Tippex + Health Insurance = Bad Taste.

Zine Comp

This just ain't relevant. The only zines worth reading aren't available in Magma, and do not employ such inherently contrived sloppy cut'n'paste methods.

For good old-fashioned, well-printed, informative (and lovingly subjective) ones go to the 56a Infoshop in Elephant and Castle. The other week I picked up a very pretty May 1978 booklet, detailing several accounts of women in prison. With a beautiful B+W Saul Bass-esque design of obscured vaseline-lensed ladies on the back.

This place is tiny, friendly, and has a good food store at the front, with a library of a great wealth of books, fem lit, situationist theory and multiple European periodicals sitting along side an old favourite, Dennis Cooper (!) There's a mapping festival coming up at the Infoshop aswell, with "hand drawn maps, charts of chaos, utopian visions, radical history walks and talks, and collective map-making". Despite the dreaded More-word, mapping is a good hobby, and the South London-spanning Sunday walks look lovely.

Another recent source of great and varied zines and comics, was the First Annual London Zine Symposium which even had a mix tape box (this excited me). Every room at the Gower Street social centre (that this place exists in the centre of University-land, is impressive in itself) was crammed full of tables lined with hand-made treasures. Admittedly the content of such publicatons isn't always great and there's a bias in the self-righteously-dryly-detailed anarcho direction. But the productivity, immersion and general amicability of the creators, makes up for the chaff. One such gem was called "Housemate Required" and has Sara Heitlinger mapping the 17 homes she visited across London, in the period of a month. Fascinating and quite daunting, it's so thoroughly documented and has colour photos accompanying each TV-centric house (she hates TVs. Quite rightly. Losing friends to Big Brother = not good.)

On the comics note - read the newest Jeffrey Brown offering, "Miniature Sulk" today. As much as I love "Be a Man" and "Bighead", this one doesn't capture his self-deprecating humour via crappily sketched strips any where near as well. It just seems like a quickly strung-together collection of scraps with no theme or context. Which would be fine if it were bound a la "Feeble Attempts". But a full-colour glossy Top Shelf production, it warrants not.

Here is some great Brown:

Mr Brown

He shares a page with the marvellously grim Paul Hornshemeier, who made one of the best comics I read last year, "Return of The Elephant." He draws well:

Mr Brown


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