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Archive for the ‘Staff Picks’ Category

Root v.3

Posted by Andrew Coulon on June 9, 2010

In Root v.3, Sarah Evans shares what she has learned after 9 months of travel and exploration throughout Canada and the US. Her observances are mostly short and sweet, accompanied by personal photos and charming cut and paste collages that are so poignant, you begin to feel like a fellow traveler. You can’t help but imagine your own cross-country explorations and reflect on what makes a place feel like home. For Evans, home is in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Everyone else needs to find that place for themselves and sometimes, reading a good old fashioned perzine is a great way to reflect on your own roots and where life has taken you.

Prolific zinester Sarah Evans has been publishing zines for over a decade and has worked as a collaborator at the Anchor Archive Zine Library. If you want to read more by Sarah Evans, we also have Root v.1, Try, Try Again and Salt and Slush: Nova Scotia Winter Cooking.

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Cometbus v.48

Posted by Matthew Moyer on June 2, 2010

Cometbus is that most pleasing and rare phenomenon in the zine world – a long-running, (somewhat) regularly published title. Aaron Cometbus has helmed (and done most of the writing for) Cometbus  since 1983. The zine is known as much for it’s distinctive aesthetic–hand-lettered, simple black and white layouts and photography–as it is for its ever-changing content and focus. However, the whole thing is distinctly Aaron. This partciular issue is all interviews, and is built around the theme “Back to the Land.” In other words, it’s all about Communes, and the continuing urge in alternative sucultures to “get out of the city, get some land, get yourself together.” The hippies in the Sixties, Bob Dylan and the Band most famously did it, as did punks like Crass, and it’s an urge that continues to this day with the Family Band, MV & EE, etc,  upping sticks from the big city to the country. I’ve always been intrigued by communes; Aaron Cometbus is quite the opposite. This makes for fine reading, as he wrestles with his own feelings, while trying to remain the objective  observer during his interviews.

Like David Greenberg and his Duplex Planet, Cometbus eschews the famous, and seeks out friends and friends of friends, all of whom chose or were dragged away from civilization at one point in their lives. However, Cometbus is a more obtrusive and active interviewer than Greenberg. This issue is divided into three sections: The Kids, The Adults, and Back To The Land. All of the interviews more or less fall under these themes. Ironically, despite the loftiest of ideals when leaving the rat race behind, every one of these interviews has a slight tang of disappointment to it. Ain’t it the way…

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The Rise and Fall of the Harbor Area v.14

Posted by Matthew Moyer on May 20, 2010

The balance between national and local interests/arts/music is what sets the best zines apart from mainstream publications of a similar stripe.  You get a stronger sense of place and space than you would in a national pub like Rolling Stone (which ironically started out very much like this zine, inextricably linked to its Bay Area environs). ANYWAY, what I’m trying to say is that The Rise and Fall of the Harbor Area walks this very line perfectly, tied symbiotically with its hometown of San Pedro (birthplace of the legendary Minutemen), devoting the same passion poured into an oral history of  the San Pedro Skatepark to an interview with New York’s Japanther.

The Rise and Fall of the Harbor Area is an an attractively designed quarter-size publication devoted to the usual concerns of raucous punk music, DIY art, and skateboarding, but executed with an enthusiasm and poise a cut above many punkoid peers. For instance, Rise and Fall reprints forgotten Charles Bukowski poetry in every volume, and this particular issue uses illustrations and drawings instead of the usual boring band promo imagery (only Galactic Zoo Dossier does this regularly). And not only do you get excellent interviews with the aforementioned Japanther, Aaron Cometbus of Pinhead Gunpowder, and Street Eaters, but you also get a nifty article on great diners in San Pedro. With very little in the way of bad attitude, to boot. Worthy.

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King-Cat #70

Posted by Andrew Coulon on May 9, 2010

King-Cat Comics celebrated two major milestones in the last year: twenty years in print and 70 issues.  Our congratulations go out to author and artist John Porcellino.  As you might remember, I am a big fan of John’s work so when he visited Gainesville back in March, I was glad to have a chance to meet him.  I showed John several of JPL’s cataloged issues of King-Cat Comics and he was so impressed, he donated issue 70, our current Zine of the Week.  Thanks John!  So without further ado, I offer this month’s Zine of the Week for your reading pleasure.

King-Cat Comics is all about the little things in life, the moments that slip by and would be forgotten without a keen observer like John Porcellino to document them.  He manages to stay present in the moment long enough to find the polished stone and make a comic out of it, resulting in an autobiography of moments, one long string of personal observations that somehow add up to life in modern times.  In issue 70, John goes to the dentist, fills a prescription, mails a letter and embarks on several other thrilling adventures, each with their own eureka moment.  And if that isn’t enough, Diogenes washes vegetables in the stream.  It’s all there in one zine, everything you need for a relaxing, enlightening afternoon.  Check it out today.

If you would like to read more about John Porcellino, check out our recent interview with him.

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Big Hands v. 5.5 – The Chumbawumba Issue

Posted by Matthew Moyer on May 4, 2010

I know what you’re thinking, I was thinking the exact same thing. “Chumbawumba” and “Zine of the Week” in the same sentence? The band who wrote that lame “I get knocked down” song? C’mon Zine Library, what are you trying to pull? Hear me out. Aaron Smith’s “Big Hands” zines has done the impossible and resuscitated the reputation of a bunch of goofball one-hit wonders.

I picked this one up because I didn’t even think it was possible to fill up a full issue of a zine with info about Chumbawumba. Wrong again! The band has a storied history, which Smith lays out in oddly compelling detail. Did you know, in fact, that Chumbawumba started out as a highly-politicized anarcho-punk band and was even labelmates with the mighty Crass? That the band went in a more techno/electronic direction because they were inspired by the egalitarian nature of rave and acid house events? Or that longtime friend Ian MacKaye stopped talking to them after they signed to a major? This issue is divided into two parts: Smith’s deftly written history (eulogy?) of the band and a collection of sleeve art, lyrics, and early interviews from various punk zines.  This is a deft piece of music writing by Smith, and his first extended foray into music criticism.

By the end of Big Hands, you’re left with the impression that Chumbawumba was just a very earnest and idealistic group of artists that tried to pull a “Great Rock N’ Roll Swindle” and instead got chewed up by the pop music machine.  (The transcript of the band meeting where they decided to sign to a major was a nice touch.) Whether that absolves them of the sins of making some terrible music, well, that’s up to the individual reader.  And check out the nifty cassette of early, angry Chumbawumba!

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Know Your Zine Author – John Porcellino

Posted by Andrew Coulon on April 27, 2010

John Porcellino recently celebrated publishing 70 issues of King-Cat Comics in 20 years.  That’s a great accomplishment, especially considering that most zines never make it past the fifth issue.  His autobiographical comics focus on single moments, scrapping away all of the clutter to expose simple, real experiences in his life.  It goes without saying that we here in the Zine Collection are very excited to offer up an email interview with John.  Read on….

How did you first get into zines?

I’d been making little handmade booklets since I was a kid, and in High School I began making photocopies of them, to give to my friends. In 1987 I started making an art and poetry magazine called Cehsoikoe, which I sold at a local record shop. One day I got a letter in the mail from a girl named Lainie the Oyster, who lived a few towns over from me, and also published a little magazine, called “Lime Green Bulldozers.” I went to her house one day and she showed me Factsheet Five. Before that time I was unaware that there was a “Zine World.” Finding out about that network changed my life, and I’ve been involved in it ever since.

How long have you been writing King-Cat Comics?

I started King-Cat in May of 1989.

What made you decide to create a print zine and what keeps you going?

Well, at the time there was no other option. There was no web, I didn’t even have a computer. What keeps me going? In print? I guess I’m old-fashioned, but I love paper, I love books, I love holding something in my hand and being able to put it on a shelf.

Do you have a large web presence right now? Would you ever publish exclusively online?

I have a website, and a Facebook page, and a few blogs. I have an ongoing archive of my comics going up online at WhatThingsDo.com. The internet is great for so many things– getting the word out and communicating, discovering things, and tracking down information. I suppose it’s inevitable that some amount of my comics publishing efforts will eventually be online, but I would hope that I’d be able to maintain the print version of King-Cat as well.

What kind of work goes into creating an issue? How much time do you put into your publishing?

I keep notebooks around me where I jot down ideas, phrases, titles, and memories etc as they come to me. I also always have little scraps of paper, receipts for instance, with notes jotted on the back. I kind of keep that stuff around, refining my ideas until they begin to take shape. When they do, and I can start to see the next issue of King-Cat in my head, I begin the actual drawing. Once I start drawing it goes pretty fast. The bulk of the work is in the writing, and editing the writing. I’d say the whole process can take six months to a year or so. Then I get the new issue out, and it all starts over again.

Where do you get your ideas from?

Well, I’m mostly an autobiographical cartoonist, so I get my ideas from life, from things that happen to me or people I know. I’m always looking at other people’s work too, comics, movies, books. They all kind of inspire me, or take my thoughts in a new direction. My inspiration comes from life, and, to me, life includes everything, so I draw inspiration from all over.

Several of your zines reference Zen masters and koans. Do you draw a lot of influence from Zen Buddhism?

I discovered Zen in the mid-nineties, and I always say it was like finding a pair of shoes in your closet that you’d forgotten you had. You put them on and it’s just such a comfortable, natural fit. Zen is concerned with the reality of everyday life, and that’s something I was already trying to work with in my artwork, and my life. So, I had those impulses before I discovered Zen, but Zen kind of put a form to these amorphous ideas and feelings I’d had floating around for many years.

You also have a few comics about Greek philosopher Diogenes of Sinope. What draws you to him?

Same thing that drew me to the old Zen masters: these wild-and-free old men out there prowling around the fringes of society trying to get us to open up our eyes. They may seem gruff and unconventional, but they’re acting out of compassion, they’re trying to help us get our heads out of the sand and really experience what it means to be alive, to be a real live human being.

You recently went on a long tour to promote your work. How did that go?

The tour was fantasic. It’s so rewarding to get out there and meet people who read my comics, and see new things, meet new people, connect directly like that. It’s the best feeling in the world. I hadn’t been down south since I was five years old, so it was all very exciting and new to me.

What zines do you enjoy?

I have such broad interests, so I like all kinds of things, but I especially like personal, auto-biographical things. I’m interested in real life, and what that means for other people. Specifically some of my favorite zines are Roctober, Laterborn, Strange Growths, but there are too many to name them all.

Do you have any non-zine reading recommendations?

Well, for me, Kerouac and the other Beats were big inspirations. I think they’re an important part of our culture that are often overlooked… I just read an “autobiography” of Federico Fellini, called I, Fellini, that I think any creative person would find interesting. I read a lot of non-fiction, stuff in The New Yorker or Harper’s…

Can you give us a preview of what you are working on next?

I’m always at work on the next King-Cat. And I’m putting together a new book about an illness I had in the 90’s, called The Hospital Suite. I’ve got so many little projects and big projects going on all the time… I keep busy!

Posted in Interviews, Staff Picks | 1 Comment »

America? v.15

Posted by Matthew Moyer on April 22, 2010

You could make a very convincing case that your library’s Zine Committee is totally in the tank for Travis Fristoe. He was one of our first interviews and we hosted him for a reading in February. (Shame on you if you missed it!) But if you read any of the work by the Gainesville musician/librarian, you’ll quickly understand why. His America? mini-zine consistently proves that good things come in quarter-page packages; it’s a mix of excellent interviews and music writing and concise, Carver-esque personal writings.

The lengthy interview with reggae legend (and Clash DJ) Mikey Dread yielded surprise after surprise (why didn’t MOJO ever talk to him?), while Fristoe’s conversation with noise duo Japanther was inspiring in a get out and do it yourself way, unlike most interviews that focus on their “extracurricular” activities. There are a bunch of crudely drawn, yet charming comics, to illustrate his personal anecdotes, and the graphics are pure cut-and-paste DIY chaos. Just how a zine should be.

Somehow Fristoe’s writings about Gainesville always make me appreciate living in Florida a little bit more. No mean feat.

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Know Your Zine Writer – Sandra Knauf

Posted by Matthew Moyer on March 19, 2010

Sandra Knauf is the driving force behind Greenwoman, a zine devoted to gardening, environmentalism, and all manner of outdoor DIY pursuits. It was an early favorite amongst the members of the Zine Committee for its impassioned (and educational) writing and a quirky, homemade design sense. Several of the issues are currently available for checkout, and the rest of the series will soon be added to the Collection.

Tell me about your first exposure to zines.

Being an unhip, middle-aged Coloradoan, zines were part of the great unknown for me until a few years ago, where I first read about them in Ariel Gore’s wonderful book How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead. Her book advises writers to just get your work out there, publish it yourself if you have to, and she mentioned zines. I ordered a few zines from Microcosm Publishing to find out what they were all about and a new world opened up. I fell in love! Later, I figured out that I had been exposed to zines before. Years ago I had read Al Hoff’s book Thrift Score, the definitive book about thrift store shopping/American material culture & kitsch/etc. She published these little booklets before the book, and I wound up buying all the issues that she had. She was selling them for super cheap, like 50 cents apiece, and they were so fantasic! After reading Gore’s book, I thought, oh, those were zines! Just this last summer I noticed that some things I had in my library, handmade booklets on herbs and cooking, for example, were really zines.   

How long have you been writing Greenwoman? How did the zine come to be?

I published the first issue of Greenwoman in May 2008. After reading Ariel Gore’s book and being floored by the talent of some of these zine writers, I thought, okay, I want to do this! I’d worked on a fundraising book on gardening while in a garden club a few years earlier and so I had a little experience and I felt confident that I could publish something entertaining and educational. I can’t even tell you how psyched I was and how excited to begin!

What made you decide to create a print zine? What sort of writing had you done prior to Greenwoman? Was there ever any temptation to just slap it all up online?

Slapping it online? Hell no! I’m a hand’s on person. I see making zines like cooking, like making a garden, a home; I relish the work, the planning, the intricacy, the intimacy. Also, I want to present my best work possible, and it would be impossible (at least for me) to do that on a blog. To me, writing takes time and a lot of thought and finessing and rewriting…and even though I’m not a perfectionist, I always see how I could have done it a little better. It’s fun, because you make yourself a deadline and you get it out there, so you see results. And zines are REAL, you can hold them in your hand, send them to people you love, let them clutter up your house.

I did have quite a bit of writing experience before Greenwoman. Many years, in fact, as a suffering, mostly unpaid, but happy writer that continues today. I’d written for local publications, did a few magazine features, had some humorous essays published in the garden journal GreenPrints, written six columns as an op-ed guest columnist for The Denver Post. I’d even read my essays on the radio (KRCC, southern Colorado’s NPR affiliate). I’ve been in love with writing, fiction and nonfiction, for many years, and by many, I mean almost two decades. From my first creative writing class, when I went back to college in the early 1990s. 

What kind of work goes into creating an issue? How much time?

I spend a lot of time thinking about it. I think about what I can do for a cover, what artwork I have available (collages I’ve made), what I can come up with. I have a pretty big collection of gardening books, catalogues, pictures, a lot of vintage stuff, Dover books, most bought at flea markets, yard sales and thrift stores–plenty of material to work with. I thought it would be funny to have these “Veggie Comix” made from embroidery transfers of decades past, something I was fascinated with as a kid–anthromorphic vegetables & fruits, so I do a couple of pages of those in each issue. I bought those transfers on eBay.

For the writing part, I send out S.O.S’s to my writing friends– “please, I don’t wanna do this alone!” I whine, and I bribe them with free copies and plants from my garden. I tend to get very sick of my own voice in these productions, so I really try to get some friends to join me. So far, I’ve been thrilled to publish some of their work, as well as a story by Bruce Holland Rogers, an award-winning fantasy writer, and an essay on bees from the late Al Meyerhoff, an environmental lawyer who had been published in the L.A. Times and The Huffington Post. These last two were fabulous scores from really wonderful men who either let me reprint their work for free or for a pittance. It made me realize, once more, the generosity and incredible goodwill among writers.

So far, I’ve always used as a main essay one of my “old” writings, something I wrote about during the last decade while learning how to become a gardener and gardening with my children, transforming our urban property, doing this “country in the city” thing. This is really why I started the zine, because I had these stories that I cared about and I wanted to see them published. That and because promoting gardening and environmentalism is of the utmost importance in my life. I still have a couple of essays I want to publish from back then, and I’m always out there, having new adventures. Once I figure out what I’m going to do and can focus on putting the issue together, it goes pretty fast. It takes a couple of weeks, working a couple hours here, a few there…maybe 40 hours altogether, I’d guess, in actual hands-on work.

Where do you get your ideas from? Your life and your work seem very much intertwined.

I have so many ideas, Matthew, it’s like a bad case of ADD every day. I get caught up in a lot of things. I love gardening and Nature, and that’s the focus of this zine, and I’m always thinking about it, about what I’m going to do this year (join a community garden, keep working on a native plant documentation project at our Red Rocks Canyon Park, and, I’m going to try to do something super-subversive and funny, grow Peter Peppers–native peppers that, I kid you not, actually resemble penises). I’m always thinking about what I want to write about, but I also get easily obsessed with other things. For instance, these last few months I’ve been fascinated with Julie & Julia (and learning about Julie Powell, Julia Child, and reading all these books, and trying to figure out why Nora Ephron did not portray Julie Powell true-to-life in the film), and now I’m into the Grey Gardens thing, exploring these fascinating anarchist women who lived in shocking filth and a strange combination of both unparalleled freedom and imprisonment. I could make a zine about both of these subjects; there are so many rich subjects. My zines and my life are completely intertwined. I think my feminism, my love of film and food and a lot of other things overlap, and some of the strange obsessions spill over into Greenwoman.

Speaking of which, I liked the twine binding and collaged covers. Do you do all of the art yourself?

No, I steal some of it! Actually, I felt very guilty after the last issue because I used a picture of an actor, and I shouldn’t have, it was copyright infringement. But I wasn’t clear on all that (I know, no excuse), and I’m not going to make that mistake again. That said, thanks for the compliment. Everything else is legit. The covers are from photographs I’ve taken and from my collages. I love visual art, although I have no training. I’m a folk artist, I guess. I took the idea of the twine binding from Christoph Meyers’ zines, 28 Pages Lovingly Bound With Twine. Christoph Meyers was one of the first zine authors I fell in love with, he’s an incredible writer, and I really liked the craftmanship and look and feel of the twine bindings, so I borrowed that idea. It’s really a pain in the ass to tie all those knots, but it’s a labor of LOVE and I think people respond to that.

From your work with Greenwoman, have you made connections with other zine writers? What sort of feedback and reactions do you get from your audience?

I’ve contacted a few zinesters and a few have contacted me, and Greenwoman may have a few fans out there, but I haven’t received a lot of mail because, maybe, I don’t know, my zine’s more polished, less punk, and I’m older, kind of an old lady in the zinester world (I just turned 47) so maybe the people who read zines aren’t as comfortable contacting me. They don’t realize that, inside, I’m just an advanced twelve-year-old. 

I’ve written several of the writers I love, including Celia Perez (I Dreamed I was Assertive). I was contacted by Dan Murphy, who writes The Juniper. Dan is super-cool, and such a garden lover. I totally develop crushes on all the people I connect with because zines are such a passionate media. Maybe a few zines are made out of anger, and I can relate to that, but the vast majority are made from love, and it shows. Currently, and I’m sorry if this sounds kiss-ass, but I’m being completely sincere, I have to say I am in love with zine librarians. I’ve had a lot of contact with them as I’ve sought out a few librarys to send Greenwoman to. Jessy Randall (a brilliant poet and YA novelist who is the zine librarian at Colorado College, just a couple of miles from where I live) is also a zinester. Jenna Freedman, the zine librarian at Barnard College where they collect zines by women, rocks. She does a lot for the zine community and does her own entertaining and brainy zine, Lower East Side Librarian. Most of the zine libriarians I know are writers, educators, and just brilliant people. They’re on the cusp of seeing what is important now in American literature. I also love Sage Adderly, who carries my zines in her distro, Sweet Candy Distro. She’s a mama, a tattoo artist, a sensitive, talented writer of zines (Marked for Life) and a beautiful human being.  

What zines are you enjoying right now?

Currently I’m reading a book that was compiled from zines, Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills, by Raleigh Briggs, which has a lot of natural house cleaning, health and beauty recipes. It’s fantasic. And I just ordered Christoph Meyer’s book What I Did Last Summer. Since October, I have not had enough zine reading time. I was recently thinking I need to buy MORE zines, even though I still have some I haven’t read. I’m kind of greedy. I’d love to read more of some writers I admire, Celia Perez and the author of Trailer Trash, Michele Shute. I’d like to order tons of zines, just to search for more interesting writers to become enamored with–maybe this summer.

Do you think zines have a place in public libraries?

You’re kidding, right? Okay, you’ve forced me to climb atop my high horse. I’ve been writing a long time, I’ve loved reading since kindergarten, and I even managed to get a B.A. in English, so I know a little about literature. Zines are so much more important than many of the mass produced “products” in libraries today (you know what they are, like something with Dummies in the title, or Goosebumps, or the latest celebrity or politician tell-all-for-money). Zines are the most authentic form of writing self-expression, because no one is telling you what to do, there’s no editorial or market imput. Zines are produced by one person or a small group of people who write solely because they love the printed word and they feel they have something to say. Zines are the opposite of corporate publishing garbage. They may not always be beautiful or perfectly written but they are pure, and many are fabulous examples of living history–chronicles of what it’s like to live in the good old U.S. of A. from the point of view of a real person (versus, for example, a celebrity). 

Would you give us a preview of what you are working on next? 

For Greenwoman Issue #6–grab the breath mints, I’m going to write about garlic. I got turned on, so to speak, to garlic this last year when a local gardening guru, Larry Stebbins, the director of Pikes Peak Urban Gardens (they create community gardens in the Pike’s Peak region and also provide horticultural education) was rhapsodizing about his home-grown garlic. He said that when he bakes lasagna the aroma is so heavenly that his neighbors come over to investigate! Of course, that intrigued me. Then I was astonished to learn that 70% of garlic sold in the U.S. comes from China! Internally I screamed, nooooooooooo! So I’m going to try to inspire people to grow their own garlic. I’ve discovered there are lots of different varieties, Creole garlics, Italian garlics, and the one I’m going to try to grow, Inchelium Red, is a garlic that was found on the Colville Indian Reservation in Inchelium, Washington. I’ve cooked with a few of these garlics this fall and winter, so I know first hand, they’re fabulous. I’m probably also going to publish a story on a community garden experience gone wrong, and, hopefully, I’ll scavenge some brilliant work from friends. (Note to readers–if you are a garden writer, contact me!!) This next issue will debut the art of my friend Rachael Kloster, who will translate the lowly garlic into a beautiful lino cut or illustration and maybe perform one or two other amazing feats.  I’m also in the process of developing another publication. I would like to publish a more inclusive and diverse collection of garden writing and art. Working on Greenwoman, I hope, will be a stepping stone to a bigger and better garden writing magazine.

Posted in Interviews, Staff Picks | 5 Comments »

Movement Magazine Vol. 15.5

Posted by Matthew Moyer on February 12, 2010

In the late 80s/early 90s pretty much anyone who was really interested/excited about alternative culture/art/music said to themselves (in those halcyon pre-internet days), “I should really start a zine.” Of that number, about 30% actually started a zine. Approximately 60% of those zines folded within a few issues. The lucky few lasted a couple of years. For a zine started back then to still be going strong today is almost a statistical impossibility. To that end, I give you Movement Magazine!

Founded in 1990, this long-running, Jacksonville-based (!) “dark alternative” publication is the brainchild of Max Michaels.  As editor, designer, photographer, and writer, each issue reflects his broad and eclectic personal interests along with the interests of an ever changing roster of contributors.   This particular volume plays host to a cover story on Siouxsie Sioux, and articles on IAMX, George Romero, Silverchair, photographer Chad Coombs and Tampa band Greymarket. Though there are those who take issue with Movement’s reputation as a more gothic-centric zine and the occasionally uneven writing, the one thing that can’t be argued is that every issue of Movement looks incredible. Michaels uses innovative layouts and page designs and prefers to use his own photos instead of just relying on stock publicity shots.  This Jacksonville institution definitely deserves your attention.

Posted in Staff Picks, Zine of the Week | Leave a Comment »

Food Geek v. 5

Posted by Matthew Moyer on January 28, 2010

Food and zines! Can it get any better? Carrie McNinch’s Food Geek is just ridiculously charming and useful. I was initially drawn in by the cover, a dead ringer for vintage Kellog’s Cereals ad art, but we all know that content is king, and Food Geek doesn’t disappoint in that respect. McNinch crams her minicomic-sized publication with an eclectic  array of food writing that would never make the pages of stuffy pubs like Food and Wine, usually more concerned about how to cater a dinner party  in the Hamptons. Their loss, because Food Geek is bursting at the seams with recipes, comics, essays and travel narratives that further the love of food. A noble calling, to be sure. Also key to this zine is the lack of judgment from either editors or contributors. While McNinch cops to being a vegetarian, she stresses that this is about food of all stripes and shapes, and the zine is all the stronger for it. Standout pieces include McNinch’s essay on her eating experiences while travelling in China, a Cheap Eats on the Road cartoon from Shawn Granton, and a recipe for Pakora. Even the letters section offers forth a clutch of recipes and tips. (And is that Shane Williams from Flipside contributing?) There’s a real joy (and a delicious aroma) wafting off every page. Dig in.

Posted in Staff Picks, Zine of the Week | Leave a Comment »

 
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