Hey! It's International Zine Month! You should all go check out that site and see all the awesome zine related things you could be doing this month!

Today (July 2nd) is: "Make a Top 10 list of reasons why your love zines, post them online if you would like."

Above you can see the poster I made for the Zine Pavilion at the American Library Association conference last weekend. We'll have the reasons other people loved zines on the Zine Pavilion tumblr soon, but I want to know what your reasons are! (You don't have to write ten, any number of reasons is good!)

As for (some of) my reasons... (Completely off the top of my head, and I'm sure there are many, many more.)

1. I love that Zines allow people to produce their own media, and that creators don't have to care about editors or advertisers.
2. I love that Zines let me to do graphic design stuff that I doubt I'd ever get paid for.
3. I love that Zines let me create weird little projects and discover that other people are into the same things.

By Milo Miller
Download the zine flats!

So I don't usually review digital zines, but occasionally I do. This is one such special occurrence, both because this is post #666 (!!!), and because it is a super nerdy zine about libraries, metadata, and zines. Plus I had to print it out to read it.

(Also! By the time this posts goes live I'll have been at the ALA conference, and I will have seen real live copies of this zine there that I didn't have to print.)

So this is a zine about metadata, and while I am currently in a program where I study metadata (and even meta-metadata), I'm sure most of you aren't. Metadata is data about data, and is all about how you sort and organize information.

xZINECOREx is an attempt to create a metadata system for zines, similar to ones that are already in place for other material in libraries. It covers stuff like genres, contributors, titles, etc. This is like hyper-nerdy stuff, and most people won't be into it, but as someone who used to catalogue zines _before_ I was even in library school, it certainly appeals to me.

By Mary Karaplis/Mei Ktiny-vices.com
I'm sure many of you have worked jobs you didn't enjoy. Whether they're customer service jobs where you sell stuff you don't care about, or office jobs where you do the same thing every day, or whatever it happens to be. It sucks! Especially when, as happens to the ghost main character in this story, you used to really enjoy your job (when it involved haunting grave yards and scaring people), but don't now that you've been reduced to a ghost consultant. Which seems awful!

You might remember from when I reviewed another of Karaplis' comics that she drew this sweet Spirit token for Magic the Gathering for me. Killer!

While this comic kind of makes me sad (I don't like it when people have to work jobs they hate), I do enjoy the artwork. Lots of adorable ghosts! Plus a terrifying one that is a huge boss ghost filled with tinier ghosts, kind of like a gelatinous cube.

Did you know that July is International Zine Month? It is! You should check out the website and the facebook page to find out the full list of events, but here are some that I'm excited about!

July 2nd: Make a Top 10 list of reasons why your love zines, post them online if you would like.
(We're going to be doing this at the Zine Pavilion at the ALA conference in Chicago!)

July 13th: Zine Trade Day! Ask someone if they would like to trade zines with you.
(I'm totally going to do this at the Iowa City Zine Librarian (un)Conference!)

July 15th: Leave a zine in public for someone else to find.
(I do this all the time at the #UBCnoox!)

July 17th: Review a zine online or write a review of a zine to add to your zine.
(Okay, well this one is kind of obvious...)

It's kind of crazy how influential old EC comics are. I mean, they're referenced constantly despite not actually putting out that many issues. The horror comics EC are known for only existed for a few years in the early 1950s, and none of those series even made it to 30 issues. It's possible there are more X-Men or Batman comics put out every month than original issues of Tales from the Crypt!
Yet, something about them has clearly stuck in people's heads, as they get referenced over and over again (and both of those examples are just ones I've made!).
This is an anthology comic that features several "horror" stories. The opening story by Craig Bogart is about a musician who is destined to learn the last new song ever. It features a Greek muse, people chained up in cellars, and a twist ending (of course!) that I actually thought was pretty good. The final story is written by Dara Naraghi and drawn by Andy Bennett, and is a little cliched, but also a fairly effective creepy story about a guy who thinks his dentist is out to get him.

Two Fisted Librarians, the super awesome anthology zine I edited, is finished! It contains pulp adventure fiction stories about libraries and librarians. Awesome!

You can find out more info (and previews!) on the Two Fisted Librarians blog.

You'll also be able to get a copy if you go to the Zine Pavilion at the American Library Association conference this weekend (June 28th-July 1st), the Iowa City Zine Librarian (un)Conference (July 13th-14th), or the Portland Zine Symposium (August 10th-11th).

Plus I'll be in Kentucky, Toronto, and other places this summer, so if you know of any cool zine events (or just want to hang out), let me know!

By Pat Barrettpatbarrett.com
You know, I don't usually talk about the cost of the things I review on this site, in large part because I either get them through trade or people send them to me for free. (They also pretty much all get given away, either to friends, to zine libraries, or to the #UBCnoox, in case you're thinking I'm sitting on a dragon-sized horde of zines.)

But this is a regular sized comic, with 24 pages (plus cover), and only 11 of those are in colour, for $6. I know that small print runs can be expensive, and I kind of doubt Barrett was making any/much money off of this, but at the same time I think creators should maybe think a bit more about the formats they're using.

By Mary Karaplis/Mei Ktiny-vices.com
Late again? What's my excuse this time? Why, Mass Effect of course, the science fiction RPG from years ago. I needed to finish it! Needed! (And I actually did, I am going travelling for the rest of the summer in just a few days, so if I didn't finish it now I wouldn't finish it until September. And I was right at the end guys! I had to stay up until 4am to defeat the evil aliens and help the good aliens and...)
I can't even give this comic a bad review if I hated it (though I didn't), because the artist was nice enough to draw a token for Magic the Gathering for my friend and I when we were at the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival a while ago. Corporate ghost!

I think it involves some sort of talent to get three paragraphs and an image into a review before even saying anything about the thing you're reviewing. Well, maybe "talent" is the wrong word. Sometimes I wonder why anyone ever reads this blog...

By Matt Aucoinroastmutton.blogspot.ca
This looks like it's going to be a week of comic anthologies! This time it's a solo effort as Aucoin presents a number of pinups and comics with no apparent theme. The opening piece Godman (the one with the mermaid) is subtitled "A Wild Romp Through a Messed Up Dreamland", and doesn't make a lot of sense as I think it might actually be based on a dream. The main character just goes from event to event with connections that don't make any sense, and really weird stuff being treated as totally normal. It's kind of strange, but then dreams often are.

Next there are a couple of "teen romance" comics. One of which is about someone who's kind of horrible, and one that is about someone you think is horrible up until the ending. I preferred the latter, as I'm not really a big fan of reading about people doing jerk-y things. There are a number of other comics, from seemingly true worm rescue stories, to a bizarre historical piece about US independence.

Aw snap, I missed an update yesterday for the first time in a couple of months. And as I'm just starting to write this at 11:59 pm on Tuesday it looks like it's going to be two days late. Still! There will be three reviews this week. Promise : )

So why did I forget to update? Because of Magic: The Gathering. Yeah, super nerdy, but if you expected anything else from me I'm not sure if you've ever actually read this blog. Magic is super fun! And as I'm not interested in having "competitive" decks I can have totally terrible/ridiculous theme decks. My friend just sent a library-themed deck and it is pretty wonderful/hilarious/horrible. I played my roommate three times yesterday and I don't think I managed to damage her once. But it's still so great to play (I mean, I am in library school after all).

Um, so yeah, this comic! It's an anthology, but it doesn't list who any of the creators are. Showing my utter genius it was only the second time through that I realized that each comic was down by a different person. This is despite their radically different styles. Sigh. Did I mention I only got four hours of sleep last night?