There is that point where I look at the letter I received with a zine for the nth time, reading that it's the person's first zine, and that they'd love to know what I think about it, and I wonder what I should say.

The inside front page says that the zine is about "nothing", and that pretty much describes it. There're random cut and paste writing and images, a top five moustaches, and other stuff. The whole thing is printed in colour (which looks quite nice on some pages, but has issues on others), and is put together in a competent and attractive cut and paste style. But (and you knew there was going to be a but) the writing style just doesn't appeal to me. I mean, it's hard to tell from the brief pieces included, but they didn't do very much for me at all.

By Kelly Dessaint and Walt Hall
PO Box 86714
Los Angeles, CA

I remember when I read the second issue of Piltdownlad  I wondered if the story it told was true or fictional. In this issue Dessaint says that they "understand how distracting it can be for the reader to not know whether a work is fiction or if it's autobiographical", and how they combine the two because they "like a good yarn, regardless of how factual the details are".

Despite this, the intro goes on to say that the stories in this issue are, apparently, all true, admittedly with dialogue created after the fact. However, in this case I kind of wish for the inability to determine whether a story is true or not, because some of the subject matter included in this zine is pretty distressing, if told in a way that made me want to know what happened next.

The poster for this year's Portland Zine Symposium has been released. It looks pretty rad! I'm hoping to be there for it this year, who else is going? There's more information on their website.

R.I.P. Kevin

By Ianto Ware

I'm a big Tintin fan. I've been reading (and rereading) the comics since I was a kid, I've read books about Tintin, I've read the novel (it's weird), I went to Belgium just to go to the Hergé Museum, for the better part of a decade my default haircut was Tintin's (I finally have a new one), and in general I've spent probably too much time semi-basing my life goals on him. I aimed to be a globe trotting reporter who had adventures all the time, and to some extent I succeeded in doing that.

When I saw that the Vancouver Public Library's guide to zines recommended one about Tintin I had to read it! Screw all those zines and minicomics that are in a pile in my bedroom just waiting to be reviewed, this was what I needed to read next!

So I tore into it, and it rekindled my love of Tintin. He's super rad! But it also made me look at some aspects of the work, and our society in general, in a different way.

 “The vagueness of our discontent is the mark of its permanence”. Ahhh, it’s refreshing to come across a choice Orwell quote as a foreword to this fine fanzine. To be clear though, vagueness does not appear to afflict the Kick organisation’s enthusiasm for the spirit of Punk – that enthusiasm being particularly evident in Richard Cabut’s input here – itself bolstered by contributions from Anne Crawford, Chris Gibson and Lill (“if you’re reading get in touch”). Kick #3 sees The Fall, Bauhaus (David Jay), and Pneumania interviewed; gigs by This Heat/The Elevators, Simple Minds/Martian Dance/Wasted Youth, and UK Decay/The Wall/The Dark reviewed. Richard Cabut and Lill offer brief essays on Punk in, Occult Chemistry and A Rather Suss Piece on Punk & Life Thru a Foreign Punk’s Eyes respectively. Luton Punks sneaks a peek at UK Decay, Pneumania, Statics, Urban Warfare, Cinematix, Nervous Surgeons, Project 4, Dresden Maniacs, The Mandies and The Demons. There’s no playlist!

 An email from the The Center for Sex &Culture:

Bookish Beasts is a one day zine fest for the creators of art, books and comics featuring sex, sexuality, gender and erotica. We want to give you the opportunity to exhibit your works, and connect with local readers who love and collect adult material.

This is a not for profit event that is free to the public, Although as we live to support local artist we will need some help from you t make this happen. We are asking for $20 to split an 8' table with chairs. You will be responsible for cashiering your own sales and all profits are your own. The CSC has enough chars but will need to rent tables and promote the event. If this sounds like a great event that you want to get involved with please confirm right away.

The event is one day. April 14th from noon to 6PM. There will some presentations and workshops following. Please let us know if you are interested in participating or would like to propose a workshop or presentation.

If interested in participating or for more information contact gallery@sexandculture.org.

 By Mark Oakley

So it's kind of weird to be reading a side story to some ongoing webcomic/graphic novel series. I mean, I've read some of Oakley's comics before (or at least one of them: Thieves and Kings volume 1, of which I remember absolutely nothing), but I've never read any of his current series Stardrop. (And I'm unlikely to any time soon. I mean, it looks like it could be pretty good, but that website! Hideous...)

Regular Jen is spinoff of Stardrop (how exactly I'm not sure, but the intro page assures me that this is true) in which the titular Jen meets up with Jenny (confusing...) who then sends her back in time to join a band or something? I'm not really sure. I can't complain about starting stories in the middle, because that's how I started reading comics. If you started reading superhero comics at pretty much any time ever you weren't starting at the beginning, you were thrown in with characters you didn't know doing things you didn't understand. Hell, every story starts in the middle to some degree. My complaint is more that this comic isn't long enough to tell a story, and I almost feel as though we're reading a deleted scene that didn't make it into the main plotline.

By Claro

So after months and months it's hard to get back into the swing of writing reviews. I'd much rather procrastinate doing my homework in some other way!

But I keep getting more zines, and if I'm ever going to read them all I need to get reviewing, so here we go!

Travel and Going Stories is a travel zine, but whereas most travel zines are about an entire trip, Claro has made the choice of creating a zine that only covers the journey of getting somewhere. Claro takes a taxi across Newfoundland, hitchhikes in Ontario,  gets lost in a field full of stinging nettles somewhere, and has other adventures, but I generally have no idea why they were going to these places.

This doesn't bother me, as I liked these short travel stories of things that could have gone horribly wrong somehow, but ended up working out alright in the end. Some of them reminded me of some of the trips I've gone on: sleeping under a table in a hallway in Montreal, or hoping that we could get in touch with my friend's friend after we got stuck in the middle of nowhere hitchhiking.