Zine Review: Every Thug Is a Lady

51YtxsYon7L._SX353_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgThis is a semi-professional zine printed by Pioneers Press, and it is beautiful. It’s a 1/4 size zine with a soft wrap-around cover, but the inside is old school zine: handwritten with cut and paste images. Julia Eff also includes doodles, illustrations, and a few comic strip sections into the mix. The look is so cool I almost want to hand-write my next zine, except if I did it you wouldn’t be able to read it!

I love a beautifully made zine, but even more than that I love a well-written zine, and Eff’s voice is so real and funny and true. I actually laughed aloud multiple times on the NYC subway where I was reading it, so absorbed in the zine it didn’t matter if I looked like a crazy person. Eff also writes about my favorite topic these days: gender expression (and identity). Eff ID’s as having no gender, or neutrois, and describes their experience of interacting with friends, strangers, a therapist, penpals, etc, and trying to be understood as they are. They also include a visceral description of what dysphoria feels like in the moment. My hands down favorite aspect of this zine though is Eff’s sense of humor. For me, and I think for a lot of people, navigating an either/or gendered world while not relating to a binary gendered self can be frustrating, lonely, and really depressing, and it’s easy for a narrative about that experience to become a living, breathing embodiment of depression. Eff’s sense of humor allows them to take their power back by being in control of the joke. Even though their sense of humor is often self-deprecating, the joke is never on Eff; the joke (it seems to me) is always on the world we live in, on anyone not elevated enough to understand Eff. Major thumbs up.

Get your own copy HERE.

zine review– People Make Plans #3

1/4 size, crafty cover. perzine.

people_make_plansThis woman can WRITE. People Make Plans #3 pulls you straight into Nicole’s world without a lot of introductions or context, but a huge story emerges from the details she includes. The writing is poetic and sparse with a high degree of irony. Her stories are alarming, humorous. Stories that seem simple, like ones she tells about about various pets the family had growing up, bristle with danger and confusion. I don’t want to reveal too many plot points because this is the internet, but I really recommend this zine. This writer has a big memoir voice that she’s sharing on the DIY in this gem of a zine.

Find a copy: HERE

zine review — Proof I Exist #26

1/2 size, travel zine

proof_i_existReally, “zine review” is a strong a title for this. I’m not interested in critiquing other people’s work, at least not when they’re zines. But I’m happy to tell you about it! A punk rock star named Billy mailed me his zine a few weeks ago, and I finally read it today while riding the subway around manhattan. I don’t ordinarily read punk travel zines, mainly because if I don’t know the band I don’t tend to find it interesting. But I didn’t need to know the band to appreciate this little slice of life description of touring on the road. Billy is inspired by Faulkner’s Travels With Charley, and indeed, Billy provides little snapshots of what life is like in various cities the band passes through. My favorite aspect is that he reviews quirky comic/zine stores, like Atomic Books in Baltimore and Desert Island in Brooklyn. Any punk rocker who gets hung up on literary DIY shops is on my wavelength. He also tells stories about each of his bandmates as they land in different cities, so you get to know the whole tribe a bit. While reading this zine I felt reminded of why I love zines. It’s just so fascinating to me that we have this tradition–that people type up their stories and photocopy them for cheap so others can learn about random parts of people’s lives. It’s just so random and cool. Thanks for sending it along, Billy!

Get your own copy: HERE