Up, a dreamy little lunch counter inside an old-school dépanneur (French-Canadian bodega), which also boasts an indoor picnic table and a zine rack curated by Jeff Miller of Ghost Pine notoriety. I was getting some sandwiches (one pulled pork, one pulled seitan) for the train ride home, so I picked up a couple of zines too.
J.B. Staniforth lives in Montreal and is a gun for hire: his writing work includes speech-writing for higher-ups at McGill University. Unsurprisingly, then, his prose is clear and straightforward; it draws no attention to itself and directs the reader’s attention straight on to the content. Nothing to see here, m’am.
The content, in this case, is a lovingly detailed description of the loss of two members of Staniforth’s family: the death of his grandmother of a heart attack and of another family member in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan. It is also about being a citified person returning to the rural area where your roots are, and about a venturesome gecko named Harvey.
Querencia, comprising 52 pages of 12pt. Garamond is a hefty wedge of zine, and for the duration, you will be fully immersed in the world of Staniforth’s family and the cottage where they gathered in the summers. If you are ever in Montreal, I recommend you stop by Le Pick Up, if you can’t swing that, Staniforth’s email is listed in this zine as jbstaniforth at gmail dot com if you want to run down a copy of Querencia.
- Lily Pepper