A5 32p $2.50
“Deborah Harry is my favourite person. I’m too young to call her Debbie Harry. She was always Deborah to me. I’m too old to be writing a fanzine but maybe that’s not what this is.” This maybe-not-a-fanzine is an homage to Deborah Harry and to fandom. A collection of photographs of Harry with handwritten text stuck over the top, glorious cut ‘n’ paste style.
Plastic Knife #1
$3 A5 60p
“Freckles started to appear on my face. No matter how much water I drank they would not go away. The freckles were so heavy that my neck and back started to ache, the strain of holding my head up was too much. Eventually I fell down and died.” This is an example of the kind of stories that you’ll find in an issue of Plastic Knife: very short, odd, and oddly vivid. The stories in this issue are accompanied by photocopies that were found in the recycling bins at Officeworks.
Plastic Knife #2
$3 A5 72p
“The idea of recording everything on film was immediately appealing, for clearly many parts of everything had never been photographed, nor perhaps even seen.” Issue two of Plastic Knife contains stories with titles such as ‘Everything’, ‘Homeland’, ‘The Script’ and ‘The Brief’. It is illustrated with photocopies of clothing.
Plastic Knife #3
$3 A5 72p
“Before I ate breakfast I had woken up feeling emotionally close to the Amish, but after my second piece of toast I felt allied to the more liberal mainstream Mennonites.” The stories in Plastic Knife read like fragments snatched from longer narratives, which gives them an mysterious, secretive quality. Even something as small as the fact that, unlike the previous two issues, the titles of the stories in issue three are not underlined seems significant. Plastic Knife seems to be about leaving things out, stripping things back, making do with the bear essentials. But at the same time it’s very generous: new issues come out in rapid succession, it’s widely distributed, and you get a high page count for your $3. This issue is illustrated with photocopies of stuffed animals.
Plastic Knife #5
$3 A5 104p
“Everything costs money.” The stories in this issue of Plastic Knife are the shortest yet, sometimes just a single sentence. As with previous issues each story is given a page of its own, so the brevity of this issue’s stories, and the absence of illustrations, amounts to a lot of white space. It’s this ‘absence of content’ which makes Plastic Knife so strange and compelling. Plastic Knife gives nothing away. In this issue, a high proportion of the stories and fragments, with titles like ‘Wet’, ‘Earthquake’ and ‘Lisa and Dezik’, are preoccupied with death and failure.
Plastic Knife #6/Black Paint Gold Wire #8
$3 A5 88p
This issue of Plastic Knife is a split with a zine called Black Paint Gold Wire. The Black Paint Gold Wire contributions are newspaper and magazine clippings, including: photographs of Farrah Fawcett chasing, or perhaps tripping over, a pig; call centre operators; Chuck Berry; the Spice Girls; random phone numbers in various fonts taken from random advertisements; etc. The Plastic Knife contributions resemble, in my mind, instructional art in the Yoko Ono vein, but from a darker sensibility.
Plastic Knife #9 / YOU
$3 A5 (approx) 140p 208g
“Teenagers die in only three ways: suicide, drink driving, peanut allergy.” An epic issue of Plastic Knife split with YOU. Most zine splits start from the front and back pages and meet in the middle, but this is more like a proper collaboration (as with issue #6 of Plastic Knife, the split with Black Paint Gold Wire). The Plastic Knife contribution is a collection of lists and short stories that allude to death. The YOU contribution is a series of postcards from Luke about all the things he wants to do in life. The cumulative effect is moving; a weighing up of ways of dying and what happens to the traumatised body in death, against reasons to live, and to live every moment.
Plastic Knife #11
$3 A5 CD
This issue of Plastic Knife is a very special release from Fulsome Prism Recordings. Sub-titled ‘Music from the zine Plastic Knife #10′, it is a CD album featuring the words from that zine sung, accompanied by acoustic guitar and the atmospheric noises of a home environment. I’ve continually referred to the writing in Plastic Knife as ‘stories’, implying prose, but perhaps they’ve been lyrics to songs all along. Take Care had the pleasure of seeing Plastic Knife perform these songs live at The Festival of the Photocopier in February 2014. And it’s with great pleasure that I note that in iTunes, the music of Plastic Knife is tagged as ‘punk’.
$3 A5 CD
Prison in Macedonia
$4 A5 28p 37g
“In prison, in Macedonia, you have to take your own bowl and cup and spoon. This is because, in Macedonia, it is your own or your family’s responsibility to provide you with the tools with which to eat. Your cutlery and crockery is not the problem of the state, the state feels.” Prison in Macedonia is a story from Tamara’s travels to her almost-homeland, Macedonia. It is a sad and happy story, and makes a great accompaniment to Tamara’s other recent, equally powerful, zine, I am Natasha, which you can find elsewhere in this catalogue.
$3 A6 16p 11g
“I find zines difficult to make. Well, to finish – I keep ripping them apart, starting over, re-writing & then giving up after getting too self-conscious. But I enjoy making them & I kinda need to make them; to create rather than to passively consume.” The introduction to issue #8 of Chiara’s Rhetorical zine sums up the problem of zine making. The problem that is also the purpose, maybe. In this issue Chiara writes about Reading Ellen Willis’ recent essay collection Out of the Vinyl Deeps and seeing Wild Flag play in Sydney. It’s about more than those things, too, but they’re the starting point, and it’s illustrated in Chiara’s distinctively cool/school notebook-scratchy style.
$3 A6 16p + foldout 16g
“I’m not a singer. I was kicked out of school choir in year 5 (I snuck back in), failed at Singstar in high school (barely able to register any notes) and still mime my way through any rendition of Happy Birthday…” In issue #9 of Rhetorical Chiara writes about setting herself the challenge to sing in her band and more notes about pop/unpop music, with a special focus Mary Timony.
Sex Industry Apologist #1
Description coming soon.
Sex Industry Apologist #2
$3.70 A5 32p 42g
“I’m a white queer feminist with a degree in sociology and gender studies and a general interest in marginalised and misrepresented groups. I should note here that my zine, like my previous work, focuses on prostitution rather than porn, stripping, or other forms of sex work. I’m interested in those too, but they’re not my area of expertise so I’m not talking about them here.” The second issue of Nine’s zine that aims to bust your misconceptions, prejudice informed opinions and general wrong-headedness about sex work and sex workers.
Strange: Seven Times with You
$2 A6 24p 15g
“I saw his profile on gaydar. He was cute. A small build and a cheeky face. In one image he’s wearing white underwear and reclining strangely. I can’t tell if it’s serious or not. I message him. He replies. I don’t remember what was said but at some stage I gave him my number…” An account of a love affair that was never meant to last, but that the author can’t help but feeling emotionally caught up in.
Stuffed Turtles: A Childhood Memoir of Darwin in the 1950s
$7 A5 24p+vinyl/fabric cover slip 51g
This is Bertievan’s second confident foray into zine making. As the sub-title says, it’s a childhood memoir of Darwin in the 1950s. “The other thing the photograph doesn’t give you is its smell. Darwin’s smell. I’ll close my eyes and tell you – damp, steamy, fruity, mangoes, paw-paws, heady flowers, frangipani, green ants, sweaty, Mum’s perming lotion – all combined.”
Suicide Psychosis Live at the Temporal Lobe!
$2.50 A5 24p 43g
“Until very recently I considered my past experiences with psychosis to be rare brain farts confined to the exceptional circumstances of usually stressful events. But now that I’ve clocked up psychosis number three I’m having to confront the prospect that these hallucinations and disordered thoughts are not simply seldom stress related occurences but a recurring theme.” Skully writes openly about two of her episodes of psychosis in this zine, with the aim of promoting better understanding of what psychosis is and what it can be like to experience.
$2 A5 35p 54g
Sutures is by Amanda of Tiny Paper Hearts, who also writes Ampersand after Ampersand, Epitaph for my Heart and Panacea for Loneliness, all fine zines, as I’m sure you’re well aware by now. It seems pretty pointless to try to pick a favourite out of such a quality output, but Sutures is especially special. It’s the story of Amanda’s heritage, of having a Lebanese mother and father of Scottish extraction, and the story of her parent’s flight from Lebanon, just before her birth, to escape the escalating civil war. It features reflection on culture and identity, memory and nostalgia, all written around the time Amanda’s mother is to return to Lebanon for work, for the first time since Amanda’s childhood. The kind of zine that sort of single-handedly justifies the medium, in my opinion.
$1.50 A6 56p 38g
An ambiguous, melancholy love letter to Sydenham, the (soon to be?) former industrial suburb of Sydney. This cut and paste style zine features a mix of original writing and quotes juxtaposed with images to explore identity through place.
Taking Things Too Far
$3 A6 40p+cover 30g
“An anarchist zine about feelings & monsters. A feminist zine about violent protests & the song ‘Love is a Battlefield.’ An excessively constructed personal zine… This zine is about the same things I’ve been making zines about for however long. Anger, & how to use it without burning off all other emotions. What it is to move through this world in this body. What it is to live as a woman & an anarchist. The collective projects of trying to learn to live.”
Telegram Ma’am #20
$3 A6 46p 35g
In this issue of Telegram Ma’am Maranda writes directly about their mental health, and their experiences with mental illness. They write about the diagnoses they have received, their therapist, spells spent in hospital and people’s attitudes towards being on a disability pension and “not having a job in a conventional sense’”
Telegram Ma’am #22
$3 A6 34p 22g
A zine chronicling some of Maranda’s adventures from 2010, their ‘Year of Change’. It starts with a trip to Halifax to participate in the Roberts St Social Centre residency, where they proposed (then followed through on) a project to make a zine. They also write about returning to their home town, going to Portland for the zine symposium, going to a writers fest to take a workshop with author Cordelia Strube and joining a Derby team.
The Collected Scathings of Ioana Poprowka
$2.50 A5 24p
Description coming soon.
The Dream of Maxen
$6 A5 32p
Description coming soon.
The Idea of North
A zine by Skully Adams about “a testing time in 2010, when the [recurring] dream appearances of a character from the hit BBC TV series Spooks, Lucas North, over a 12 month period played a pivotal role in how I came to process and come to terms with a diagnosis of cyclothymia, a mild form of bipolar disorder.”
The Wolves at the Door
$0.50 A5 28p 38g
“We are some anarchists writing and living in Sydney. We are interested in exploring the particulars of our situation here while remaining connected to struggle everywhere. We are interested in reflecting on the spaces we inhabit within capitalism, on what cracks appear and what opportunities for resistance are present. When we return to anarchism, it’s not as an identity or a creed but as a space we move through, a point of abstraction, an accumulation of ideas of liberation and attack.”
Tomorrow’s Machine Today #2
$2.50 A5 16p 20g
This issue of TMT uses UK band The Fall and author H P Lovecraft as an excuse to talk about class and other things. To quote a nice review of it that Thomas wrote for Three Thousand: “Of the thousands of articles written about both parties, I have read few that delve quite so deeply; the whole zine only discusses a mere twelve words from one Fall song, but never seems to be scrabbling around for new things to say about them. Even if you’re fairly well-versed on the two wordsmiths, Tomorrow’s Machines Today #2 is great window into the fanaticism they can both still provoke.” Thanks, Thomas.
Tomorrow’s Machine Today #3
$3 A5 36p
“I really wish I’d been born a boy; it’s easy then, ’cause you don’t have to keep trying to be one all the time…” I am going to steal the description my friend over at Disassembly Line gave for this zine in a recent blog post: “[A] view into their childhood and teenage years through the music they loved. It remembers how this music brought the possibilities of the world to them at the same time as showing the limitations of the world – music is used as a means to analyse the impositions and limits put on growing up a teenage girl by gender constructs and expectations.”
Tonight, Everybody in the Street!
A5 32p $4
“In 1976, it was a good time in Madrid. Franco was dead. The city, the whole country was coming out from underneath his heavy hand. I was nineteen, full of energy, full of desire. Like so many others, so many other young people, I had fled to the capital from the small town in which I’d grown up, from the sun and the seasons and the sheep and the dry, rocky hills. I had come hungry for my life to begin, to explode. And it did.” We have stocked a few of Tamara Lazaroff’s zines over the years and they just get better and better. This may be her best yet. The story of a young woman who travels around Europe after the fall of the fascist regime in Spain. It is about carrying hope, even after experiencing things that seem purpose-designed to break us.
To Praise is the Thing
$5 A5 12p (single sided) 50g
Another zine by Tamara, who also wrote Briefly, Birds and House. To Praise is the Thing is a series of poems inspired by Tamara’s experience of fruit picking in 1996. She praises the hard work she did and characters she met, and the memories she kept.
Trabajar en una Tienda
$5 A5 72p
Trabajar en una Tienda is a compilation of writing, comics, drawings and collages from zines that Emma D (Tomorrow’s Machine Today, Digging, Nearly Healthy, Underground Fairylands etc) made between 1999 and 2005, as a teenager and in her early twenties. Some of the zines excerpted include: Telly Narcosis, Penny Sentinel, Disobedient and By the Time You’re Twenty-Five. Trabajar en una Tienda focuses mostly on the illustrative and visual aspects of these zines and charts how Emma’s style evolved in a stop-start manner as she attempted to find time to make zines and art as an antidote to her unfortunate reliance on wage-labour. Over half the pages of Trabajar en una Tienda were printed in blue and orange/red on the Rizzeria, Sydney’s collectively owned risograph printer, with the remainder photocopied in standard black and white.