Zinethug #10
August 2007

22 Nights and 23 Days
Diary of #1J, Drug Study Subject. This is a curious one. I immediately at first glance thought of Guinea Pig Zero, and indeed the author acknowledges Bob Helms' zine, but their similarities are quite negligible. Imagine a journal stripped entirely of personal details. Friends are dubbed with ridiculous aliases like "A-WOW" and "The Snail Herder", and the female narrator remains unnamed. All we get are entries like:

Day 5 of 23 Friday, September 14, 2006. Dose, eat breakfast, nap, eat lunch, nap, read, write, eat dinner, shower, read, eat snack, go to bed.

Extrapolate that over sixteen pages. In this study #1J must take two psychotropic drugs — Lexapro (an antidepressant) and Abilify (an antipsychotic) for three weeks, to see how they interact. And it's a fascinating account, don't misunderstand my frustration. There is just an awful lot of napping and obsessing about food. "I am hoping for something vaguely 'Mexican' for dinner tonight, because those tend to be big meals." Oh, really? The two drugs turn out to not mix well, so the study is reconfigured. Meanwhile, #1J catches up on sleep and reading and Family Guy, and earns $3300. Not a bad zine at all, pretty good actually. But the presence of this passage irks me:

Mr. T brings my mail, and I receive two letters from my honey big C, who has been moved to a new prison. Oh, how I miss him.

It bothers me because that's that, no more mention is made of this big C; the rest is all chicken strips and catheters. Reviewed by Marc. [$1, digest, 16 pp., copied]
#1J c/o Lawrence ABC, PO Box 1483, Lawrence, KS 66044.

Censor This! A Queer Youth Zine
Patrick Lennon, editor. This zine by queer youth features better writing than most "adult" zines that I have read. Along with stories and poems there are brief articles about the history of condoms, antibiotic resistance, and HIV testing. It's nice to see a zine with a focus! Reviewed by Kelly Froh. [Free, 10 pps, digest]
plennon(at)u.washington.edu
www.myspace.com/mpowermentproject

The CIA Makes Science Fiction Unexciting
(#4, undated.) This issue's subtitle is "The FBI assassination of Puerto Rican independence leader Filoberto Ojeda Rios"—and it's sure one hell of a story. It shouldn't surprise me that I learned about it from a zine; the corporate press doesn't like to cover US government atrocities. Before you dismiss the whole thing as radical-left paranoia, let me hasten to add that Governor Acevedo Vilá has criticized the FBI's actions; that the Puerto Rico Justice Department has filed suit in federal court; that three US senators have called for an independent probe. Anyway, the murderers aren't even trying to hide what they've done—the day of the killing (September 23, 2005) seems to have been chosen deliberately as a gesture of contempt: independentistas observe the anniversary of El Grito de Lares on that date. ¶ Anyhow. The zine includes background sections on the Spanish & US occupations and "US and FBI Harrassment" (this third section contains lots of valuable information … maybe too much for its length: brief summaries of events over several decades without much linking material or exposition); a long central section on Ojeda Ríos himself; a description of the "Continued Repression, Instilled Fear, and Harrassment" perpetrated by the FBI since the assassination; and statements from Mumia Abu-Jamal, former political prisoner Antonio Camacho Negron, and the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee. ¶ The usual fine production job by Microcosm includes spot color, artwork by Keith Rosson, some photos & a cartoon, and more text than you'd expect in 32 half-digest pages. A good deal at $1.50. Pa'lante siempre! Reviewed by Indy.
Abner Smith, PO Box 14332, Portland OR 97293

Couch Tag
#3, Our Fred Robinson Story. By Jesse Recklaw and Brandon MacInnis. First off, let me say that I've never been a big fan of comics. Okay — truthfully I'm not even a fan. I've never been into them, and frankly find many of them tedious and in-jokey. That being said I absolutely loved this zine. Jesse Recklaw is a great artist and more than that he's a great storyteller. Couch Tag number three is an autobiographical zine about Jesse's childhood friend Brandon and their creative, sometimes volatile friendship. I identified with the story in that I think we've all had friendships at one time or another that are creatively stimulating and challenging but have other problems simmering below the surface.

Jesse chronicles all the crazy antics that him and his friend Brandon did together in high school and their first few college years. The story is emotionally honest, engaging and detailed with actual letters, and actual old comic books thrown in for examples. These details inform but never take over the story. The whole tale is told with an eye for detail and is hilarious and touching. I found myself laughing out loud several times throughout.

There are several things that make this zine a success. Firstly, Jesse knows how to write autobiographically. This genre can be difficult as it tends to lend itself to self-indulgence. Many times as a writer you can't differentiate the interesting details from the mundane. When writing about your life you want to include everything, not just the best parts. Jesse seems to have a natural gift for including just those details that enlighten, inform the characters and entertain. Not an easy task. Second, he knows how tell a story visually. From the composition of each panel, to the layout of the dialogue, it's easy to follow, and your eye goes where he wants it to go. This is important in visual story telling, as I often find comics overwhelming, not knowing where to place my attention.

My only critique is that sometimes the art comes off as bland, the characters, at least visually seem interchangeable- maybe only differentiated by shirt or hair color. That's minor though and if he had made the characters more distinguishable it may have been distracting. In all I found this zine tenderly made and a fulfilling way to spend half an hour of my life — not bad, not bad at all. Reviewed by Martha Grover. [$4, Color Cover, 30 pages]
Global Hobo, 69 Glen #103, Oakland, CA 94611.
www.hobocomics.com

Destroy Everything: The Cover Song Project
#1. Sharp, poppy fiction based on existing cultural institutions, including a strung-out, used-up Wizard of Oz and a confused, paranoid Beverly Hillbillies. Says Eric, "[t]he differences between a cover story and fan fiction are subtle. I break canon, and, well, I'm not necessarily a fan of anything I'm covering." A fun idea that could've gone either way; Eric sells it with wit and heart. Reviewed by Emerson Dameron. [$2, likes trades, 16 pp., digest]
Eric Lab Rat, 2947 N. Fairfield, Chicago, IL 60618.
ericlabratt(at)hotmail.com.

The Die
(Mumble, mumble.) For some reason, Marc (the Head Thug in Charge) sent me another copy of #10, even though I reviewed it last ish. On the other hand, I happen to have #11 here, direct from the publisher. This "Faith" issue features reviews of V. Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning and Augustine's Confessions; an interview with alleged philosopher Richard Schain; a fine piece by R. Lee on the virtues of morbidity, lots of nice long letters, and the usual "mental rambling" from the editor. Reviewed by Indy.

(Issue #11). The latest installment of Joe Smith's sober, populist philosophical meditations, expansive book reviews, and open-ended digressions. This time, Smith struggles for optimism, whether reviewing Victor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning, examining his mother-in-law's smug spirituality, indulging a few more letters about the Underground Literary Alliance, or wondering how he'll maintain his gezelligheid after siring a child. For a zine writer, he's handy with abstract concepts, and he seems a bit more confident with each issue (if still too damned even-handed to provoke much of an argument). Reviewed by Emerson Dameron. [$1, 32 pp., digest]
Joe Smith, Manual Publishing, PO Box 771, College Park, MD.
manualpublishing.com

Former Fetus
An Abortion Journal. The title comes from a bumper sticker that the author spotted on her way to the drugstore, to buy a second pregnancy test. "As a former fetus, I oppose abortion." Unedited, in eight point type, she reprints here the entries from a Livejournal account, starting on the day she found out she was knocked up, ending six months later as she reflects on how it impacted her life. A lot of words and raw emotion fill the pages. E. informs the sperm donor, a guy she had a drunken one night stand with, and who she must come to accept as a immature cad. She calls the same Planned Parenthood where she used to volunteer to schedule an appointment, but it has to wait two weeks, until she goes on vacation with her parents (yikes!). Mom and Dad are curious, maybe suspcious, but they don't ask questions. And throughout the period recounted here, our author continues to blur the shock of it all with alcohol. This was difficult to endure — more so than when she passes bloody tissue from her uterine wall and wonders if this is/was her child. For all the getting-it-all-down that she does online, E. seems disconnected her experience. It's not until, like I said, she provides the epilogue, six months later, that the story's circle is closed. A hard earned lesson, she deservedly made a zine of it. Reviewed by Marc. [$?, digest, 40 pp., copied]
Emily (Hank Dewees), 13649 Brynwood Ln., Ft. Myers, FL 33912.

Gore Shit Death
#1. Artless misanthropy, fanboy bashing, serial killers, diced-up sluts and "the toxic brew of the sewer," all from would-be Mike Diana wannabes who don't seem to be familiar with Mike Diana, assembled by the Crude Dude braintrust (who really should've been around during the glorious mid-'90s "mayhem zine" heyday). I chuckled at the goofy status shifts that filled in for plotlines, and I cosign the publisher's claim that "splatter" comics look more appropriate on the cheap - you should only do this stuff because you have to. Reviewed by Emerson Dameron. [$3.99, 40 pp., mini]
jose(at)crudedude.net
crudedude.net/goreshitdeath

Hell Passport
#10 by Colin Upton. A story of the afterlife where you or your family must bribe hell's politicians to ascend to heaven. A nice little book, though it appears a bit dashed off. A quick read at 12 pages. Reviewed by Kelly Froh. [$1, 12 pps. digest]
Perro Verlage Books by Artists, Site 19, C21 Quadrant, Mayne Island, BC, Canada V0N 2J0.
www.perroverlag.com

I Don't Get It
#1. Rough, silly comics about depression, flawed cliches and mundane absurdity. Nothing brilliant, but nothing much to not get. Reviewed by Emerson Dameron. [$?, 46 pp, mini]
secondtry35(at)hotmail.com

Indestructible
(Copyleft 2006.) Cristy C. Road draws real good. She can't even begin to pull off whatever tone it is she's trying for in the writing, though. Consider this: "Albeit, our chances of altering socialisation are often bleak". OK. Not even English, first of all. But also, & I'm gonna have to get a little bit technical here, a fine example of the kind of bathos that plagues this entire memoir (billing itself as a "novel" though well under novel length). ¶ There's a good zine in here trying to get out: gritty stories about growing up queer & Cuban in west Miami. If she would just tell the doggone story instead of yammering on about whatever lessons she imagines she's learned. If she'd just use her actual voice instead of impress-the-grader gibberish like "I learned about survival from her. For me, she reinstated that value in defiant survival, that's often dismissed as precious and worthwhile." If. ¶ Just over 100 digest pages (30 of 'em pictures), bound as a paperback (Microcosm # 76036). No price listed. Reviewed by Indy.
Cristy C. Road, PO Box 60169, Brooklyn NY 11206.

The Inner Swine
(Volume 12, Issue 3, September 2006.) There can be nothing to say about The Inner Swine that hasn't already been said, in a review, and then reprinted by its editor right in front of the zine. Which puts me in something of an uncomfortable postition. Jeff Somers has been banging these things out, on a rigorous quarterly schedule, for twelve years now and appears determined to continue banging 'em out even now that he's cracked the mainstream (with the sale of his SF novel The Electric Church to an imprint of Warner Books). So he's something of a Grand Old Man. The thing is … I've got quite a few of these on the shelf but this is the first one I've actually read through cover-to-cover. The patented TIS rambling style doesn't take long to get old. The highlights of the issue at hand were the short stories ("The Very Merry Pranksters" and "The Hideous Children of Mike Palmerton" — both involve plenty of booze, a topic rivaled in the TIS theme pantheon only by pantslessness). But who the heck reads short stories anyhow? Reviewed by Indy.

The Inner SwineVol. 12, No. 4. Any zine nerd knows that The Inner Swine has been in an effortless holding pattern for, shit, over a decade, and if you don't know that, the charming curmudgeon editor will happily repeat that information until his wry self-deprecation seeps out of your pores. Personal anecdotes about travel, college and booze, with with some dry fiction that, as always, seems like the most revealing part of the zine. On balance, this is Jeff's usual rabidly neurotic, mildly depressive yuk-mongering, but he's still got the most consistently amusing persona in the papercut ghetto. After a certain degree of mainstream success, I'm glad he's still letting himself get away with this. Reviewed by Emerson Dameron. [$2, 60 pp., digest]
Jeff Somers, PO Box 3024, Hoboken, NJ 07030.
mreditor(at)innerswine.com
innerswine.com

Johnny America Issue Four
At first glance I thought this literary zine looked like the rejects from the McSweeney's website, overly cutesy and self important, but after I got past the long-winded introduction, I couldn't put it down. And anyways, fuck McSweeney's. Johnny America is basically a bunch of short-shorts strung together into what makes a fast-paced and edifying read. There are several short pieces on Zombies, a couple short stories and some lists (Animals I might have sex with, if I were trapped on an island without hope of escape, in order from least likely to most. And acceptable reasons Aaron Grill might provide for blowing me off last night.) Some standouts are Plan X by Writer X, all work by Chris Kilgore, The Price of Gas by Rob Burke and Specs by Kyle Sundby. I found one writer, Jonathon Holly a little bit of a sexist bore — but then again maybe I just don't get it. Are all men such pricks? Maybe they are and he's just being honest. This is by far the best of any literary zine I've read, and I hope it goes far. I'd like to thank every writer involved for putting their work out there into the world. Reviewed by Martha Grover. [Digest, Four dollars]
PO Box 44-2001, Lawrence, KS 66044.
johnnyamerica.net

Lady Pajama
#18. Basically a set of postcards from someone who seems to be in a hurry (both in her presentation and as a character in her sparse anecdote) and changes her handwriting dramatically from page to page. Might not seem as stingy to her regular pen-pals — that's the way of the "perzine," and this one's made it through a lot of issues, presumably with a lot of character-building already accounted for. Spoiler alert! Last sentence: "I'll tell those stories in my next zine as this one is getting a bit long." Reviewed by Emerson Dameron.
Slumgullion, PMB 1011, 91 Campus Dr., Missoula, MT 59801.

Laterborn
No. 4, by Jason Martin. "Laterborn" includes a story and four comics, all very considerate and interesting. Martin tells the story of a well-loved teacher who made a deep impression on him, another teacher who lost his young daughter and the performance he put on in her honour, and a school pep rally turned political sit-in. This is a zine with stories to share, and they seem to be the important ones of a boy's life, the ones that have stuck with him into adulthood. It's so nice to read a zine with such value. Reviewed by Kelly Froh. [$2, 26 pps. digest]
PO Box 1268, Berkeley, CA 94701.
laterborn(at)gmail.com

Lowbrow Reader
#5. A humor zine that's more entertaining when it's too smart to be funny. The editor's opening riff and the movie gags are painfully corny, but the stuff about humor (including a Don Knotts obit from regular contributor Neil Haggerty and a passionate debate about Chevy Chase) was effortless and enlightening. If you want jokes, be one; if you're fascinated by the inner workings of a joke, Lowbrow Reader comes recommended. Reviewed by Emerson Dameron. [$3, 32 pp., digest]
243 W. 15th St. #3RW, New York, NY 10011.
editor(at)lowbrowreader.com
lowbrowreader.com

New Orleans...my love
By Shelley. This is an incredible account from a long-time New Orleans resident who was temporarily displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

"I want the world to remember that my city was left to drown with tens of thousands of its people, with thousands of animals, and with an amazing culture that can't be found anywhere else in the world."

Emotionally charged, but not bogged down by flowery prose, this zine functions as part journal, part actual reportage. It's a very good read, I only wish it were fiction instead of non-fiction. Includes a few illustrations and collage. Reviewed by Kelly Froh. [$2, 44 pps., 1/2 size digest]
PO Box 791303, New Orleans, LA 70179.

Nobody Can Eat 50 Eggs
#25. This was a fun looking comic. The drawings were great, especially the "find page", a highly detailed drawing of a crazy cat lady's cluttered home where you must find a zippo, a human skull, 20 cats, 6 toy mice, and several other things. Other comics include "Alligator Alcoholic", "Bad Lamp Humor", and "The Famous Colonel MacTagart" that looks so good, but offers no real pay-off once you've read it. I'd love to see the next issue double in size and more attention paid to making better jokes. Reviewed by Kelly Froh.

(Issue number 26.) This guy has the "outrageous absurdity told with perfectly straight face" vein of humor pretty well under control: even if I hadn't been reviewing this, I'd probably have finished all the prose pieces in spite of the fact that they really only have one joke apiece ("Get Rich the Easy Way"—marry well & kill your spouse; "The Secret World of Amish Strip Clubs"; more). But cartooning is the real heart of NCE50E. The style is deceptively crude (with certain telltales like expert crosshatching) … but, for me, the main thing is: the faces look funny. Why am I telling you this? You can see his stuff for yourself at myspace.com/eat50eggs. Reviewed by Indy.

#27. The True Adventures of Steve Steiner: Rough, autobiographical comics from a crushingly normal dude. Unlike, say, Burn Collector, this doesn't process its creator's unremarkable experiences into melancholy, resilient anthems; it scratches them out, in all of their dull, conflicted, half-assed glory. Reviewed by Emerson Dameron.

Issue #28. Eating fifty eggs might be more enjoyable than trying to get through this perzine thinly disguised as a comic. OH MY GOD! Just looking at the first page made me want to stab my eyes out. The drawings are scribbley and annoying and the dialogue boxes nearly overtake each and every panel. On top of that, every page has some typed afterthought at the bottom of it — something author Steve Steiner feels needs explaining or commenting on. It's so bad it almost feels like it's bordering on satire — as if he did it on purpose. The author admits in his introduction that he "was prepared to clean all these comics up in the computer. I was going to fix all the mispellings and erase the scratchout marks. But then I realized that might be a little dishonest. My anal perfectionist side wants to seize control every time I see a mistake but I resist." Word to the wise: don't resist. A little editing is never dishonest — it's called being artful. If we wanted honest we'd read your fucking journal. Reviewed by Martha Grover. [$3]
Steve Steiner, 445-1/2 Randolph St., Meadville PA, 16335.

The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus
By Wred Fright. A very entertaining novel about a year in the lives of four young men rooming together in a college town and working as a rock band. PFE was originally issued as a series of seven zines (and, in that form, also featured introductions, letters to the editor, and "yips"—plugs for zines and other good things). Marc reviewed #2 in Zine Thug #2. Fright has paid his rock-n-roll dues (you can order some of his music, as well as PFE itself, at his webpage) and knows lots of cool stories; what's more important, he also knows how to make up new ones, and how to make 'em funny. All this plus a few pages of ads and rantage from the Underground Literary Alliance. It's essentially irrelevant to this review, but I won't resist the temptation to mention that (as "Fred Wright"), our author is also a zine scholar: his Master's thesis and Ph.D. dissertation are about zines and those who make 'em. Reviewed by Indy 228 digest-plus pages; $16 ppd.
Out Your Backdoor, 4686 Meridian Road, Williamston MI 48895.
outyourbackdoor.com

Rattletrap
#1. I have to prepare you — this is a text heavy, small-paneled comic that gets smaller and more crowded the further into it you get, but don't be turned off, just go with it! Jerry is the dad, and he has a wife and 2 kids. This comic documents entire conversations, arguments, jokes, hard times and good times. Jerry also goes to work and converses with his co-workers, tries to reason with an angsty teenage son, and be the fun dad as well as the disciplinarian. I especially liked the conversations with his wife late at night in bed, and the little disagreements. This book is a such a real portrait of a family, and he doesn't seem to gloss over things, he allows you to hear his doubts and confusion, all the while showing you a really loving family. It's a really great read. Reviewed by Kelly Froh. [$2, 20 pps. digest]
Jerry Smith, 3344 Horner Dr., Morristown, TN 37814.

Roam
"For the life of little things". Well, no, it doesn't make very much sense. But I thought this one was pretty all right. And by "pretty all right", I mean completely fabulous. Goofy drawings of an anthromorphized bunny with its arm in a sling, a serene deer crossing the big Sioux River (which is "not so big"). And I quote: "I met a man who ate crows. I asked him what they tasted like...doves. He said they tasted like doves." Cut and pasted the doodles are, atop graph paper columns and rows. "Ten Things I Know About Willie Nelson [. . .] 9. shoe size 9-1/2". Hey, me too! Reviewed by Marc. [$2, digest, 20 pp., copied, color cover]

No. 2. This zine is a split between two University of Green Bay students, I'm guessing freshman. I say that because their attempts at writing have this careless, arrogant, and lazy way about it. They think they can type out one word on a page and it can inspire deep thoughts. One half is illustrated, which is the only good thing about it. Sarah might consider developing her doodles into actual comics; this zine is in desperate need of a story. Erica's half of the zine contains mostly letters (one sentence or shorter):

Dear Britney Spears,
Please don't make any more baby mama videos. Thank you,
Erica Flower

Here's a letter for you Erica: "Do your homework, and if you find time to make another zine, just trade it with Sarah and call it a day. Thank you, Kelly Froh" [$2 (C'mon! Two fucking dollars, are you kidding?!) digest]
Sarah Detweiler, 2420 Nicolet Dr., COA, TH 331, Green Bay, WI 54311.
detweilersarah(at)hotmail.com
millel26(at)uwgb.edu

Schooldaze Tour
By Michel. This is a great little zine/journal detailing Michel's cross-country trip marketing his zine "School Daze". Michel takes Greyhound the whole way, which sounds so gruelling to me, but I don't think he complained very much at all. You follow Michel from city to city and read about which cities gave him a better response and which were just totally unprepared/uninterested. He meets a lot of people along the way and I think that aspect is what really made the trip interesting. It's nice to know there's still such an active network out there, where a zinester can count on a couch to sleep on, a pizza dinner, and maybe even a ride to the next mass transit stop in almost every major (and some minor) cities! Reviewed by Kelly Froh. [$?, 18 pps. digest]
schooldazezine(at)yahoo.com

Sounds of Your Name
I didn't know Nate Powell's work until I copped this massive anthology of his zines, but I imagine him traveling North America, always close to the ground, drawing the various lonely, awkward people he meets, sometimes dragging their likenesses into hazy fictional scenarios, sometimes just letting them chill. Uneven and overwhelming, like most greatest-hits collections, but an appropriate showcase for a powerful, versatile artist. Powell has been publishing since '92, and his earlier, weaker stuff provides some intriguing context — I'm glad he didn't bury it. My copy is apparently the misprinted "1.0" edition, on which Microcosm offers a deep discount — these comics probably suffered from printing fuckups in their original forms, so I'm cool with it. Reviewed by Emerson Dameron. [$18 for reprint, $8 for misprinted first edition, 360 pp., paperback book]
Microcosm Publishing, 222 S. Rogers St., Bloomington, IN 47404.
microcosmpublishing.com

THE THEFT OF OUR YOUTH:
radical IDEAS and THOUGHTS
on the treatment of "Children"

(#1, undated.) Carelessly thrown together copy-of-a-copy (of an internet download) style agitprop, with no contact info. You could probably get pretty much everything here by visiting, say, crimethinc.com and poking around for fifteen minutes. ¶ Every high school needs something like this. Schools are prisons & if nobody else is willing to talk about it, at least the kids themselves surely should. Dodge the steamroller! 20 digest pages; no price listed. Reviewed by Indy.

True Story
#6. Another nice issue by Scanlan. This time around he tells the story of his trip to El Salvador as an election observer, having a hernia, Angus the dog, and other tales that take place in a Minnesotan yard. There a few panels that fall flat (as far as comedy, or relevance), but overall "True Story" is always a good collection of laughs and learning. Reviewed by Kelly Froh. [$3, 36 pps. digest]
Barry Scanlan, 4024 Grand Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55409.

Unlovable
#5. By Esther Pearl Watson. I really loved this book. I am a big Lynda Barry fan and this comic seems to be highly influenced by her work. Watson claims the subject matter came from a found diary and even if that isn't true, I have to credit Watson for her ability to capture a teenage girl's shaky voice. Poor "Tammy Pierce", the lead character in this book! She tries so hard and she always stumbles! It's such an accurate portrayl of trying to fit in and be cool, but totally overcompensating and looking like a big, fat dork. Watson's drawings are wonderful to look at, I especially liked the pages of social groups including, "the stoners", "the rappers", "the thespian new wave". Five dollars is usually more than I would pay for a mini-comic, but this one is really worth it. Reviewed by Kelly Froh. [$5, 64 pps. mini]
www.funchicken.com

Zinester's Guide to Portland
This little guide is almost perfect. Really. As someone who has lived in and around Portland her whole life, I think the creators of this guidebook have got their shit together. Put together by a collective of writers and artists, this guide would make a perfect gift for someone new to town or even someone who has lived here for a while. Hell, I even learned something new. (I didn't know Hot Lips pizza doesn't always have a vegan slice available — hey, no fair!) The authors cover all the bases from bookstores to coffee shops to biking around Portland. The drawings are wonderful, capturing the places depicted and providing a lot more character than a photo would. The layout is easy to follow and the headings are clear. Often DIY guidebooks are haphazard, a mish-mash of different styles, and redundant. The Zinester's guide to Portland is none of these things. Its organization is logical and you can tell they really did their homework.

In conclusion, any criticism I can offer is trivial. For instance, I found the bridges portion rather tedious. (Do we really need to know the exact specs on every bridge over the river? YAWN) Furthermore, does City Repair really need its own section? I think those hippie eyesores are "far out" too, but I moved away from Eugene for a reason. (I know I'm gonna get a lot of crap for that, but it's also just my aesthetics speaking here — I have nothing against City Repair's good intentions.) As far as nicknames for neighborhoods go, in the next issue Deep Southeast should be noted as being called "Deesep" by its proud inhabitants. (Deep Southeast Portland) And last but not least, cheers to the authors for mentioning Outside In, one of the best organizations in Portland, and one of the reasons I'm proud to live here. Reviewed by Martha Grover. [$5, 128 pp., paperback]
Microcosm Publishing, 222 S. Rogers St., Bloomington, IN 47404.
www.microcosmpublishing.com


Marc Parker has a new comic diary, Big Fucking Deal, which costs three bucks to the address above. It's pretty darn cute, and details Marc's life tutoring high schoolers, leading Zines 101 workshops for the IPRC, and painting signs at a Sauvie Island farm market. In other news, Zinethug hasn't been updated for eleven months. So this might be the last installment, I don't know. Would anyone miss it?

Kelly Froh has made over 25 mini-comics and zines including, "Slither", "Unlucky with Pets", "The Cheapest S.O.B's" and "Stew Brew" (a collaboration with Max Clotfelter). She has a BFA from Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design and hasn't done much with it (she has failed, in fact, in even putting the thing in a proper frame.) Kelly's work appears in several anthologies including, "I'll Keee you!: An anthology of overheards" (available from Atomic Books) and "Not My Small Diary". She shares a website with some pals, visit it at: www.scubotch.com .

Indy Ana Jones reviewed zines for The Ten Page News (and Indy Unleashed) back around the turn of the century. Indy's enormous zines index was probably the most extensive such project ever available on-line. Hasn't been updated since early last year, though. Want more? Ask Vlorbik.

Emerson Dameron lives in Chicago, IL, where he occasionally publishes the zine Wherewithal. He's about like most people. Because of the city's omnivorous gentrification, his address changes with the wind, but he can always be found near his website (http://dameron.wordpress.com).

Martha Grover works and lives in Portland. She writes for Zinethug, Impose Magazine and puts out the zine Somnambulist. She is also the publicist for Amplified Techniques a company dedicated to promoting the best of the b-boy and b-girl culture.