July was “international zine month” so I celebrated by trading, buying, and reading lots of zines! All of this trading and reading continued in August and September (because why stop while you’re having fun?). In July I went to Weirdo Zine Fest in London, so apart from zine swaps, a lot of the zines mentioned here were bought there. I know this looks like quite an impressive reading list but remember that I did not make much progress in any books those months and well, zines are small and quick to read and I got a lot of opportunities to acquire them.
Because I read (again) so many zines the past three months, I didn’t have the time to write proper reviews. I tried to add some short descriptions though, so you’ve got some idea of what the publications I read are about. I also tried to mention the website/online shop for the zines. If nothing is mentioned, ask me and I can maybe help you get in touch with the zinester.
Enjoy checking out these zines, while I go on reading the next ones in my to-read pile!
[All zines in Eglish unless otherwise mentioned]
Lower your expectations #1
Collectively made publication by teenage authors, making this extra cool. Includes comics, poetry and stories.
Damaged Mentality #1
Moving personal testimony of the consequences and impact of brain surgery.
I keep recommending it but really check out Alex Wrekk’s amazing book on how to make zines “Stolen Sharpie Revolution” and all her other zine-related projects (her zine band The Copy Scams, her podcast, blog, etc). Each issue of her zine Brainscan is very different. This issue is subtitled “a practical body modification” and is about getting an Intra Uterine Device. It tells the story of Alex’s experiences, the good and the bad. Useful if you’re considering getting an IUD.
Micro sized zine with ultra personal phrases/stories.
Cool Schmool #2
I was a happy bunny when a new issue of Cool Schmool was announced. This zines mixes the genres comiczine, perzine and fanzine and mixes politics with personal stories and popular culture. All the ingredients I like, making a great potion!
Little cute zine that helped me a lots in a sleepless period and makes me worry less if I can’t fall asleep quickly.
Dancing in the Dark
A passionate zine all about dance, from a radical body-positive viewpoint. Includes personal stories and interviews with radical ballet and fat activist dance groups.
Your pretty face is going straight to hell #23 1/2
Another zine I was happy to find at Weirdo Zine Fest is Tukru’s YPFIGSTH. This is a thinner issue, filled with her handwritten life stories on attempts to find musicians and start a band mixed with typed lyrics. I could really relate to the band hardships but must say I’m very lucky with the brandnew band I’m in right now while I was not even looking!
Mythologising Me #13 / Your pretty face is going straight to hell #24
Split zine with some of the nicest perzines in the UK. Tukru continues her story on making music (from being in a band to going solo) and on the other side Ingrid also shares her experiences of being in a band as well as other short pieces.
Your pretty face is going straigh to hell #22
This issue is about gardening, X-files, mummy parcels, and UK snacks versus Finnish snacks.
Your pretty face is going straigh to hell #20
Red Hanky Panky #8
Did I ever mention Rachael House is one of my favourite artists or maybe even my number ONE favourite artist? Well, I decided she is. Check out her website and see for yourself all of the great art projects she does! And she also makes zines and comics! They mostly deal with radical feminism and (making) art.
Red Hanky Panky #10
More Rachael House goodness!
Resurrection Plant + Crones + There’s Already a Word for That + Zine Tips + A Space of Dissent
Riso-printed mini-zine set by Rachael House about her favourite crones (I love how she reclaims this word!), how words like manbags are rather silly, creative activism, and more! Absolutely loved them!
This zine not only has Rachael House’s awesome comics and drawings, but also feminist songs and a kind of women’s land manifesto.
Self-care is a slough
Mini-zine with some nice self-care tips
My top 5 poo stories
Mini-zine about poo 🙂
My own biggest fan
Mini-zine with more self-care tips and thoughts.
Jade Mars’ Mini Guide to Berlin
Beautiful and colourful mini-zine with fold-out maps about their favourite places in Berlin. Really nicely made!
The Unchosen ones
There can never been enough Buffy The Vampire Slayer (and Angel) zines. This is the 4th I came across, a bit more critical, which is welcome, even though I like both shows. Buffy is cool but also has its flaws – mostly how they deal with fatness – and this zine knows it.
Another artist who’s fast becoming one of my absolute favourites is multi-talented Jacob V Joyce. Jacob does and makes everything: music (Screaming Toenail – who I saw at F-word in Amsterdam!), performance (Sorry if you feel uncomfortable – soon to perform in Brussels!), illustrations, T-shirt prints, and zines! This one is a funny collection of types of white boys with Jacob’s brilliant drawings. Nicely printed in full-colour.
Krishna Istha’s Gender Anarchy Manifesto
In a mini-zine illustrated by Jacob V Joyce.
Mini-zine from Czech Republic/France with collages of women from old paintings.
Manifeste de la Tendresse Radicale
Mini-zine, hand-written in French with a collage on the inside, about radical tenderness. Such an important concept! More of this please!
Mini-zine by Igor (who also wrote the radical tenderness mini-zine I reviewed before) about how to make mini-zines and with a wild collage on the other side. In French and downloadable/printable at:
The Four Fingered Monster
This zine is perfect for the time of year. Sadrie made a surreal horror story in a dark comic style.
Very beautiful zine by Sadrie in both content and illustrations/style (see also her website), with stories of monsters and other mythological creatures from Brazilian folkore.
I think this is a zine everyone should read and then discuss together! Jade – who also makes Scorpio Moon and plenty of mini-zines which are reviewed here too – makes explicit so many things we should think about, be conscious about, and ask ourselves and our lovers. A good blueprint for taking care of yourself in relationships/during sex and inspirational to start making your own.
Perzine with little drawings about experiences with shitty boyfriends and recovering from those situations.
With Jeremy Corbyn #1
The author of this zine (who also makes Athemaura among other zines) tells her experiences of volunteering and campaigning for Corbyn. Her enthusiasm and hard work is heart-warming and Corbyn deserves it because he seems like a cool dude.
With Jeremy Corbyn #2
Small zine continuing where #1 ended.
Brown Girl (#1)
I reviewed #2 before, which was collectively made, as this one is all of Seleena’s work. I think Seleena is certainly one of the most amazing zinesters out there who creates an impressive variety of zines from craft recipes (she is an artist and craftster herself!) over collecting stories of the experiences of working-class women to teenage crushes and Placebo. This zine talks about twerking, hair, music, family, her art, and much more. I know I’ve said it of a few of the zinesters reviewed here but Seleena too is one of the coolest artists out there and you should certainly check out her work!
The man called Uncle Tim #1
Unfortunately for you this first issue of the TMCUT zine series is sold out (though you can get it digitally if you order the other issues). Lucky me I got my hands on one of the last copies at the Weirdo Zine Fest in London. The zine series tells the story of the author’s great uncle Tim, in the words of other relatives who knew him well (in each issue another person tells the story from their point of view). It’s very beautiful in form AND content, doing something very different with the zine medium and it works extremely well. Get your hands on #2, 3, and 4 before they run out!
The man called Uncle Tim #2
The man called Uncle Tim #3
The man called Uncle Tim #4
Rude Tongue – Stoute Tong #2
Misha is doing it again: they made their second awesome zine in less than a half year! There are funny “facebook” posts, a super important essay on the A in LGBTQIA (asexual!) and a critical book review of Testerone Rex by Cordelia Fine. I’m not a big poetry person but I love the poems Misha writes. Yay, keep ’em coming!
In English & dialect
Scorpio Moon #1
I’m so happy that Jade had an “up for trades” sign at Weirdo Zine Fest in London and I had the guts to ask them to trade zines. I was very impressed with Scorpio Moon, as well as with their other zines. Really check it out if you’re into perzines that go just a bit further than basic daily stuff. This issue is about queer, sex and gender, moving house and living social media-free.
Scorpio Moon #2
This issue is also about moving house, and about visiting Berlin and the pressure of society’s norms at family meetings.
Scorpio Moon #3
This issue’s central theme is autism and the author carefully analyses its characteristics that apply to themselves.
Scorpio Moon #4
Here the author writes about their accomplishments for 2016, bath salts recipes, D&D and sobriety / alcohol in queer scenes. That last piece got me thinking of how lucky I am that alcohol-consumption is not a big part of the queer scenes I’m part of. (Don’t mind if people drink of course, but I also don’t like the pressure if it becomes a norm).
Pieces of Summer
This zine made me nostalgic even though summer was not over yet when I read it. Lists, a poem, collages, and lovely drawings of some Brussels views I could recognise… Made at a recent 24 hour zine event in Brussels so you can mail email@example.com to get in touch.
Graphic and dark comic mini-zine by Ane V. Very atmospheric and artistic.
La Casa Occupata
Anarchistic perzine/comic about travelling to Italy to meet friends in a squat. “La Casa Occupata” means “the occupied house” as you could have guessed. I was happy to find another anarcha-feminist making comiczines. (Also: fuck the politicians who very recently made squatting illegal in Belgium!)
Beautiful full colour art/litzine with artwork and texts by several contributors including yours truly. ESCzine is really a cool collaborative project by Jess and Aíne. Jess also makes other zines reviewed here…
This zine collects and makes fun of the annoying but commonly heard advice people give to those of us who suffer from mental health problems. So true!
Opinionated Nobody #9.5
Cute perzine from the UK on local towns/communities, favourite books & films, cross-stitching, dermotillomania, remembering loved ones who died…
Opinionated Nobody #11
This 24 hour issue subtitled “the july papers” talks about the Isle of Wight, André Rieu, queerness, difficulties at work, tv, films, games, and songs, and more.
Meeni Levi made both the art (collages, photography…) and the poetry for this beautiful full-colour hand-stitched zine. I’m not a poetry expert so I can say more about the visual aspect and I can say that I enoyed it a lot. There is a lot of variation, creativity and experiment going on in the artwork and it shows in the layout of the poems as well. “Eldritch” means “unearthly, eerie or strange” so for Meeni Levi the title refers to “making yourself monstrous, making yourself unthinkable” which sounds pretty cool!
Conversations to falafels
Meeni Levi made this at a Brussels 24 hour zine event! It is a mini-zine but it is full of poetry, a recipe, and collages, looking very beautiful. Read Nyx’s review too.
Music I write with
Mini-zine by Jessica Maybury. Title explains what it’s about. 🙂
Connection Edit #1
Literary zine by Jessica Maybury. This first issue is a collection of black-out poetry, a technique I’ve come to really love, mostly thanks to a fierce feminist friend who gave a workshop on it during the summer. 🙂
Connection Edit #2
Type-written poetry zine about tea, the Dutch language, plants, and more.
Once in a while I come across a zine I want everyone to read and this is one such zine (even though I really like most zines I read!). I recommend it to everyone, but especially teachers and parents, and people who’ve experienced bullying, this is for you. If zines hadn’t been invented yet, they should be just to have this one printed. It contains heavy stories of being bullied (as a child), so take care of yourself when reading. Lay-outed as a school notebook.
Whereas #1 published Megan Pickering’s own experiences, for #2 she gathered stories of other people who have been bullied. Again, important stuff for everyone, but trigger warnings apply.
Queer & Feminist Actions in the DIY punk scene
The Scandinavian queer-feminist punk scene is alive and kicking! This zine compiles information about all the projects and collectives that exist.
Light Light Sleep
I loved this zine very much, it encouraged a lot of smiles and nodds. Author Kirsty Fife writes about mental health, turning 30, lists (things she did in her 20s and things she wants to do in her 30s), her involvement in DIY culture, body image, amateurism versus professionalism, burn-out (and tips to prevent it), and a pizza recipe!
Distro + Shop
How to organise a clothes swap
Practical guide with lots of helpful advice by Kristy Fife.
Tilting at windmills
How could I not buy this zine? It’s about mini-golf! It discusses several non-ordinary mini-golf courses from sculture parks to hipster mini-golf!
Mixed Up #1
Very interesting big zine (76 pages!) about the experiences of mixed-race women and queers. Lots of different views, poetic stories, personal histories, DIY artwork/layouts… #2 should be out soon I heard and a call for contributions for #3 is already out there.
The Common Cold
About mental health and in particular juggling priorities when dealing with several mental illnesses.
Versions of Violence
Compilation of stories by queer women and femmes about different experiences with LGBTphobia and heteronormativity, including bi erasure, heteronormative autocorrect, invisibility of asexuality, gender assumptions, healthcare… Almost none of this stuff is discussed elsewhere safely but in zines so it seems, also in supposedly “progressive” and “LGBT-friendly” western-european countries, so it’s an important read.
Forever Incomplete #2.5
24 hour zine with articles on London, favourite Tori Amos songs, and (in)confidence and (in)competence.
Forever Incomplete #3
24 hour zine about Orphan Black, Harry Potter (sorting hats), a long-distance relationshop, favoruite Alanis Morissette songs, and more.
Enter my Eating Habits
Funny comiczine by Elizabeth Querstret about her eating habits that might be perceived as “strange”. 🙂
Enter my working world
Another comiczine, this time about her (shitty) work experiences.
Don’t Call me Cupcake #1
DCMC is the perzine of Nyx from SeaGreenZines. She keeps an amazing website with zine reviews and zine ads and makes a bunch of zines too, among which is this perzine. I wanted to get hold of them for a while and finally suggested a swap. Nyx’s zines are very carefully made with hand-stitched and hand-pasted covers. Her writing is very honest and reads like a personal letter written especially for the reader. Issue 1 is an introduction of all-things-Nyx with a focus on mental health.
Don’t Call me Cupcake #2
Issue 2 is themed “fear”, in which Nyx talks about things she’s afraid of such as phones, growing up/becoming adult, (not) having kids, conflict, change, other people… a lot of very recognisable and relatable stuff! I actually considered making a 24 hour zine about fears too but well, I’m too scared of it!
Don’t Call me Cupcake #3
In this 3rd issue Nyx writes about tableing at their very first zine fair (Festival at the Photocopier), a room mate moving in, comparing situations of sexual intimidation (and thus minimising your own experience). This issue also has a cute little insert-zine about the “care and feeding of your Nyx”, a little cute manual of the likes, dislikes, and habits of Nyx and about how social situations are best handled. Maybe every single person should make such a guide for themselves or even just think and talk about it to avoid misunderstandings?
Don’t Call me Cupcake #4
About friends, room mates, moving…
Don’t Call me Cupcake #5
About turning 30 and reflections and (bad) memories of the safety of her notebook when at family meetings as a child, things she would tell her 20 year old self, self-harm, family neglect/abuse, taking (no) medication… Reading such honest and open perzines like this, I feel like I’m becoming a friend of the author even if we’ve never met. There’s a magic potential in zines that I don’t find in any other media. They create a community that is different from any other because of the safe space that allows sharing of such personal stories and creations. Don’t Call Me Cupcake certainly contributes to this community!
England is Mine
I looked forward to this zine since Sister Ray Zines announced she would write it while she was travelling and it hasn’t disappointed. Great tips if you want to plan your own trip to the UK (her favourite places were Birmingham and Manchester) but also just a nice read with Sister Ray Zines’ dark humour.
The Future is
Sister Ray Zines is currently one of the most productive zinesters I know! She only just made England is Mine and a few weeks later she returns with The Future is Fucked. It is a colouring book zine but not like any other. Old-fashioned illustrations are mixed with misanthropic and subversive expressions, twisting the apparent innocence of the girls who are pictured. Not really a zine for your little cousin maybe but all the more for you! 😉
Very cool full-colour zine with amazing political cartoons by female cartoonists. Lots of Theresa May inside. 🙂
Bit strange comic about delving into an archive. Meant to demystify archival research for artists, although it’s quite a mysterious story!
Two Responsible Adults #1
This zine is made together by Sophiya and Gosen, two nurses who are in a relationship. They alternate writing short texts about alcohol, work, and each other (for example jokingly criticising each other’s driving style :-)).
Two Responsible Adults #2
The second issue deals with relationships, futuristic cities, video games, (not wanting) babies… It’s not always clear which author wrote which piece but I think that is also very interesting about this zine. Both have similar interests and occupations, even though they have slightly different views on them.
Girl Love #5
Full-colour zine celebrating girl love and girl power with a playlist, poetry, a zine review, masturbation as self-care, how to organise DIY music events, historic women’s strikes, self-care and girl-love/solidarity tips, and amazing artwork. Perfect feminist zine!