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Zine Reviews ... And a New Zine Reviewer Too!

FrictionMagazine.com would like to welcome Alex Pickett to the Zine Review Crew. Noted by the AP at the end of the review, you'll notice Alex's critiques are pointed and truthful. Really, how can you not trust a face like his?

February.1st.2004

Assholes Politicians Economists & Cops A Billion Reasons to Oppose Globalization and the Political and Economic Systems Behind It
Whew ... that's a long title. And rightly so I suppose as this zine consists of a well thought out arguments against the threat of globalization. Specifically APEC –– oficially Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation but better done here as Assholes Politicians Economists & Cops –– is on the menu. Not only are these most educated rants presented with footnotes and citiations but they span the whole gamit of problems and considerations when dealing with globalization. From dictators to cops, judges to pharmaceutical companies, and mental institutions to prisons there are a thousand reasons to be pissed off. Hell, spin anything by Strike Anywhere and you'll be ready to join the Black Bloc. Assholes Politicians Economists & Cops c/o Spartacus Books 311 W Hastings St., Vancouver BC Canada MH

Chihuahua and Pitbull Number 2
Sometimes while reading a zine you wonder, "Gee, why doesn't this person write a book? Why are they wasting their time in Kinko's 12 hours a day?" Ethan, with his clever sarcasm and wicked humor, has an ability to turn simple life events into great laugh-out-loud stories. In his second issue, he deals with events that most other people would write about with bitterness: the bulldozing of a beloved park to make room for a road expansion and a half-crazed punk beating the crap out of him. But Ethan turns them into great narratives full of wit. Plus both stories take place in the wonderful city of Iowa City! (Classic: Ethan's run in with the Iowa City police while stenciling the city). The layout is simple, but crafty, and is pure DIY (no computers used). It is a zine for non-zinesters. Highly recommended. $2 ppd to: Ethan, PO Box 72581, New Orleans, LA 70172 USA AP

Everyday Resistance
Rarely does one find a pure how-to zine that is as comprehensive, radical, and fun as Everyday Resistance. Articles like "It's OK to Curse Cops" to a great story on how to sabotage your workplace are hard-hitting and informative. There is an expansive section on your rights when dealing with the police and the most detailed look at how to beat drug test that I've ever seen. Some things left me scratching my head like a story on how to get free food from McDonald's (why?), but for the most part it was great practical information. Essential for those who think they can't beat the system. Get it from Microcosm Publishing or Everyday Resistance. AP

I Hate This Part of Texas Number 4
What is it about New Orleans that produces such great zines? This one would be just another journal-turned-zine if not for the imaginative writing. Whether it's about delivering pizza via bike through New Orleans or spontaneous prose on the human condition, the author makes you feel like you are in a dim-lit, one-bedroom apartment, behind his typewriter with a bottle of Fat Bastard Shiraz. "My typewriter sings and tells me stories; I listen and dance. Words fill up my room, and I swim in them, much in the way that I fly in my dreams." There is also a story on Plan B, a DIY bike project in New Orleans, as well as a dismal picture of New Orleans by another writer. In the intro, the author says he enjoys the craft of writing, and it shows. And with a layout that invokes the same haze and thickness as New Orleans itself –– with interesting drawings, pictures, and quotes from residents added randomly throughout –– this zine is the cheapest one way ticket to NOLA that I've read. $1 plus stamps to: I Hate This Part of Texas, PO Box 72581, New Orleans, LA 70172 USA AP

Interstitial Number 1
There used to be this zine called Second Nature –– yea, it was the record label that put it out –– and one of thier last issues was a split issue. By split I mean half of the content was in one issue and the other half, well, that was in a seperate issue. That's annoying. Fortunately, Interstitial only does this with one article. Unfortunately, it's the one I was most interested in. Other than that, this is your basic first zine effort –– there are the show reviews, zine and CD reviews, some poetry, an article on a dead rock star (Warren Zevon of Werewolves in London fame in this case), and the traditional article on how to beat the system (here, how to make barcodes to slap on expenvice groceries and get them cheaper) all done in a fairly neat cut and paste style. Oh, and the article I liked: "10 Movies You've Never Watched". Really, not bad. Interstitial MH

Lumpen 89
It may be that I have heard of this zine before but never laid hands on it. If that's the case, I've heard nothing but good things. If that's the case, Lumpen 89 lives up to all that I have heard. Done in a full-size, newsprint format, this zine is chock full of politics and Chicago. Despite some of it's specifially Chicago contnent Lumpen presents pointed articles and disturbing facts complete with really decent arts coverage. It's a very even handed zine –– no ultra angry rants just refreshingly smart and informed politics with a sane and thoughtful edge. Lumpen 1542 N Milwaukee Ave. 2nd Floor, Chicag, IL 606022 USA MH

Pencil Fight Number One
This is a very green zine. When I cracked this I though for sure it was a comic of some sort. It's very illustration oriented however but Pencil Fight takes as it's goal "to showcase amazing artists of all types bonded together by a common thread." This issue's thread: Tanks and Fairies. This is a really neat zine. Rad even. There are all sorts of illustrations some having to do with tanks and some fairies and some both. And there are very good articles about people I have never heard of like Seonna Hong who is a fantasy-styled illustrator and Chris Johanson who is also an illustrator but of a different sort. There is even hip hop in the form of Mr. Lif and rock n' roll in the form of Drunk Horse and The Decembrists. The highlight: A collage of posed army guys. I have to say (and please don't tell anyone) but I even like the ads. $5 to: Pencil Fight PO Box 6645, Portland OR 97228 USA MH

Scientific Dinosaur Number 2
Here is a half comic, half political zine based out of New Haven, Conn. However, this wasn't always so –– when it came out in spring 2002 Scientific Dinosaur was an art and literary magazine. That is until half of the two-person editing staff was sentenced to five years in prison for an act of self-defense. How could that be? Mandatory minimums. So now between the comics and art, are intelligent articles on the institution of prison. Articles detailing what happened that one spring night to an honest portrayal of what prison is like to a 24-year old white male who has never been arrested, puts an issue that is hard to grasp in human terms. Michael Sivak and friends make you care about the situation and realize it could happen to any of us. That makes the interview with a state representative and a reprint of testimony before a judiciary committee not as boring as it would otherwise be. Add to that the intense ink drawings and comics featuring a pug-nosed pup named Menchi, and you will think you're reading a trim book rather than a zine hastily put together. Michael's comics have been featured on many internet comic sites and some of the ink drawings would be a nice addition to any wall. Although Scientific Dinosaur has a decidedly local spin, it is good for anyone interested in fighting the criminal injustice system. Available free by request from ScientificDinosaur.net AP

Show Me the Money Number 17
Despite the thousands that show up to anti-globalization protests or argue against capitalism with each other, very few radicals take the time to research and write about economics. Tony Hunnicut is one of the few that does it intelligently and with comedy. There is a lot of useful info here from a piece on Wal-Mart to an "Open Money Manifesto" to an interesting article on how the Matrix relates to the United States government. Interspersed throughout are quotes, speeches by past radicals like Eugene Debs and Black Hawk, and little parables that make issues like the relationship of crime to poverty easier to understand. There are blurbs like "That Silly Alan Greenspan" to an original chart called the "Layoff Scoreboard." The real gem is a list of all Bush Administration officials and their assets. Who knew war hawk Donald Rumsfeld was worth up to $242.5 million? Maybe that's why he's not leading the charge in Iraq! My only regret is much of the 39 pages are filled with reprinted articles from newspapers like the New York Times. Also, the letters section is wasted space. Contact Tony Hunnicut for a free subsciption (donations for postage appreciated): PO Box 48161, Coon Rapids, MN 55448 USA AP

The Slagheaps Are Sprouting!
I met Mary, one of the authors of this zine, in Portland. I was at the Zine Symposium and she was walking around looking for a ride east. I live in Montana and well, that's east of Portland although it's still the west, so gave her and her friend a ride. When I went to pick her up, the directions seemed to be oddly familiar. mary was staying where I was supposed to stay but found a long lost friend to stay with at the last moment. That was just one of the coincidences. Although we didn't have too much to say to one another (sometimes I just like to be quiet) we did figure out that we have a mutual friend in common, Kristin, in Ohio. Yes, these are cross-continental coincidences. This zine is a sort of tour diary about an art/zine show Mary and her friend Geoff took across the country. They tell of their stops, their highs, their lows and just how their ideas worked out. It's pretty extensive and speaks really well on the reality of touring. I found myself skipping to Mary's entries maybe becasue I met her but I think more that they just spoke to me. My only complaint is there are no pictures or examples of the show they took on the road. The Slagheaps are Sprouting 4906 Yew St., Pittsburgh, PA 15224 USA MH

Twenty-Eight Pages Lovingly Bound With Twine Number 6
I'm listening to Ben Harper right this second and maybe it's a coincidence but it seems to me that Ben Harper and his quiet music has a lot to do with this zine. I wasn't thinking that when I was reading the zine –– it is in fact bound with twine –– and making my notes about what to say in this review. But now that I am writing the review AND listening to Ben Harper I seem to have a whole lot to say. I listen to Ben Harper both when I am sad and happy because it's nice music. His lyrics are sort of mundane and everydayish. Ben Harper makes me feel a little more normal and happy with the one-foot-in-front-of-the-other my life seems to take. Twenty-Eight Pages makes me feel the same way. Sure I don't have a wife or a kid or the need to replace my hot water heater but it's nice to know there is someone out there willing to point out to me and whomever else is looking that life is not about a political rant per se but more of a one-foot-in-front-of-the-other, isn't this neat sort of perspective. I may be making too much of this, but I like that Christoph named his son Herbie and has to teach him how to count and how not to be a bully and I'm glad their hot water heater broke just so i oculd think about, for a second, where my hot water comes from when it does. I wonder if Christoph likes Ben Harper. Twenty Eight Pages c/o Christoph Meyer PO Box 106, Danville, OH 43014 USA MH



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