Thursday, September 29, 2011

Peach Melba #22, #23, #24

By Pearl
PO Box 74

It's been so long since I reviewed Peach Melba (a rad list zine made by a 14 year old), that not only do I have three issues here, but apparently there are more issues waiting for me in the mailbox of my previous residence (I'm trying to get them!).

Each issue of this zine is folded in a crazy and neat way using only one piece of paper. It's hard to explain, but if you ever see it you'll also think it's neat. Within the carefully folded pages you'll find lots of typewritten lists about whatever Pearl is thinking about in a given month.

Some of my favourite lists in here are "rooms in a house" from issue 22 ("secret passageway" is the first listed room, awesome!), "Things that I've been hating recently" from issue 23 ("capitalism"!!!), and "Animals that I'd never even heard of until I wrote them in this list" from issue 24 ("zorilla").

I also love that Pearl is so political at a young age, being involved with critical mass bicycle rides (the dates of which are listed here), the UK Green Party (while acknowledging that "they are the lesser of many evils"), and generally hating the royal family!

Reading an issue of Peach Melba always leaves me smiling, and I hopefully they'll make you smile too.

Monday, September 26, 2011


By Elliot Baggott

So this is by far the most delayed review ever. I've had the images uploaded for months. Sigh.

This comic opens with two awesome pages that combine words written by Charlotte Bronte about the Crystal Palace, with drawings of Westfield shopping centre in London. It's a pretty neat juxtaposition of ideas, and I like how it compares things that were incredibly amazing with things that we now consider just common place. One hundred years ago people couldn't imagine wearing clothes made in another continent.

After this, we move into the main story, which is a short piece about the daydreams of a guy who works in a teeth whitening place in a mall. The whole piece has expository narration boxes that mirror the style that Bronte uses at the beginning of the piece. These help to make the idea of teeth whitening seem amazing and terrifying at the same time.

In addition to traditional panel based art work, we're also exposed to diagrams, anecdotes presented as asides, maps, and some pretty rad lettering. The story itself isn't that amazing or anything (dude works in a job he doesn't like, thinks about what he'd rather do), but the way it's put together is pretty fun and uses some innovative techniques.

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Conversational History: Roberts Street Social Centre

By Caleb, Nicole, Jyelle, and a whole bunch of other people

The major reason as to why this site hasn't been that updated over the summer is that I moved to Halifax and developed a social life. I've also spent a lot of time volunteering at the Roberts Street Social Centre and the Anchor Archive Zine Library contained within it.

This isn't to say I haven't been writing things. I continued writing my column for The Beat until this month, I've made a couple of zines (mostly at a 24 hour zine challenge, more info soon!), and have also spent a lot of time updating the website, facebook page, and email announcements list for Roberts Street.

So it is with a fair amount of bias that I approach this zine.

The Roberts Street Social Centre is a space in a former house that houses a zine library, the People's Photocopier, a screen printing co-operative, a meeting space, and more! It's been around for about six years, and this zine (which was about a year in the making it seems) is mostly a transcript of a dinner conversation (from 2009?) between eleven (I think) people involved in the space, and their memories of how the space began, and how it's grown and evolved since then.

There's also an interview with the people that set up the website and online zine catalogue (really interesting to me, but possibly boring to everyone else), an interview with the owner of the house who we rent from (more interesting than it might seem), and flyers and posters advertising events from the beginning of the space.

As someone (heavily?) involved in the space, I find this all really interesting, but I'm not sure how interesting it would be to someone who has never visited. There are some problems (all of the pieces just seem to stop, with no real ending or conclusion), and there's some information that I would have liked to have seen included (why start a zine library at all?), but overall I think it's a really awesome zine, and the style of it (while a nightmare to transcribe I'm sure), is one that allows a lot of different people to tell their memories and opinions in an organic way.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Oblast #13 - Ten More Videos I Watched On YouTube

This is the other zine I made at the Roberts Street Social Centre. Collect them all!

Unlike the last YouTube zine I made, this time I bothered to make a playlist, so you can watch along!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


By Stathis Tsemberlidis

Reviewing this silent, dream-like comic is pretty hard. There are no words or dialogue anywhere inside, and the plot is one where events flow into each other with no explanation of what's going on or why anything's happening. My friend thought they might be stuck in Hell. I wondered if the comic was all about how circular life is and how nothing truly changes. One side wins and they become who they were fighting against. Maybe that is Hell.

The comic opens up with a groups of protesters facing off against police officers in riot gear. Part of me really thinks that this is inspired by the riots that happen in Greece fairly frequently. Tsemberlidis is (I'm pretty sure) from Greece, and he is presumably more aware of the events going on there than most people.

After that the comic becomes more metaphysical and mystical, and there are panels that wouldn't feel that out of place in some of Alan Moore's weirder comics. (Actually there are a couple of panels that wouldn't look out of place in a more popular Alan Moore comic either.)

However the story (however strange it may be, and ignoring the three paragraphs I've written about it) is not the reason to check out this story. The real reason is Tsemberlidis' amazing, though hard to describe, artwork. Each image is filled with incredibly amounts of detail and texture, and while there aren't that many backgrounds I feel that this is done on purpose, and adds to the mystery of the story. What backgrounds are there also look amazing, so it's not like he's avoiding drawing something he's not good at.

Mostly though, we're left with unanswered questions: Where did that crocodile come from? Is it actually an alligator? (I can't tell the difference.) Is that a vagina? Is Tsemberlidis ever going to draw a zombie comic? Cause I bet he would draw amazing zombies (I don't even really care about zombies!).

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Oblast #11 - Places I have Slept January 1st - August 28th, 2011

By Matthew Murray

Last month the Roberts Street Social Centre held their 6th annual 24 Hour Zine Challenge. I participated, and this is one of the two zines I made during that time. (I've actually worked on it a bit since then, and changed the cover slightly, but this is the version that physically exists at the moment).

It features manipulated photos, and stories and information about the the 25 places where I slept between January 1st and August 28th this year. Check it out!

Monday, September 12, 2011

DIY Zine Libraries

By Cheyenne Neckmonster
cheyenne's tumblr

I really love zine libraries, which if you know me you would already be aware, as I spend a lot of my time nowadays hanging out at the Anchor Archive Zine Library (you should come by!). One of the awesome things the Roberts Street Social Centre (where the aforementioned zine libray is located) is a summer zine residency program. This is where various zinesters and artists come and live in our shed for two weeks and work on art and zine projects.

So far this year we've had some pretty rad people come by, one of whom was Cheyenne Neckmonster, who finished her zine a few weeks months ago. It's kind of strange reviewing this zine as not only do I know Cheyenne (and hung out with her a bunch while she was here), but I helped her a bit in this zine by giving her the contact info of some zine library people I know (I'm even thanked on the back page!).

This zine combines general info about zine libraries with quotes from people involved with some libraries. The general info didn't interest me that much, but that's probably because I already know about zine libraries! I was interested by the quotes from various librarians and wish there was more information about them. In fact, I'd rather read profiles on each individual library, but that's me asking for a different type of zine than this is.

This zine is cool though, and I know Cheyenne is already planning a second edition (or a second issue), with information from more libraries. If you're interested in the idea of zine libraries and want to start your own this zine is totally worth checking out, though you don't have to take it as your bible. As Cheyenne says "Every zine library is unique.", and I wouldn't have it any other way.