Continuing in her series of monthly zine reviews, Kathleen from Scratch That Itch zine surveys some of the offerings she picked up during May 2009.
Shotgun Seamstress #2
44pp/ £?/ 5525 N. Concord Ave, Portland, Oregon, 97217, USA or myspace.com/293031141
This is a black/ queer/ punk/ feminist zine out of Portland – this issue is a year old but I’m reviewing it anyway because it’s great. It’s generally American focused but there’s an article on reggae’s influence on the UK 77 punk scene that’s worth a read. There’s also articles on RuPaul as a black punk icon, race in the 80s DC hardcore scene, interviews, feedback from a woman of colour in a punk workshop, an Oregon scene report and pages of resources. Also there’s a great article by Brontez from Gravy Train!!! who is the shit. All in all it’s nicely laid out, well written and invaluable for anyone thinking about race and punk.
28pp/ £free/ www.thebridgecollective.com
Hmm… a mohawked punk in gas mask on the cover; vegan recipes; photos of graffiti… It’s all business as usual until, “However I have come to the conclusion revolution begins with the heart as we allow perfect love from above, as demonstrated by Christ, to come and transform our lives”
Hold up! So yeah, it’s a Christian punk zine, except there’s not much punk beyond the front cover. They review Slumdog Millionaire and Morrissey and their politics don’t seem to get beyond, “For me, being a feminist is part of being Christ-like”, ugh.
Also there’s a little snipe at evolution on p18, please! Yes I’m a biased, belligerent atheist, but this zine is rrrrrubbish. Get it from their website, if you must, or pushed on you for free at zine fests where they’re trying to recruit.
7 Minutes In Heaven
48pp/ $2/ email@example.com
Another god zine, except this one is written by ‘2 homos who grew up in the middle of a strict Jesus regime’. They’ve written individually about their similar experiences as confused but devout queer kids in evangelical churches with plenty of humour but also insight and self-awareness – they don’t hesitate to exploit the absurdity of what they did and thought, but are also honest about what they got from their faith, and don’t completely disavow their younger selves.
Best line? “Being gay, for me, has always been about that fine line between determining if you want to actually be someone, or just make sweet homosexual love to them.”
24pp/ £?/ claptrapzine.blogspot.com
Good to see a new issue of this Bradford zine, always an enjoyable collectively written scene report of sorts, but with writing that isn’t location-specific thrown in too. My favourite bits of this issue are a comic about a Viking Eco-Warrior that made me laugh, a well presented piece about arms-dealer BAESystems and various local campaigns/stories. Every city needs a zine like this, long may it continue.
Smug Zine #2
1page/ £?/ no contact details but try Ricochet! Ricochet! distro
I’m loath to give this zine a good review because it will only make the writer more smug, but as his smugness is very entertaining I’ve decided to go for it. This scrappy little zine is hilarious. It’s just about smugness – good smug, bad smug, smug history, smug etiquette… there’s not enough of it to quote without giving away most of the content, so just get it and revel in your smugness.
Poor But Happy #3
8pp/ £free/ firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a guide to ‘low budget living’ crammed with tips and stories and general skinflintness. I like the layout – this issue is covered in stickers and roller stamps that Eddie mentions buying (at a massive discount, of course) and the general tone is great. Eddie is enthusiastic about saving money without being smug or self-righteous and his enthusiasm when he finds a new money saver is entertaining. What with the recession and money saving supplements coming free with the broadsheets, he’ll probably have the Guardian after him as a thrift-chic columnist soon.