So earlier this year my friend and I went to a zine art show. Or rather, we tried to go. I saw an event listing on Facebok, and thought it was kind of confusing. "INVITE IS FREE BY RSVP", followed by an email address. What did that mean, and why would I have to RSVP for an art show? I asked on the event page, but the only response I received was "RSVP FOR FREE BEER", and since I don't drink, I didn't bother to email them.

So on the night in question my friend and I went to try to find this art show, but outside the bar/club where it was apparently taking place we were confronted by a doorkeeper who was dressed far fancier than I think anyone I have ever seen at a zine event. They wouldn't let us in. After much discussion and waiting, my friend just left, but I eventually got someone (an organizer?) to let me in. I went upstairs to the bar place, and then down another flight of stairs to some bizarre intermediate floor of the building. Inside was not zine art (or not much of it), as you might have expected, but just actual zines hanging from walls and on tables for people to look at.

By Anthony Atkinsonbigaband.com
This comic seems to have been created for a sort of strange (though interesting) reason. In the introduction Atkinson says that he's writing a story about someone travelling to another world, and that this comic zine is all about the development of that world. Neat!
This issue is about different types of alternative worlds, where they could be located, and how it's possible for people to find them. We have nuclear submarines discovering tears in the fabric of space and time, a giant Elvis heads that reveals a mysterious jungle, a tiny world located inside a filing cabinet, and a world found inside the hollow Earth (which is reminiscent of one of my favourite hidden worlds: Skartaris. Located inside the (hollow) DC universe Earth, and discovered because a pilot got confused by the Earth's curvature and flew into a hole at the North pole. Seriously! Comics are awesome!).

By Robert Gauvin
Les Carnets de Rastopopoulos
2-7 Larch Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1R 6W4

This is one of the neatest zines I've seen in a while. It's about Gauvin's attempts to get a penpal in the early 1980s. At first he is content to exchange letters with people from penpal organizations, but soon he has a new goal in mind: a penpal "on the other side of the Iron Curtain". In the early '80s this must have seemed super exotic, and also considerably more difficult than finding someone in Denmark to trade letters with.

Gauvin decides to write to the Czechoslovakian and Yugoslavian embassies and, much to my surprise, actually gets a response! He writes to some youth organizations in those countries and after several months he finally gets a response! Of course it's in Serbian which isn't too helpful to someone who lives in small town New Brunswick.

And then the next day there are 14 more letters, then 12, then 16... In total Gauvin received about 250 letters (mostly in Serbian), which included photos, Yugoslav dollars, lipstick prints, and cut outs of the original article printed in TV Novosti magazine that said he wanted a penpal.

By David Yoder

Diary comics are pretty popular nowadays, especially compared to the past (when they didn't exist at all!), but for the most part I don't really get them.

Well, that's not true. I "get them" in the sense that I understand one of the major reasons that people make them: it causes you to draw every day. And if you want to get good at anything, then you really do need to do it every day.

However, for the most part diary comics don't do much for me, and this is because most people's lives are kind of...boring. I mean, we complain about people posting pictures of the food they ate on facebook or twitter or whatever, so why should making a comic where "I went to a restaurant" is a major event (and yet no additional information is supplied)?

Artwise these comics don't do that much for me, but I think that's probably because they're made without any real planning. The borders are all shaky and hand drawn, and some of the panels are just whatever space is left on the page.

A Kind of Ferocious Holiness
Hailing from Leamington Spa, issue 3 of Chris Coleman's Stringent Measures was predicted and proved to be the final issue - which is a shame given the charming contents of this lovingly crafted fanzine. Following on from the extensive introduction we have an interview with The Sussed; articles about the Shrinking Men, New Antiques, Futurama 1981 Stafford (Blue Orchids, Theatre of Hate, Diagram Brothers, Eyeless in Gaza, UK Decay, Bow Wow Wow, The Passions, Ponderosa Glee Boys, 23 Skidoo, Revenna & the Magnetics, Cry, Bauhaus, Gang of Four, Virgin Prunes, Modern Eon, Doll By Doll…'anyway, the weekend was £10…well…er…well it was £10 spent'.), Altered Images (article and photos by Mark Webb), Persons Unknown, The Membranes, U2 (1 page gig and LP review), La Peine, and a 1 page essay on fanzines. Elsewhere there are reviews of Rudi, Bits, Joy Division, Alvin the Aardvark, The Human League, Sussed, ABC, The Membranes, Sonar + The Unofficial Nikki Sudden Fan Club. A3 folded scanned at 400 dpiStringent Measures #3

By Pat Barrett

The first comic in this issue of Oak & Linden is a pretty awesome one about people going to war with gods because they are jackasses who eat all of their goats (see below).  It's pretty great, and uses an interesting art style where the characters look more like palaeolithic art than what you would expect to see in a comic.

The other comics use art styles that are more like what you'd expect in a comic. The one I liked the most was a sort of bizarre dream type comic about a guy who steals a wallet and finds a woman inside it. It was pretty strange, but I liked how things happened for seemingly no real reason. Just like in a dream!

The longest story in here is about a jackass space captain who takes advantages of the aliens on the planet he crash lands on. I'm guessing it's supposed to represent how white people treat developing nations, but mostly I just think the space captain is a jerk.

Plus there's a diary comic called "The Trouble with Diary Comics", about how people keep asking to be in your comic once they know you make one. I thought it was pretty funny.

Do Not Adjust Your Set I wanted to post this back in July following the sad news of Alastair Donaldson's passing but I couldn't locate the TBGOs in the archive - anyway, I found the blighters - 2 editions TBGO and the dinky Daily Raj - issue 2 and DR will follow in a wee while. TBGO hailed from Edinburgh and appears to be a sole effort by Bob Jefferson (of earlier Rezillozine, 2000AD fame) though shouts did go out to Mark Wollrich and Nick Kershaw. TBGO marked the period following the demise of The Rezillos and the emergence of The Revillos. Issue #1 of this neat little gem features Do Not Adjust Your Set (stills from the band's The Old Grey Whistle Test appearance), an interview with Faye and Eugene, a letter from Faye, The Life &Times of William Mysterious, Rezillos' Bits & Pieces, Shake Rattle and Roll being a squint at Jo Callis' 'new' project, TBGO's playlist in Our Fave Discs and a review of Mission Accomplished…..It Gets Me!A4 folded scanned at 400 dpiThe Beat Goes On #1

By various
Usually I'm not that big a fan of anthology comics. I mean, sure some of the contents will be good (usually), but I'll also not care for or actively dislike other content. Of course, most anthologies aren't about werewolves, and that creates a completely different set of judging criteria.
Werewolves are a type of monster, and I love monsters, so already I'm in favour of a comic anthology about werewolves. The stories in Werewolf!! range from slice of life comedy to all out nun action, so there are werewolf stories for everyone!
The nun story ("The Bad-Ass Habit" by Laura Terry) is pretty good, though I do have to wonder why the concept of warrior nuns seems to be so ingrained in our culture. I mean, do people even interact with nuns any more? I don't think I've seen one in years. I sort of feel bad for anyone that became one, it seems like such a weird way to live. Anyway, none (hah!) of that is brought up in this story which features a nun choking a werewolf with a rosary.

They Went Bravely Through All The Motions  Here ya go - this is issue 6 of Peter Hall's cool fanzine, Blam - I did say I will be posting lots of Blams and I hope to have the full run up here eventually since it's one that I particularly enjoy. This issue has interviews with The Insane Picnic, I'm Dead, The Delmontes, The Go-Betweens, and The Sounds; a 1 page reviews of Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft's 'Fur Immer' by Albert Hardwick + 2 pages of tapes; articles on/about Where's Lisse, The Great Divide, A Cheap Holiday in Other People's Misery (spotlight on festivals including Stonehenge, Glastonbury and Womad), Living on a Nerve End by Martin Newell, 'being an account of a D.I.Y. cassette maniac', Tinguely at the Tate Gallery, 23 Skidoo, Meat for Monsters (by Steve Lamacq), Stress, Get Smart, Joy Division (unofficial discography), and Metamorphosis. All of that + some odd bits & bobs and a rather decent fanzine round-up for good measure. 
A4 scanned at 400 dpi
Blam #6 

By José-Luis Olivaresjoseluisolivares.com
So I go travelling for two months and manage to keep to my three times a week schedule despite sleeping on people's floors and couches and not having consistent internet access.
Then I get back to Vancouver, and immediately start missing updates. In my defense I was sick, and had to move house, and blah blah blah. If you're reading a zine review site you know that the combination of zinester with blogger probably produces more excuses than anything else. ; )
Anyway, before I left on my trip I scanned every single zine in my review pile, and now there are only 13 left! (Of course I got _a lot_ on my travels, and also people sent some to me while I was travelling, including my brother who sent me a huge box of old ones, so this site won't be going away any time soon).