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Archive for the ‘Staff Picks’ Category

(Micro) Zine Of The Week: A Very Kraftwerk Summer

Posted by Matthew Moyer on February 10, 2012

In the spirit of Stand By Me, Chris Hutsul remembers a (fake) youthful summer spent in the company of the man-machines of new wave: Kraftwerk! Whether at the arcade or the mall, Kraftwerk were the perfect summer best friends. Pure delight.


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(Micro) Zine Of The Week: The Prince Zine

Posted by Matthew Moyer on February 3, 2012

The Prince Zine by Joshu James Amberson

Amberson (Basic Paper Airplane) gamely takes on the pop music enigma Prince with this one-off zine. Will he be able to accomplish what it took Ronin Ro 370 pages to do in HIS Prince book? Surprisingly yes. Great for novices and obsessives.

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Zine of the Week: Middle School by Monica Gallagher

Posted by Matthew Moyer on April 12, 2011

Middle School
by Monica Gallagher

Does middle school even still exist? It seems like a torment from a bygone age, like the Spanish Inquisition. No one with good sense looks back on middle school fondly, and Monica Gallagher captures the deep existential dread that would result from the most trivial matters so expertly in her brief Middle School minicomic. From the pop culture references on the cover (an MC Hammer CD, an industrial-size bottle of hairspray), I’m guessing that Gallagher and I are around the same age, which makes her tale hit close to home personally, but c’mon, adolescent trauma is universal.

The story is that Gallagher’s middle school, in an innovation that makes my stomach hurt just reading about it, sent sixth graders to an “outdoor education” camp at the beginning of the school year to… I don’t know, break their spirit fully right off the bat? It is there that this comic begins, a tangle of self-doubt, life-or-death decisions, all-consuming infatuations, and an ironclad social hierarchy. It’s hilarious and cringe-inducing in equal doses. The art is assured and captures the essential awkwardness of everyone involved. And whaddya know? Is that an almost happy ending? Can’t be….

Find it in JaxCat

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Mike Watt in Jacksonville

Posted by Andrew Coulon on March 24, 2011

Hey cool cats, you may have heard by now that punk legend Mike Watt will be playing at Jack Rabbits this Thursday.  In case you may have missed some of Watt’s back catalog, JPL has you covered with the below selections. We Jam Econo is a terrific documentary on the Minutemen.  Post-Mersh (3 Volumes) collects much of the Minutemen’s early work.  Double Nickels on the Dime has been heralded as one of the best albums from the 80s.  Ball Hog or Tugboat? is Watt’s first solo album with back up from members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth.  D.I.Y or Die is another documentary about zine and music culture and it features interview footage with Mike Watt.  Get busy!

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Zine of the Week: The Amish Elf by Chris Kerr

Posted by Matthew Moyer on February 8, 2011

The Amish Elf
by Chris Kerr

You could be forgiven for taking a look at the cover and title of Chris Kerr’s minicomic and think it a one-note joke. C’mon an Amish Elf? There’s gotta be a bad standup routine in there somewhere about oversize buggies? And yet, to his eternal credit, artist Kerr takes this limited concept and weaves a touching and bewitching mythos around it.

The plot is oblique and impossible to sum up in a brief manner to anyone’s satisfaction. Let’s just say that it’s a travelogue the likes of which you’d never read in a Disney story or Piers novel. Surreal phantasmagoria contrasts nicely with the more Spartan reality of an Amish village in a very entertaining manner.

No dialogue, bereft of any text, the weight of the storytelling falls on Kerr’s simple pen-and-ink line drawings. His art style is very familiar (I’m thinking of Magnus Carisson’s Robin and Russian dolls for some reason) and very individual at the same time. Whereas the lead characters–the Elf, the Wizard, and the Amish–are drawn in a very naive, cartoonish style, suddenly he’ll throw you for a curve by drawing, say, an alligator or an opossum in stunning photo-realist detail. Yet it’s the cartoons that pack the emotional punch, a page where a squirrel triumphantly teaches the Amish Elf to throw nuts at targets blindfolded is uplifting, and a shot of stoic Amish parents fighting back tears over the supposed death of their son is wrenching.  And that last page? Man…

Read it, give it to your friends to read, and then argue over the plot more than you did with Twin Peaks!

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Listen To This Zine!

Posted by Matthew Moyer on January 21, 2011

It’s happened to all of us, you finish reading a zine, and wonder what exactly the band that gave that great interview sounds like? Sure, you could trawl around iTunes, but where’s the fun in that? The Zine Collection has teamed up with the Popular Media department at the Main Library to offer you a selection of albums from bands featured in the pages of some of our finest, cutting-edge music zines. They’re displayed with the new zines on the first floor of the Main Library, and we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by some of the selections. As always, maximum volume yields maximum results.

Maximum Rock N’ Roll Vol. 288
Clockcleaner – “Babylon Rules”

Maximum Rock N’ Roll Vol. 278
The Fall – “Hex Induction Hour”

Maximum Rock N’ Roll Vol. 278
Thee Headcoats – “Knights of the Baskervilles”

Maximum Rock N’ Roll Vol. 308
The Cramps – “Live at Napa State Mental Hospital” (DVD)

Maximum Rock N’ Roll Vol. 283
Jay Reatard – “Singles 06-07”

Maximum Rock N’ Roll Vol. 191 AND Razorcake Vol. 4
Minor Threat – “Complete Discography”

Razorcake Vol. 48
Otis Redding – “The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul”

Maximum Rock N’ Roll Vol. 179
Boysetsfire – “After the Eulogy”

Maximum Rock N’ Roll Vol. 289
Southern Death Cult – “Southern Death Cult”

Tail Spins. Vol. 33
Melt Banana – “Cactuses Come in Flocks”

Tail Spins. Vol. 19
Sebadoah – “III”

Many more to come…

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Video Zine Review #1

Posted by Josh Jubinsky on January 11, 2011

Welcome to Video Zine Review #1

This first episode features reviews of Publick Occurances #12, Beyond the Porch #1 and Burn Brandon #14.

It also has an introduction about what zines are, and important information about the Jacksonville Public Library.  That’s probably stuff you already know since you are visiting the Zine Collection blog, but just in case!  This premiere is a bit longer than future episodes will be for that reason.  Following episodes will be 100% zine, 100% of the time.  Enjoy!

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Crap Hound. Vol. 4

Posted by Matthew Moyer on January 7, 2011

Crap Hound Vol. 4
Edited by Sean Tejaratchi
Show and Tell Press

When thinking about starting your own zine, the would-be zinester will often get tripped up on where to find the right imagery. Clip art is just too tacky and generic (plus David Rees has staked that claim) , and who has the money to buy a mountain of old comics and Argosy magazines? Well friend, you’re in luck. Crap Hound has done all the legwork for you! This issue compiles an absolutely jaw-dropping collection of found art, advertising ephemera, forgotten iconography, old library books, and Jack Chick drawings all based around the themes of clowns, devils, and bait. And editor Sean Tejaratchi has crammed full an entire oversized zine with nothing but images drawing from one of those three themes! Even without text each page is overloaded with all manner of vintage eye candy, from Ronald McDonald seemingly drawing a finger across his throat menacingly to a full page diagram of the best insect bait to use to catch fish to an old-timey logo for Red Devil Quick Drying Grout.

The overall effect is almost psychedelic in terms of sheer mental overload; an unending parade of disorienting, eerily innocent images swims in front of your eyes as you turn page after page. But in another way Tejaratchi is rescuing these incredible, quirky images from oblivion and giving them another life, stripped of context or message, to be used in perpetuity for new projects. Crap Hound has been going since 1994. Along the way it has become a favorite of both zine readers and “serious” outlets like the New York Times and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. It’s not hard to see why.

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Galactic Zoo Dossier. Vol. 8

Posted by Matthew Moyer on November 19, 2010

Galactic Zoo Dossier Vol. 8
By Plastic Crimewave

This is quite possibly one of the best zines that I have ever laid eyes on. Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow) is a bona fide renaissance man: dj, musician, record label head (Galactic Zoo Disk), concert promoter (the Million Tongues Festival), and cartoonist (Secret History of Chicago Rock), but the focus of his activity is this labor of love publication, Galactic Zoo Dossier. The Dossier is a hand-drawn compendium of all things psychedelic, spacey, and noisy.

Reading this zine is like rifling through the record and comic book collection of a cool older brother/sister. This particular issue features articles on Vashti Bunyan, MV & EE, Brian Wilson, Yahowa 13, Guru Guru, the 4 Tops, Kim Fowley, and Hoyt Axton, among a legion of others. The Dossier’s layout and design walks that fine line between inspired and a mess. Using Krakow’s illustrations instead of stock band photos is a genius idea, and having the issue hand-lettered gives it a much more urgent, passionate vibe. Besides the interviews, the issue is packed with reviews, short histories of cult bands, and collages of old 60s comics that were rife with counterculture references. And, say, if Krakow wants a pinup of Peter Cushing in there, well then, by god, there’s Peter Cushing circa Hammer Films glory on the last page. Also included is a cd brimming over with obscure psych nuggets. Completely worthwhile.

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Judas Goat Quarterly Vol. 45 by Grant Schreiber

Posted by Andrew Coulon on November 8, 2010

Judas Goat Quarterly #45During Spring 2010, Grant Schreiber was under-unemployed when he heard Uncle Sam’s siren call for US Census workers so he signed up.  As a crew leader, his mission was to lead a team assigned to count every person living in a small area on the northside of Chicago. Luckily for Judas Goat Quarterly readers, Schreiber decided to write down his experiences and share some of the wisdom he picked up on the job. His tales of training, organizing and learning to text make for terrific reading and you’ll cringe along with Schreiber as he tries to whip a group of people into a lean, mean head-counting machine in less than a week. After all counting every man, woman and child in the United States isn’t for the weak of heart, as Schreiber loves to point out. In his own words, Schreiber “served” and he expresses a certain amount of pride in a job done as well as some frustration with the inner workings of the Federal Government. So there you have it, a first hand account of the 2010 Census, and if that’s not enough, check out the book review of R. Crumb’s Genesis. That is another good book you can check out from the library.

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