Because November was ZineWriMo or Zine Writing Month, I decided to review the zines I read last month a bit more in depth…
As I said in the previous edition of “Zines I’ve read“, I wanted to continue reading mostly halloween/spooky/witchy themed zines in November. And I did! In October I read one of Twenty Two Zines’ issues of his Drawing Room Tarot series and I continued with the rest of them this month. Each issue is dedicated to one tarot card and includes all the information that the zinester found relevant (from astrological links to historical findings) as well as how it relates to his life. Tarot honestly never appealed to me very much, I’m more into oracle cards because they are more free and easier to read and understand. Tarot seems like a complex and rigid system to me but then again, I could be wrong because I never tried to study it [even though I own 2 decks: one was given to me years ago and I just bought another one that is also a playing cards set yesterday!]. But this zine series by Twenty Two Zines made me curious… It was really the best introduction for me because besides the historical and spirtual background, it includes political and personal explanations which I liked a lot. Moreover, for each issue the zinester designed his own card with a description of all the details that can be found on it. I love the goth subculture references and the attention to mental health and social justice. I really hope the series will continue with all the other cards of Tarot and if these cards ever become a tarot deck, I want it!
I read a few other cool zines by Twenty Two Zines: Unfair Maiden and I was a Teenage Girl. The latter is about the author’s experience with bullying in an all female class (while not yet being aware of being a trans boy / demiboy), based on the zine that was made during that class. The second issue of Unfair Maiden goes deeper into what it means to be a demiboy (I really like this word) as well including pieces about pronouns, testosterone, various gender & sexuality identities, and more (cover-art by the amazing Ayshe-Mira), while #1 talks about satanism, demons, and being a “heathen”. I loved reading the work Twenty Two Zines because the subjects interest me a lot and taught me a lot.
More spooky zines ahead! Kendy aka Missmuffcake often makes a halloween issue of her perzine The Stay At Home Girlfriend but this year she created a special halloween zine called Hallo-Zine with childhood costume photos, seasonal recipes that sound super yummy, a self-confidence ritual, a playlist, and more. Fittingly, it’s printed on orange paper, tied with orange yarn and a little skull bead! The new issue of The Stay At Home Girlfriend then focuses on self-care practices, dyscalculia (like dyslexia but with numbers), food (with more vegan recipes!), zine stuff (she mentions me 😮 !), cute cat adventures (I could read a whole zine of those!), and other perzine goodness. I love the balance of contents and the honest tone of Kendy’s writing which always makes me excited to find her zines in my mailbox.
When I heard of APac’s zines via Sea Green Zines’ reviews, I just had to get Witches in Cinema. It’s a zine in two parts/issues which feature drawings and some info about films about witches throughout the last 100 years – the author goes back to films from the 1920s until 2020. Some examples include The Wizard of Oz, Spirited Away and the Craft. I love film history and found it interesting to see how the depiction of witches on screen has changed throughout the years. There’s also an extensive list of films with witch characters and an extra list of women who worked on these films (directors, writers…).
The only downside is that even though the zine mentions that JKRowling was criticised for her views on trans issues it could have been phrased a bit more critically. [Update: I heard from the author that she does disapprove of JKR’s views but because English is not her first language she was anxious/uncertain about how to phrase it. ❤ ]
While the pandemic rages on, I love that zinesters are still making quaranzines. They can bring such comfort! Manifest Zine‘s refuge issue is such a wonderful treasure. It is filled with beautiful photography and poetry (some of it inspired by Emily Dickinson and cats). I’m no poetry expert at all, but zinester Jen Payne’s writing comes close to prose I think which makes it more understandable and enjoyable for me, as well as relatable because of its content. Inside you can also find little surprises: recipe cards, tickets, and a subscription sign-up form. All of Jen’s zines look amazing, each quite different in content and style. I also read the first issue of Manifest Zine which may be its most witchy issue so far. It even has a mirror inside (!) as well as poetry that references Star Trek Voyager. ❤ I recommend checking out Jen’s zines and also taking a look at her blog.
Herbs are often used by witches, and I was happy when a friend sent me a zine about using herbs for mental health (beautifully hand-drawn and hand-written with simple recipes and advice). It’s called Herbs & Foods for Mental Well-being and was made by the Icarus chapter of Providence. Another lovely activist zine that my friend gave me is a black & white illustrated and hand-written mini-zine about feminism and solidarity called What happened to Sisterhood. It addresses girl hate, slut shaming, body policing, and internalised oppression, and calls for getting together to fight the patriarchy instead of each other and ourselves. Yep! Finally, the same friend donated a zine that was entirely hand-made, by which I mean it’s a unique zine, not a copy or (re)print. You can feel the texture of the paint over the cover and the drawn figures on the inside pages – very magical! Even though I don’t know who made it, I feel honoured to have it in my collection.
Thank you everyone for sending me your zines! ❤
Zine titles and where to find most of them:
- Drawing room tarot + I was a teenage girl + Unfair maiden
- Hallo-zine + The stay at home girlfriend
- Herbs & foods for mental well-being (email)
- Manifest zine
- Venus pollen high school
- What happened to sisterhood
- Witches in cinema