Zine Review: Koogmo #9

Koogmo #9


Zine, Anthony Abelaye, Issue 9, PO Box, 861294, Plano, TX 75086, USA, $1

Funny, quirky, or strange – those are the attributes that tie the stories in this collection together, at least judging by the submission guidelines on the last page. I wish I had read that page first, because not knowing made this collection of random factoids, crackpot philosophy, prison letters, and other snapshots of life not just hard to make sense of, but downright depressing!

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Calls for Submission: Word To Your Mother, Surviving Islamophobia, Re-imagining Mobility

Call for Submissions: Muslim Women Survivors of Islamophobic Violence

A University of Toronto Masters student is looking for poetry submissions by Muslim women who’ve survived Islamophobic violence — including emotional violence and microaggressions. The poems will be published in a zine as a community resource and used in an Ontario Institute for Studies in Education study. The deadline for submissions is July 21.

Call for Sessions: Read with Pride Northwest

Read with Pride Northwest is looking for writers interested in participating in panels and leading workshops for their annual conference in Seattle. The Nov. 3-4 conference — previously known as Gay Romance Northwest — is a place for writers and readers to meet up to talk LGBTQIA romance fiction. Submit your proposed session by July 23.

Call for Submissions: many gendered mothers

As an homage to Literary Mothers — an American website that published a collection of short essays on female literary influence— a new project called many gendered mothers is looking for submissions. Men, women and folks of any and all genders are encouraged to submit short essays on the women, femme, trans, and non-binary who influenced their life and writing. 

Read more: Calls for Submission: Word To Your Mother, Surviving Islamophobia, Re-imagining Mobility

Fiction: My Mother, in 2075

by Erika Price
illustration by Samantha Lucy

She can’t remember the important bad things. I ask her about the divorces and the dead dogs buried in the woods and the cracks in the bathroom tile and the negative, blood red balance in her checking account and her eyes go blank and she shakes her head like she’s been overcome by some faint neurological chill. 

I show her a photograph of my 8-year-old self in snow pants and a knit cap and she smiles and coos with familiarity, but cannot say what happened that day. She can’t recall what happened in the van when the park was closed and her father got angry. She cannot look at the burn mark on my arm and apologize.

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Music Review: Flashes of Quincy by Snowball II


Snowball II

Flashes of Quincy, Doughnut Records,

Snowball II — yes, named after the cat from The Simpsons — is the recording project of L.A.’s Jackson Wargo, a prolific newcomer who’s on his third album in a year. A shoegaze label is habitually applied to Snowball II, but it definitely isn’t warranted — Flashes of Quincy is joyous, guitar-forward pop in the vein of Band of Horses and Guided By Voices, with lyrics that resurrect ’90s alternative rock. It must make a great live show (Wargo recruits a full band for the stage) — and is guaranteed to induce toe-tapping. (Scott Bryson)

Book Review: Broken Balloons

Broken Balloons

Gail Prussky, 104 pgs, Exile Editions,, $19.95

If you’re in search of nightmarish illustrations, delightfully strange poems and spooky stories, you will find them in Gail Prussky’s beautifully executed volume. Broken Balloons starts with an interview with the author by filmmaker David Cronenberg. That even Cronenberg, the master of body horror, appears to bore Prussky says a great deal about the audacity and individuality that goes into her lurid work.

Strange and misshapen insects populate the pages of her collection, as well as hellish beasts, unusual human characters, colourful paintings tinted with dread, and unsettling writing. In a darkly amusing poem titled “My Cassowary,” a pet owner regrets that their murderous feathered friend must go into the oven. In “Insomnia,” the narrator describes the many unstoppable thoughts that come to mind in the middle of the night until early morning, and wanting to “poke out both [their] eyes” by the end of it. “The Beautiful Asshole,” told from the point of view of the titular asshole, provides an account of the immense egotism of such a person when they try to describe their own beauty.

This fantastic volume belongs on the coffee table of any nightmare-having, horror-loving, cheerfully cynical weirdo who delights in morose illustrations, art, and poetry. Prussky’s book recalls Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. If you were a fan of those books as a child, you will delight in this wonderfully creepy artwork as a grown up. (Nicole Partyka)

Zine Review: Hello My Name is Frugal


Hello My Name is Frugal

Zine, Anneliese Schoppe, 8 pgs, $5

In the age of side hustles and creative subsistence lifestyles, we are all counting our pennies. Anneliese Schoppe has packed tons of penny-saving tips and good, financially savvy advice into Hello My Name is Frugal.

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