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Horizontal Press
Courtesy of Horizontal Press

Zines of the month

Take this as your monthly reading list – from fax-only matter to ‘semi-pornographic’ publishers, we explore the best in DIY bedroom lit

Zines! Everybody loves them. Well, most of the time. Thing is, the point of a zine is that it bypasses the usual editorial/publishing rigmarole. That rigmarole can suck the life right out of a piece of work, yes, but it also fishes the truly awful stuff outta the pond. There is nothing stopping your dreadful zine getting made! All you needs is a pulse, some thumbs, and a photocopier. This is great for artists, not so great for readers. Avoid the bad stuff and stick with Dazed – the Virgil to your punk-lit Dante – as we bring you a new monthly roundup of the best and the brightest in zine culture, right now.

DIY CULTURES FAIR, LONDON

This isn’t one zine – it’s a whole fair of ’em! Don’t forget to apply for your stall, if you’re an artist or publisher – the deadline is March 2. Fairs are the absolute best way to get good zines. Ordering off Tumblrs that look nice is a fool’s errand. Go see the goods for yourself! Ha, look at that little fox. ‘IN DA DEN.’ That’s what I’m talking about.

IF YOU'VE RECEIVED THIS MESSAGE IN ERROR: DISPATCHES FROM THE NORTH AMERICAN FAX REGISTRY, VOL 1

Do you have a fax machine? Haha, me either! Don’t be fucking ridiculous. I bet you can find one, though. Once you have, go sign up for this brand new, fax-only zine brought to you by reliably excellent guy Andy Sturdevant. This fax will bring you a tonne of great writing and artwork about the venerable medium, and it will also probably cause you to get some exercise. Facsimile Press: making the old new again, as of right now, but also as of the 80s when all offices got a fax machine. Whatever, just sign up. It’s really good.

SLURRICANE #8, BY WILL LAREN

You know how we know Slurricane #8 is going to be really great? Because Slurricanes #1-#7 were really great. But this one’s going to be different, better, more alive – because it’s going to be in colour. Our technicolour dream come true! Well, Risograph-colour dream. Stay tuned for some exclusive Laren/Dazed material in the coming months, but for now, keep an eye on his store: #8 should be ready around April.

TIJUANA BIBLES, FROM HORIZONTAL PRESS

Horizontal Press is a brand spanking new little outfit, which describes itself as a ‘small, semi-pornographic’ publisher. Kaye from Horizontal told me: “Tijuana Bibles were kind of the first underground comics, little palm-sized pornographic booklets circulated widely between the 1920s and 1960s. We faithfully stuck to the original format, dimensions, etc, but let the artists run with the idea and make whatever they liked, as long as it was on the theme of sex or sexuality.” Into it!

ANYTHING BY MICKEY Z YOU CAN GET YOUR UNDESERVING HANDS ON

After Comic Arts Brooklyn this year, I went home and sprawled out with my haul. I shuffled it all up on the ground so I couldn’t remember who had sold me what, then read it all. There were two zines that just knocked me clean out. One was USA TRUCK, the other was this bonkers and beautiful thing called Haunted Forest. I just found out that they’re by the same person. Well, USA TRUCK was also drawn by the excellent CF and Charlotte de Sedouy. But the overlap is enough to make me sure that anything Mickey Z produces anytime is a thing that I want to own. Looks like there are some lip-smackingly cute patches on the way, like the ‘SHUT UP SNAKE’ one below. I simply must have it!

PHIL BERGEVIN

The last zine I got from the ace photographer of landscapes/cityscapes Phil Bergevin was called The Smell of Reefer, The Sound of Love, which is the greatest title for a single work of art since Caravaggio’s Boy Bitten by a Lizard. Imagine my glee, then, at discovering he’s got a new one out! This one is called Licking the Trees. You’re hitting these titles right out the park, Phil. Get thee to Bergevin’s Tumblr to order one.

SMOO #8, BY SIMON MORETON

In March, SMOO #8 comes out. I didn’t know Simon Moreton’s work until pretty recently, but I like it a lot: there’s something really calming, maybe grounding, about the solidity of his line. I like the way his narrative works – step by step, never too fast. Definitely one to get your hands on.

NATURE POEM, BY TOMMY PICO

Nature Poem is the third of Pico’s zine series of poetry/short fiction, Hey Teebs, all about “a gay hipster Brooklynite from an Indian reservation in CA, as he navigates the winding ways of love, identity, art, food, booze, language etc.” I heard Pico read a little while back and was totally transfixed. Nature Poem presents a complex series of contradictions-in-terms, contradictions-in-being, and contradictions-in-saying, in the most well-chosen words. I think Pico’s going to be really big. Listen to some of Nature Poem in advance and, if you like it, email heyteebs@gmail.com to get a copy.

SHARING, BY MIRACLE JONES

Sharing is book one in a series of seven called The Fold. It begins the sprawling, surreal tale of six kids who run away with a unicorn with a blade for a horn and get transported to a strange, seething desert that contains only a cathedral, a diner, and hypnotically shifting trees. You can preview the book online, which you should do if you like sentences such as “The sky here was dark purple, the color of a corpse’s tongue.” Oh, and if he sells just three more copies, “Miracle Jones will get high and then eat an entire erotic cake, alone, on a street corner in Queens to an 8-bit version of ‘Sweet Caroline,’ by Neil Diamond. The video will be made available to the internet.” What are you waiting for?

VIDEO STORE, BY THOMAS HOWES

In case you missed it when it came out last November, get your mitts on Thomas Howes’ gorgeous collection of movie remembrances. Video Store is a beautifully coloured reminiscence of moments in films and video games, told with a certain rhythmic, melodic beat that somehow feels like memory. Check out the rest of the stuff at Valley Cruise press while you’re at it – I’m especially psyched for Alex Schubert’s Street People.