I was recently at the Iowa City Zine Librarian (un)Conference, which was held (partially) at the University of Iowa.

The university has a pretty big collection of zines (including lots of old sci fi fanzines) and, to be honest, I kind of hate how they're organized (in boxes, in the archive, by collection, as opposed to title). They're also barely catalogued, which really bothers me.

(Some of the zines in a display case outside the special collections room.)

By Stef Bradley

That's a bow tied around the outside of this zine, and just based on the way this zine was packaged I cannot give it a bad review.

Inside the envelope I received was a brown paper package tied up with string. That's one of my favourite things! (Actually, here's a less depressing Bjӧrk track.)

Inside the package was this bag (it now holds all my pencils and pens).

R.I.P. Mick

By Dave Roche
PO Box 221041
Chicago, IL 60622

Okay, so I have a confession. Before I stayed at Dave Roche's house during the ALA conference in Chicago I'd never read any of his zines. Sure, I knew who he was, I knew what On Subbing (his book about being a substitute teacher) looked like, I might even have read the back cover when my brother distroed it, but I'd never (knowingly) read anything he'd actually written.

But after meeting him, talking to him, and hearing him read excerpts from his zines I realized I really wanted to read his zines, and was excited to start his newest one, about his travels in SE Asia and Australia.

I really like travelling (I'm sleeping on my friend's floor in Kentucky right now!), and I spent a bunch of time living and travelling in Australia and SE Asia a few years ago, so I was excited to read about Dave's experiences. Though while there is definitely the appeal of "I've been there!" and "I slept at that place!", the true appeal of this zine is Dave's writing style: humourous, informative, and a little bit self-deprecating.

By Sam Carbaughwww.samcarbaugh.com
This is a flip comic, with two different stories that are, in part, inspired by The Yellow Wallpaper. (Just reading that wikipedia article kind of depressed me.) One half of the comic (the one with the blue cover) features a story about an old man thinking about his dead wife. The other half features a cover that has nothing to do with the contents. Instead the story is about a woman who is confined to her bed by her husband for some unnamed malady. She attempts to hide the fact that she is writing, but according to him even that is too much strain upon her.

The story isn't that long and I wasn't sure if the woman actually was physically sick, if it was somehow psychological, or if it was being induced by her husband. It's not clearly spelled out, and I think that's part of Carbaugh's plan. It made me kind of uncomfortable as I wasn't sure what to think of the characters in here. So, um, I guess it succeeded on that front.

R.I.P. William Mysterious

By David Yoderdavidyoderisawesome.blogspot.com/
I totally appreciate it when people set creative goals for themselves and try to make/do something every day. Sure, maybe the content that is created isn't amazing, but just the act of doing something can be important for people.
However, I'm not that big a fan of people creating things along the lines of "I can't think of an idea" (please ignore my award winning play written in highschool) or "I'm a whiny jackass", and hell, I understand that people can be depressed and that creating something can be a way of helping to deal with that, but I guess I just don't want to read them.
That isn't to say that all of the comics in here are like that, only a few of them are, but it happens that the last one in the comic is all about that so it kind of stuck in my mind. But there are several comics in here that I really liked. There's a comic about a girl finding Iron Man's gloves which I thought was cute, the jellyfish comic below, and one about a werewolf in a grocery store. (What? One of my favourites features a monster? Who would have guessed...)
I also dug how each page has it's own "Daily Doodles" logo in a different hand drawn font style. Neat!

By Bill Volk
This comic begins with a giant, space-faring, "stegosaurussed", god sperm flying through outer space. An auspicious beginning for sure! The story then becomes about the evolution and societal progression of a race of "wee scummy men".
The society that Volk creates is pretty neat, and I especially liked the incredibly decadent concept of "doubling" that was done by the incredibly rich people in this comic. Doubling is when someone, in order to prove their wealth, has exact duplicates of everything they own created, and then never uses them. The society goes to pretty insane extremes in their pursuit of showing off how rich they are, and how other factions of society respond.
While I liked this idea a lot, I wish more time had been spent on it and maybe the personal experiences of some of the people in this world. Also the ending is a total cop-out. Lame!


I originally wasn't going to review Roctober. It's the size of a magazine! It has a colour cover! It's full of ads! But, they were invited to be at the Zine Pavilion at the ALA conference a few weeks ago, and they do only have a print run of 2,500 (though when does print run determine if something is a zine or not?), but what finally changed my mind was that this was an anniversary issue filled with content from every issue of Roctober up to this one, including when it was just a small photocopied thing (I think...).

Roctober is primarily a music magazine, though it's got a pretty eclectic mix of stuff. This issue features loads of reviews (most of which I didn't read, though I did check out the one of Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, which terrifyingly made over $400 million dollars internationally, and seems to be in the top 150 grossing movies ever...), interviews (such as with the White Sox organist and a member of the New Monkees), in depth bios/retrospectives of artists, and way more.

I made the cover and put together this collaborative zine that was created at the Zine Pavilion at the American Library Association conference in Chicago. It's filled with stories of weird things people have seen or heard in libraries.

If you go to the tumblr, you can download some PDFS. Check it out!