The zine world’s hitting fever pitch. With so many great titles – from race equality renegades to pen pals – we select our favourites right now
Sound the alarm! It’s that time again – time to round up the best and the brightest in the grimy puddle of paper that is zine culture. Let Dazed dust off those homestyle gems for your reading pleasure. Why find them yourself when it is such fun for us?
There has never been a decline in zine quality. The whole point is that no matter how tiny the run or shitty the paper or haphazard the staples, the zine still counts. That said, however, we may well be in some kind of second golden age. Everything’s so good. Last time round we rec’d Will Laren’s new Slurricane #8, for example. Then we went to visit him and he turned out to be even better at recommending Nic Cage movies and being a cool guy to hang out with than doing comics. Seems like every stone you turn over in zine-land reveals to some plunging well of genius, just waiting to be fallen down. So! Onward and downward to the bleeding edge of ZineKultur!
EMANUEL ZAHARIADES, RAPORTO
What if an indie publication existed solely to communicate with one person? That’s the deal with Emanuel Zahariades’ Raporto. Here’s what Emanuel told me about its subject and intended readership, his best friend:
“He lives back home, he's an old school graphic designer, who doesn't know what social media is. He doesn't even own a mobile phone. The idea was to collect art and design related stories that I knew he'd enjoy and put them in the only format he knows how to use: a magazine. I've called it Raporto, based on our endless phone calls, where we kind of report on what happened since our last phone call. 'Raporto' is an Italian word, widely used in Greek as a more polite way of saying gossip.”
You can get a sneak peek at the paper (and the iPad version) at Zahariades’ site, but it’s not for sale…yet. Besiege him with enough requests, however, and maybe he’ll go full-international-circulation! Plus it’ll give you time to buy a Greek dictionary.
SAME DAY, DIFFERENT SHIT
Same Day, Different Shit is an illustrated zine by Hallie Bateman and Jack Sjogren. It's 30 days in the lives of two friends on different sides of the country: two diary comics, juxtaposed. The concept is very cute, but not as cute as the execution. There are big things in both of these artists’ futures, so look out for a way to get your hands on this little zine! Hallie and Jack are debuting it at the New South Fest in Austin, Texas.
FIRST INTERNATIONAL ZINE FEST IN BEIRUT
Everyone knows the best part of zines is going to big zine fests. They’re so delightfully awkward! All those people behind their tables, trying not to make eye contact while you accept or reject their wares. Well, now you can do that in Beirut. Nice one!
The first issue of this brand new French zine came out a couple of weeks ago. Read the manifesto in English, then plunge into the zine itself. Featuring work by David Shrigley and Jean Baptiste Sinniger! A bright spot on the zine universe’s topography.
You might have caught the makers of Diaspora Drama in their recent roundtable with Dazed on the artists and organisers of colour who are changing the face of Britain’s creative scene. Make sure you’re paying attention to this crucial project! Diaspora Drama is a zine about PoC, online, now. Paper, screen, skin, work – these are parts of a single conversation. Their second issue, “Dial Up”, launched this past Sunday in London at OOMK's zine fair, DIY Cultures. Read issue 1 here.
THE PRICE YOU PAY FOR NOT BEING ALONE WITH YOUR DYING
Chris Succo and Paul Wasserman have written a book of poems. In its smallness and strangeness, the book feels zine-y. In the glamness of its art-world origins (launched amid Champagne in the new Edition hotel in New York), it doesn’t. The work is good. The poems are weird and weirdly moving. You can buy a signed copy here.
Ben Mosca, creator of genius mind-maps that organise culture along lines that kind of make sense, has a new zine coming out soon about his travels in Nepal. 'Ke garne' means "what to do?!" in Nepali. It’s essentially a gorgeous, sensitive film photography travel diary, mixed in with solid prose narration. Zines are great for travel work because they’re too informal to get self-important. Mosca’s simple sentences and eloquent pictures go well together: “A dog rests in a pile of potatoes. The reddest peppers I’ve ever seen. The spiciest pepper I’ve ever tasted”.
MY BRAIN IS A (mini) GARBAGE CAN
Here’s a true zine for you. Paper! Staples! Handwriting! MY BRAIN IS A (mini) GARBAGE CAN is a classic of the form. Also you can ask for a special drawing on the back! Cute, cute, cute. Here’s what Toronto-based artist Kendra Yee (also the genius behind Drake 420) has to say about it:
“Do you ever feel like your brain is a garbage can? Hate to be the one to break it to you, but it probably is. That's alright, 'cause one persons trash is another persons treasure (haha ugh). Let's just be stink buds together.”
LIFE IS FULL OF POSSIBILITIES
This is a visual object: 35mm colour photographs by one Trevor Powers. Culled from over 3,000 images, this 40-page zine documents one year in the life of the photographer. Sometimes zines are about grabbing hold of a flash of feeling or community or youth, but sometimes they’re long meditations on the passing of time. I guess this is the latter. Recommended to Dazed by star of the last zine roundup, Phil Bergevin – thanks Phil! Zine friends forever.
TEENY TINY RAMONES ZINE
Sometimes you just hang around long enough in a Tumblr tag and then you come across something that just, I dunno, improves your day. That’s the case with TEENY TINY RAMONES ZINE, a teeny tiny zine about the Ramones. Ricky did it on a post-it note. It’s everything that’s great about zines – very small, impossible to replicate, deserving of celebration.