Of course, no matter how much fun (or how time wasting) the web can be, nothing beats a good print zine. Take 'em on the bus, read 'em in the bathtub -- you can even take down phone messages on the back of 'em if you can't find anything else to write on. Can't do that with a computer, now can you?
Here, then, are some of my personal favorites, once again in no particular order. Consider them, if you will, as links for Luddites (except, of course, they wouldn't be looking at this page to begin with). By the way, if you decide to take the plunge and order a zine or two, well-hidden cash is generally the best way to go about it as not all editors are equipped to take checks. Both Atomic Books and The Obscure Store carry a selection of zines and other interesting publications.
is a lovely lil' bit (21/2 x 31/2 inches) of a zine, each issue dedicated to a different 60s gal singer or group. Past honorees have included Francoise Hardy, The Caravelles and Rita Pavarone. Editor Jeffery Kennedy manages to cram a surprising amount of info, great graphics and all around enthusiasm into each tiny copy. Available for a mere SASE (but, hey, he deserves at least a buck apiece) from Jeffery Kennedy, 250 Page St. #1, SF CA 94102. (12/97)
Yeah, I admit it, the first time I saw Kittums ($1.00 or 3 stamps from Honeybear Records, P.O. Box 460346, SF CA 94146), I thought, "ho, hum, just another punk rock & cat zine." Then I read all about Kittums' - er - self-abuse habit. Oh, yeah! Also not to be missed is issue #1's chart comparing Henry Rollins and Kittums (they're both big-necked egocentrics). Quirky fun for cat lovers and others. (12/97)
Explore the detritus of popular culture with the Thrift Army. Designer jeans, paint-by-numbers, the "one that got away" -- editor Al and her readers share it all. The Thrift Score web site features Al's ongoing diary of Mostly Bad Movies that she watches, as well as a query page where one can beg her fellow thrifters for that special Melmac cup that will complete her set. Her bad date still makes me laugh (hey, she lived) every time I read it.
Well-written, well-researched accounts of true-life murders, kidnappings, disasters and assorted mayhem and mischief. Filled with dry wit and black humor, MCBF will make you laugh, make you cry, make you order all the back issues. And now you can read some of Mr. Marr's fine writing in this selection of essays that have appeared in other places than MCBF.
If you dig lipstick, Brenda Lee and bull terriers, then you'll like Mona. Nancy writes about her loves and obsessions, and invites her readers to do the same. She also puts out "Mini-Monas," mini-sized one-off zines, the last one dedicated to her new puppy and teeth (belonging to the puppy and others).
"Personal" zines, like home pages, are either very bad or very good. LTD is one of the good ones. Books, zines, music, and the trials and tribulations of one guy and his dog (the almighty Skeletor). Don't tell the gals back in the Women Studies Department, but I dig Mantis and LTD. P.S. You can e-mail him at email@example.com.
Before there was the "cocktail nation," there was SSQ&CPM. Ditto the "drag punk underground (tm)." Editrix Candi Strecker has been sniffing out and writing about ignored or forgotten pockets of popular culture since 1979. The most recent issue of Sidney Suppey's features highlights from the first sixteen issues, and is a great place to start. Also available are the acclaimed It's A Wonderful Lifestyle Vols. I and II, the cutting edge of the 70s revival. And now you can visit Candi's Deluxe Catalogue of Obsessions. Don't miss the snapshot of our recent all gal trip to Vegas. God, I'm lucky to have such cool friends.
You gotta love a zine about bowling, even if it is the bizarre Canadian five-pin variation! (By the way, according to the editors, "poodle" is bowling lingo for a "ball thrown straight into the gutter.") But this little zine's outlook is much wider than that: issue #4 (season 2) includes a special guide to things to do when you're not bowling! And don't miss the photos of Rob and Christine's wedding in issue #1 (season 3). The bridal party wore custom bowling shirts! And I thought my wedding was cool.
A potpourri of interviews (#3 features ex-GoGo Jane Wiedlin and comic artist Mary Fleener), articles, comics, and reviews all served up with intelligence and great graphics, dominated by the charming personality of its editor, Megan. Everything that a zine should be: quirky, smart and fun. (7/96)
Teddy's zine is a double-sided legal size sheet of paper, folded to resemble the schedules available at St. Louis' MetroLink stations, and that is where Teddy distributes his zine! Brilliant! #11 contains a few paragraphs on Why They Call It St. Louis, as well as a selection of "transit poems." A beautiful concept, well executed.
Vern collects thrift store records, and uses them to tells us about his life. His 1996 Holiday Issue was particularly fine, featuring covers of various Xmas albums tied together by a surreal narrative. A wonderful and highly recommended zine. And yes, Vern and I did go to kindergarten together, but didn't meet as adults until February 1997.