There Is A Light is a self-published comic from Geoffrey D. Wessel and John Keogh that I picked up while waiting to talk with Tom Brazelton at C2E2. These guys had the booth directly to the left of his, and I chatted with them while Tom was working on a sketch for someone. They convinced me to drop the $2 the photocopied and stapled comic cost, so I bought a copy and stuck it in my bag, and promptly forgot about it.
As I was cleaning up the basement this weekend, I rediscovered There Is A Light and gave it a read-through. It’s the weirdest comic about a reincarnated Morrissey you’ll ever read. Probably the only comic about a reincarnated Morrissey you’ll ever read, but still … weird. My copy’s the second printing, meaning it’s doing pretty well. Not sure how you’d go about getting a copy, but Wessel can be found on Twitter @gdwessel, so you could probably do that. It’s a fun little read, and keeping it on your coffee table will certainly get a conversation going.
The recently released ‘zine, Wasted Opportunities, is a true fan’s work of love. There are two interviews in this issue, and they are epic. The interviews that Justin does – with the members of Elway, and the proprietor of Poison City Records, Andrew Hayden – span 10-12 pages apiece, and contain every bit of dialogue from said interviews.
Now, these could be said to be a bit rambling, and they are, but by transcribing the entire Skype conversation verbatim, these interviews read more like chats between like-minded individuals, rather than the tightly-edited back-and-forth you find in most print interviews. As ‘zines are the sort of reading material you like to keep on the coffee table, in your bag, next to the toilet, whatever, reading these interviews is almost like being there as they unfolded in real time.
Good reviews, too, and a great piece on finding the perfect burrito in Brisbane. Hopefully, Wasted Opportunities will see further issues past this first spring edition. It’s a fun read, and Justin does some nice stuff. You can read the interviews over at the Wasted Opportunities blog, or hit up Justin via e-mail for a hard copy.
Despite all pretense to the contrary (smarmy comments at gallery openings, friends who paint/photograph/draw/screenprint, having traded mix CDs for prints), I am not an art afficionado. However, as the saying goes, I know what I like. This collection of the complete run of the ’70s Detroit ‘zine, Destroy All Monsters, from Primary Information, is one of the most fascinating books to come into the Nuthouse mailbox in quite a while.
The more ‘zines that come into the Nuthouse, the happier I am. I especially get all excited about publications like Shouting Shorelines, which offer a glimpse into a specific area – in this case, Long Island. The collective behind Shouting Shorelines has already put out one issue of the ‘zine, which has sold right the fuck out, although you can read it online.
The second issue is nearly double the length of the debut, and features art (which suffers a bit from the photocopy process), as well as show reviews, a guide to awesome places in Long Island, interviews, and a really great food section, which has a selection of what look to be some seriously nom-worthy vegan recipes, as well as a guide to urban foraging.
I was only recently just hipped to Artcore Fanzine via a link from Jerk Store‘s Facebook page, and I can’t believe I’ve never heard of it. Artcore was first published in 1986, and has been putting out a new issue just about every year since then.
Covering both modern hardcore, as well as devoting half of each issue to “Vaultage” – which looks at bands of yesteryear – Artcore might be the only ‘zine out there to effectively bridge the gap between the mid-’80s DIY scene and today. Past issues have featured what were thought to be long-lost recordings on 7-inch and LP, and are rather difficult to track down (the 2006 issue is currently on eBay for about $25).
The issue ships next Tuesday, but you can order it now for £2.75 out of their store.
The second issue of Get It Together, the art and illustration ‘zine done by Lauren Dinitzio, aka Lauren Measure, aka Lauren from the Worriers, is out now. You can buy it straight from her site for $4, as well as preview a couple of pieces out of it. The artist says of it:
“This issue is inspired by interviews with self-employed and otherwise independent friends in Providence, while I was Artist in Residence at AS220.”
Denitzio recently made waves for reasons other than her art when she spoke out against the veiled sexism and misogyny in the punk scene for the blog I Live Sweat…. You should go read it. It’s pretty great.
Chris Arena, drummer for the New York punk band Sister Kisser, recently compiled several years’ worth of essays into a ‘zine entitled We Live In A Van. Volume one is nine different essays. While all are connected by the theme “The road is life, life is the road,” they’re not neccesarily from the same tour or even the same year.
Arena’s musings bring home the fact that, for touring bands, the show is the smallest part of the whole thing. MOst of the stories in here have mor to do with the life of a traveler, meeting new people, running into familiar faces in strange places, and the whole need to travel. As Arena puts it:
“The back alleys of my mind have been paved and are burning for some traffic. They’re waiting, all fresh and smooth, for new journeys, new experiences.”
We love ‘zines here at Rock Star Journalist. We’re especially fond of the half-sheet sized ones, where it’s essentially a sheaf of printer paper folded in half and stapled in the middle. It’s the perfect size for the material inside, and it’s the sort of thing you can jam in the back pocket of your jeans and carry around with you.
The last issue of Jerk Store came with a caveat that it was kind of a rush job in order to have something at the Fest 9 down in Gainesville this past October. Well, this new issue is fucking fantastic. It’s brilliant. There is something to be said for the work Alex put into this ish.
Bloody great stuff, like the rants…oh, the rants! They’re my favorite part of the whole ‘zine. Anyone can do interviews and reviews. Really, though, to be fair: the interview with the Gateway District managed to school me on all sorts of stuff I never knew about the band, and added a whole new dimension to how I perceived them. But, anyhow, the rants Alex throws down about collectible vinyl, and pre-orders, and people who videotape shows are all funny and insightful. I’m so very happy he found the time to get more in this issue.
Go hit up the store, buy a copy, and make sure that you support something that manages to cover bands worth covering and provide something more than the usual. And if that wasn’t enough, the first article in Jerk Store #8 is what looks to be a smashing recipe for jerk chicken.
When I went and saw Sick of It All at the Bottleneck on Saturday night, one of the openers was Maine’s Outbreak. I’ve been hearing stuff about this band off and on for a couple years now. They’ve played a bunch of all-ages shows in Kansas City, but I’d not had a chance to catch them in Lawrence. They fucking slayed. Go see them.
At their merch table was a bunch of stuff from their label, Think Fast!, but as I’d just gotten a bunch of records in the mail, I didn’t really need to drop any money on vinyl (even reasonably priced at $10 for an LP). However, I did pick up this gem you see pictured to the left.
All Access is a short ‘zine done by Outbreak’s guitarist Brian Kemsley. It’s only $2, and if you enjoy stories about life on the road, it’s worth grabbing. Kemsley talks with friends and tourmates like Agnostic Front’s Vinnie Stigma and Casey Hjelmburg of Comeback Kid about touring etiquette, driving, coping mechanisms, and all assorted elements of life on the road with a band.
The interviews are short, and like Kemsley says on the closing page, it takes about 10-12 minutes to read through it. Hopefully, there’ll be another issue. It’s well put-together, with great pictures. The interviews usually reveal something different about the subject, rather than the usual “so, what’s with the new album, dude?” questions folks like me tend to come up with. The in-jokes are a little confusing, like some rant about bean sprouts on Chinese food, but otherwise, this is a winner.