The anticipation is worth it. Almost 100 items now cataloged – it’s not the easiest thing to do, and everyone on the zine committee has regular duties pertaining to our respective departments to do. This whole project is something we’ve added to our jobs. And we love it, but that other fun and sometimes not-so-fun job stuff sure get’s active at times.
We got our comic-style bags and boards in hand and our special zine boxes have been ordered. “Soft opening” is sometime in September, with the grand opening October 7th at the Main Library. This will be during the October Art Walk.
Now on to some more anticipation. Here’s a few of the titles we’ve gotten in that I’m very excited about having people check out.
Seven Inches to Freedom #7
Seven Inches to Freedom is a hardcore / punk fanzine by Joe Lachut and based out of Ft. Myers Florida. It continually offers a healthy dose of columns, ‘my first record’ stories, and highly informative highlights of the author’s favorite bands – these are generally older musical groups. This issues title is “(are we) Destroying Hardcore From Within(?)”. This issue is the first that Joe has had to charge for, the previous issues being free due to copy scams. It’s worth the $1 in person or $2 postage paid for this newest 34 page, ‘professionally printed’ publication. Joe’s column is about his woes of printing the zines. Another column, by John Fahy, focuses on his disdain for hardcore band’s that don’t include lyrics with their releases. The in-depth band reviews for this issue feature Australia’s Rupture and New York’s Born Against. Both are extremely well done in terms of highlighting each bands discography and importance to the larger DIY punk rock canon. Other features include a partially comprehensive Florida scene report, a piece on separate but communal living, an article entitled “Is Hardcore Broken” and a quick two pages of record and zine reviews. In general, the writing is good and simple. Sometimes it seems a little too simple and short. I thoroughly enjoyed the “Is Hardcore Broken” article, although a small part of me wished they tied it into the greater economic picture at large. Maybe more numbers, stats, etc. But maybe that’s the point, that’s the focus. And in the end I really like it.
True Loves and True Loves 2
Sometimes, I just can’t put comics down. I get tired really quickly of actual comics that come out monthly – I get to read 10 or 12 pages, and then wait another month… it get’s old. I found myself reading these and thinking it moved to slowly. Then I realized it was because I just wanted to know what happened so badly. Husband and wife team Jason Turner and Manien Botma create a comic about a modern romance where the main character, True, finds herself starting a fresh relationship while struggling to break it off with her previous one. It may sound ordinary or bland, but the simplicity of the story and drawings is very calming. An entertaining and relaxed read. Filling your possible need for water cooler gossip while you maintain a safe distance with coffee instead.
Give Me Back
A thoroughly punk music zine printed in magazine format on newspaper. Give Me Back continues where Ebullition’s zine Heartattack left off – quite literally, as I heard in the beginning they were going to use the same name. Issues contain columns, articles, band interviews and music reviews. The music reviews follow a no-barcode policy, ensuring that the music covered is my independent artists and not larger label interests – they lovingly refer to this as “irrelevant, glossy, radio-friendly crap that gets sent to us.” Each issue is about 56 or so pages, and is gently littered throughout with photos and culturally relevant advertisements.
The first issue (which is actually called #51, picking up where Heartattack left off at #50) has interviews with bands such as Holland’s Seein’ Red, Providence’s Tiny Hawks, Japan’s Envy. Great interviews with organizations dealing with sexual assault such as Philly’s Pissed and Philly Stands Up are also included. Jeb Brannon on the zine Crass Menagerie, and Donna Manion, organizer of RVA’s CLIT fest are also interviewed. The interviews are very well done. I especially liked the one with Seein’ Red. Despite being a band for over 20 years, I had never seen them until rather recently in Holland when my band was on tour over there. It was a special treat to read an interview with them.
Issue #2 features interviews with Des Ark, the New York punk cabaret band World/Inferno Friendship Society, the all-girl bay-area punk band Hey Girl!, French hardcore band Daitro, and Bob from Deep Six Records and the powerviolence band Lack on Interest. It also features some great columns from Hope Amico, Keith Rosson, Katy Otto, The Down There Health Collective, Kent McClard (who did the original Heartattack zine), Julia Booze, Travis Magoo (ahem Fristoe), and a new comic column by Erin Tobey! There’s also a rotating teacher’s column (this month featuring Leigh Schlatter) and a guest column about veggie fuel.
Issue 3 features interviews with Margaret Thrasher, Ultra Dolphins, Seasick, No Age and a collective interview with five punk sound engineers. There are also some great columns from Hope Amico, Keith Rosson, Katy Otto, Julia Booze, Travis Magoo and the rotating Teacher’s column which, in this issue, was written by Sabrina Gallagher. Also, The Down There Health Collective discuss the HPV vaccine and we have two great guest columns about how to legally play DIY shows in Canada and an argument for why punks and MySpace shouldn’t mix. And there’s a DIY page on “keeping your van alive.”
Radical South Vol. 1
This zine is a window to the “radical south,” made in the hopes that it would help unite politically minded, radical communities in the southern states that may feel isolated. Perfect for those living in or traveling around the region, the zine gives detailed descriptions and locations or radical projects, organizations and resource centers from Texas to Florida.
Pyromania Vol. 3 and Vol. 4
John Issacson, author of DIY Screenprinting, and Feedback also puts out Pyromania! This guy is so busy! This issue of Pyromania has a slew of comics covering such topics as: crazy alien monster things, an out of control hot air balloon, a brain aneurysm, bear hunting in the 1950’s, and a robbery/missed connection.