Sunday, September 30, 2012

animal facts volume one

By Katy Curwin

It's not often (or ever) that I call out zines for false advertisement, but I have to put my foot down somewhere, and animal facts volume one is that place. I'm kind of sad to be doing this, but this really has to be said. This is important and I don't want anyone getting this zine under false pretenses.

There are no facts about tigers in this zine.

In fact there are no facts about any type of cat at all. None, nada, zilch, zip. And don't try to tell me about tiger shark facts. That picture up there is clearly a land tiger. Tiger sharks not only live in the sea, they aren't even mammals!

Sure there are cool facts and pictures about koalas and giraffes and pigs and other animals, but I was promised tigers and there are no tigers here. Terrible!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Cat Circus

By Sarah E

Cats! The internet loves cats! Zinesters love cats! Thus everyone (internet + zinesters = everyone) will love my review of this zine that features cats, right?

This short zine combines pictures of, and text about, cats and circuses from a children's encyclopedia. Giant cats ride on top of buses, children gather around posters advertising the cat circus, and we learn many amazing facts. Did you know that the "common domestic cat is one of the many strange animals obtained by circuses from far-off lands"? Clearly you can believe everything in print! It is all entirely factual.

To be honest, I kind of wish this zine was longer. I need more pictures of cats. The internet is not supplying me with enough.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Brunch Scene no.1

By Sarah Noonan and Emily Ostapovitch

When I heard my friends were making a zine about brunch, I was pumped. A zine about all their favourite brunch places! Restaurant reviews for a city I don't live in! Excellent. (I'm not even kidding, I loved this zine about pizza places.)

So I was a little disappointed when I discovered that this was actually a recipe zine that told you how to cook various brunch foods. Despite this zine sitting in my house (actually three houses at this point) for months, some of the food seeming pretty delicious, and one of the creators actually coming and sleeping on my floor, I have not even come close to cooking any of the things in here. I guess as awesome as vegan chorizo sausage sounds, I'm just not willing to buy multiple ingredients that I doubt I'll ever use again.

So instead, here are two anecdotes related to this zine!

When Emily came and stayed at my house last month, I did what any person would do: threw zines at her. Specifically I threw this very zine at her. At first she was confused, and then excited, because she had apparently never seen a copy of this zine before. Her friend had printed it and hadn't mailed her a copy yet! (Reminiscent of when I wrote something for a zine Emily was editing, and then reprinted it in my own zine and sent her a copy before her's was finished.)

Just before Emily left, she and her friend decided to take my friend and I out for brunch (hurray!). We agreed on a place just down the street from where we lived (though Emily and her friend were now staying somewhere else in town), and my friend and I went down there and waited. And waited. And waited. Finally we heard from them that they had gotten on the wrong bus and ended up in Dartmouth (how awful!). (Or perhaps they'd gotten on the correctly numbered bus, but the bus's number changed while they were on it. A suspicious story, but something I've heard from other people as well.) Eventually they managed to find the place and we all had lunch (it being too late for brunch).

Of course if Emily had just cooked us something, we wouldn't have had to wait around so long...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Harbour Water Fest 3

By Shannon

Every year the Roberts Street Social Centre runs a residency program. Artists and writers come to stay in our shed for a couple of weeks and make zines, art, or whatever they want really. It's a pretty awesome program and you should definitely apply next year!

Shannon was the first resident this year, and this is the zine they made during their stay. It's mostly about Harbour Water Fest, a local punk music festival put on in people's basements and living rooms. Shannon writes about her experiences in Halifax in general, and the shows she went to specifically, and she also got other people to write about their own memories of the event. Apparently there was a shadow puppet play!

Shannon also interviewed the lead organizer of the event, members of bands that played, and other people who went to shows. The interviews are pretty interesting to read,  and cover everything from small town living, to transphobia, to  trying to create more positive, inclusive, and safe spaces for others.

The final part of this zine are the many photographs that various people took at the shows in Harbour Water Fest, and most (or all?) of the posters people made to advertise the various events. I really like DIY posters, so seeing them all collected here was pretty neat.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Portland Button Works Quarterly #1

By Alex Wrekk and Derek Neuland
1322 N Killingsworth
Portland, Oregon
97217, USA

Well known zinester Alex Wrekk (Stolen Sharpie Revolution, Brainscan) opened a custom
button shop with their friend Derek Neuland earlier this year. (Not the buttons that hold things closed of course, but the type with pictures and words on them, also known as badges.) Their store also stocks lots of zines, and their online distro has some pretty awesome stuff.

This brief zine acts mostly as a catalogue for the shop: it gives prices for custom button orders and lists new zine releases that they have in stock. But it does have other content like top ten lists from both Derek and Alex, upcoming (and now past) zine events in Portland, and some other stuff.

You don't actually have to order this, and in fact Alex would probably be kind of confused if you tried to as it comes free with orders from the shop, but it does what it set out to do.

Alex and Derek also do a pretty awesome zine podcast called Nobody Cares About Your Stupid Zine. If you like podcasts and zines it's definitely worth checking out, it's just too bad there aren't more episodes.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Echo Echo #9

By Keet Geniza

In some ways the name of this zine seems like a good descriptor of the contents. Short snippets of events in the life of the creator, lacking in context or larger narrative: a concert, an art show, a trip. Incomplete in the same way echoes can be, when you only hear part of the original. Eventually, these echoes of real life start to build up, creating not so much an actual image of the writer, but an outline that shows where, if not who, they are.

Most of this zine is about Keet returning to Manilla, the city of their birth, after five years of living in Canada. Once again we are presented with echoes, but this time of a different sort. These echoes are of the people and places that Keet left behind, and then returned to see again. Some things are the same, some are different, and some don't match the memories, though perhaps it is the memories that have changed, and not the reality.

In between the stories there are illustrations and comics. They range from the food Keet ate, to the karaoke bars they sang in, to the subways they rode. The thick-lined style is one I find appealing, and I'd be happy to read a zine that was just filled with them.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Digital Denial (analog photographs in the digital age)

By Dandy Denial
PO Box 226
Irvine, AB
T0J 1V0

Coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee.

Of so the cover of this zine says. To be honest I don't really like coffee. Sure, I used to drink it, but I eventually realized that the amount of milk and sugar I was putting into it to make it taste not like coffee wasn't that good an idea. I mean, I don't like consuming too much sugar (please ignore all those cookies I just ate), and if I'm going to drink a hot beverage I'd rather drink cocoa or a herbal tea or something. Plus the number of people who end up addicted to the caffeine in coffee kind of distresses me. I've known people who get headaches when they don't get their morning coffee. That's kind of crazy.

But lots of people like coffee, and this is a zine of photos of people enjoying coffee (or at least feeding their addiction). The photos are candid shots, and they're kind of cute. However the scanning of the analog photos, and then the printing/copying of them has made some of them overly dark, and I think seeing an exhibition of these photos in real life would be a better way to experience them.

There are also two brief stories about drinking coffee. One about busking, which I thought was pretty funny, and the other about not sleeping and drinking terrible coffee. If you're a big fan of coffee, you very well like experiencing it vicariously through this zine.

Monday, September 10, 2012

24 Hour Zines: Part 2

The second zine I made at the Roberts Street 24 Hour Zine Challenge was one I've been planning to make for ages, and finally the stars were right as the Dartmouth Comics Arts Festival was happening just a couple of weeks later.

I was inspired by the Dino Saw Us sticker book some people I know made at a UK comicon a few years ago, and the Panini sticker albums in which people try to collect stickers for each member of a soccer/football team (or whatever, I remember having Ghostbusters ones as a kid). I combined both ideas and listed every person/group who had a table, gave their website address, and included a space for a sticker.

I didn't tell anyone I was doing this, so I was kind of terrified everyone would hate it. But on the actual day I gave out stickers to all the artists, and they all seemed happy to participate. We ran out of albums by the end of the day (I had made over one hundred!), and a lot of people (especially kids) really enjoyed collecting all the stickers. There were numerous comments online saying how cool they were, and the organizer asked me to do it again for next year. A clear success!

I went around at the end of the day and got stickers from most of the people that were still there. I won't post all the pages here, but you can see the whole album on imgur or on facebook.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

24 Hour Zines: Part 1

The Roberts Street Social Centre had their 24 Hour Zine Challenge last month. I went and, in addition to eating some pancakes, make a couple of zines.

The first was the newest issue of the Halifax Comic Jam anthology. I didn't draw much of this issue, but I scanned it all in, did some digital editing, designed the cover, and laid it all our. Hurray!

The cover was pretty fun to make. I found a jam jar in the fridge (I can't remember what was in it, but it wasn't jam...), soaked it in water, pealed off the label, dried it off, scanned it, and edited it on the computer.

You can find the Halifax Comics Jam on Facebook. Their next event is on September 25th.