Thursday, May 10, 2012

Zine Fairs! Links!

I'm currently in the process of organizing the Crowd Control Sound and Art Fair, which is part of a larger music festival in Halifax.

There will be lots of zinesters there, and lots of other artists and neat stuff. It's free, so if you're in Halifax you should come and check it out.

It's on June 2nd, from noon - 4:30pm in the Khyber (downtown).

Anyway, here's an article about zines that linked to my blog. It talks about different types of zines, and shows you how to make a simple one. I think the comments are kind of funny, but it's cool to see people excited about making zines.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cerebus the Newsletter #18

Edited by Margaret Liss
PO Box 6997
Warwick, RI

Cerebus was an incredibly long running (300 issues over more than 25 years) indie comic created by Dave Sim and Gerhard that started off as a barbarian parody, but eventually featured a lot of political satire, philosophy, and other stuff (like Groucho Marx). It's an incredibly impressive feat, and what I've read of it has been pretty good.

It's just too bad that Dave Sim went insane.

You might think I'm exaggerating, but people seem to think that he has real mental health issues. His opinions about religion, gender (or more specifically women and their role in society), and philosophy are...controversial to say the least. Despite this he continues to have many ardent supporters, and Cerebus itself is an incredibly impressive work with large sections that are really good.

Cerebus the Newsletter is a fanzine that has come out since the Cerebus comic ended. It features fanart, Cerebus history, letters from readers, essays about various philosophical/mystical aspects of Cerebus, and a discussion segment with Dave Sim called "God Talk".

The discussion is interesting because in it Sim talks about his religious beliefs. Some of it seems kind of reasonable, some of it is kind of gibberish, and some of it is just flat out weird.
"It's only in the last couple of years that I've fully repented: I would have been better off to never have fornicated.
Fornication was a mistake from the first to the last one. I only hope I have enough years left to make amends.
I was in a cesspool up to my eyeballs and I've spent eleven years climbing out of it."
Dave Sim is a weird guy, and he's so tied to his own impressive body of work, that it seems reading about him is almost as important as reading the work itself.


By Kieron Cropper and Jaime Huxtable

Hey, did you know I love monsters? It's true! I do! One of my favourite zines is Monstress, and the first issue of that I ever read was about giant kaiju monsters. Hell, I even wrote part of a fake journalistic article about a fictional Godzilla/Very Hungry Caterpillar crossover film for a zine. I keep wanting to rent the Godzilla and Gamera films I see in the library, but strongly suspect my partner would hate them.

This particular zine was actually an envelope filled with multiple things. There was the comic itself, but also several sheets of origami paper, and a number of sheets of card that included city-scapes.

Beneath the awesome collaged cover there are a few pages of comics featuring Godzilla emerging from the water by a beach in...Brighton? I'm saying Brighton because that's where I got this zine, but I'm really not sure.

Then there are instructions on how to make your own origami Godzilla! Awesome! I'm not the best at origami, but I think it's pretty neat, especially when it's for things like dinosaurs and monsters.

Once you've done that, you can cut out the cities, and reenact your favourite giant monster scenes! Hurray!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Animation: We are zinester!

Uh, I don't really know what this is, or how it came to be in my bookmarks (I have no memory of ever actually seeing it before), but here's a weird Japanese animation thing.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

You Have to Make Your Own.

Once again I return to the question "What is a zine?", for this, while it looks a lot like a zine, probably doesn't count as one.

On the way to a Zimbabwean restaurant for dinner one evening, my partner and I passed an art gallery opening. Hurray! I love art. We headed in and looked at the pieces, and some of them were pretty neat. I sent a fax to some city official complaining about how the (heavily trafficked) path through the park in the middle of town turns into a swamp when it rains.

I also picked up this booklet, which doesn't act as a program for the show (there is no information about the artist, or even anything that says it's part of an art show), but is a collection of fliers.

Each page is made up of a slogan of some sort ("Pay no attention to this.", "Stop making things worse.") in the same block capitals you can see on the "cover". Some of them reminded me of the child from John Allison's Scary-Go-Round comic. (Hey! I reviewed one of his comics on this site once. I wonder what happened to that?)

What's neat, is that each page actually has perforations down the side, so you can tear the pages out easily. How fancy!

I'm not sure if I'd actually put any of these up. I sometimes struggle with destroying printed material, even if that's its intended function. I guess that doesn't stop me turning old comic books into envelopes.

(This is the sort of rambling non-review that makes me wonder why anyone looks at this site at all.)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Piltdownlad #2: Women Got Me Drinking

By Kelly Dessaint

There's a website I spend too much time on called Reddit. It acts as a place where people post links about various topics, and comment on them. It is filled both with people embracing and rejecting the myth of the nice guy. You know, the one where if you're best friends with a girl, and never express your romantic interest in her, she'll eventually reveal that she loves you and wants to sleep with you without you ever having to be proactive. (You can probably already tell I think this is stupid.)

Now it's clearly unfair to equate Women Got Me Drinking to this idea entirely. The main character isn't pining after a girl he's known since he was a kid who he thinks he loves. No, instead he's pining after a girl who sits opposite where he works, that he's never talked to, and yet he's completely convinced will be his "inspiration to write".

Which leads us to another cliche, the main character as struggling writer. What does it say about writers that one of their favourite characters to write about is a writer? Are they just using the idea of "write what you know", or are they being incredibly egotistical? Part of me thinks that you can't become a good (or at least well known/published) writer without being at least a bit incredibly egotistical. You have be able to convince others that you can write things for them, and it's unlikely that you'll be able to do that if you're not confident in your own writing skills.

None of this actually tells you _anything_ about this zine in question.

This zine is a (fictional?) account of living in New Orleans at some point after Hurricaine Katrina. The descriptions of poverty, living in shitty parts of town, the people that live there, and how the lower class manage to survive were all interesting, and I'd have much rather read a zine about those things then a story about one person's search for the 100% perfect girl.

Though it says on the cover it's a love story, so I should have known what I was in for from the beginning.

How to Make a Mini-Comic

By Matt Feazell

(Blogger is screwing up and not posting my scheduled posts. They've also stripped the labels/tags off the posts that have gone live. Plus they recently sent out the most spammy/phishing seeming official email I've ever gotten. Great job guys.)

This is a zine printed on a single sheet of paper and shows how you too can make and put together your own minicomics!

While it generally seems well put together, and many aspects are informative, I really take issue with part of Step 2.

"Leave ninjas, superheroes, and giant robots to color comics which specialize in that sort of thing."
I find this frustrating not because I love giant robots and might very well be happy if half of the things I reviewed on this site involved robots in some way, but because saying that you need colour to tell a science fiction or fantasy story is ridiculous.

The Preposterous Adventures of IronHide Tom is a fantastic black and white comic with simple artwork that was nominated for an Eisner Award. This is despite (or because of) the fact that it features pirates, mermaids (and mermen!), witches, and countless monsters. Another comic Priddy drew in the same style was called The Amazing Life of Onion Jack, and which was similarly award nominated, features superheroes and (if I'm remembering correctly) robots. These are both fantastic, entertaining, funny comics that are drawn in black and white with minimal detail (though a considerable amount of skill). Saying that you need colour to make comics featuring science fiction or fantasy elements is almost insulting to those that choose to make comics featuring those things.

But, uhm, back to the zine at hand. Holy shit! This was originally printed in 1988? I can't believe this has been going around for almost 25 years. I hope it has inspired someone to make and print their own comic, whether it contains robots or not.