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Zine Review: The BLT

The BLT

Zine, The Belmont Library Teens, Issue #1, 36 pgs, SCML.org

Belmont is a city of approximately 27,000 folks, located between San Francisco and San Jose in northern California. In this in-between city, there are some teens who have come together to create a zine — cool, right? That zine is this zine, it’s called The BLT, and it’s pretty (darn) fun.

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Zine Review: The Happy Loner

The Happy Loner

Zine, Izalixe Straightheart, 16 pgs, $3, TheHappyLoner.weebly.com, ZinesByIza@gmail.com

Izalixe Straightheart lives in Quebec City, in a cove by a river. She also hand-crafts a zine called The Happy Loner that is a hyper-localized document of assorted drama, dramas, and micro-dramas.

I use all three of those terms in a 100% non-pejorative fashion. The beauty of The Happy Loner is that it overshares in a way that isn’t glib, attention-starved, boastful, or falsely modest. Instead, it’s honest, engaging, thoughtful and self-aware. This is very much one of those “I feel like I’m reading their diary” zines, and Izalixe comes off as entirely likable, and totally like somebody who would be a helluva lot of fun to hang out and crack wise with. This is ironic, because the zine is about being (largely) a loner, and while it’s not like Izalixe doesn’t mention friends and socialization and the like, the zine really does focus in large part about various adventures in solitude.

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Flamingo Rampant’s Diverse Queer Kids Books Centre Joy, Not Injury

S. Bear Bergman (left) and j wallace skelton with their children, Stanley Bergman (front)
and Solomon Bergman (on shoulders). (Photo by Sara Elisabeth)

 

by Anisa Rawhani

One evening, while reading a bedtime story to his three-year-old son, S. Bear Bergman noticed an alarming pattern. It seemed like every LGBTQ-themed picture book he read was riddled with bullying, harassment, and violence. Most often, the plot would go a little something like this:

A child or parent comes out/is outed.

Their community treats them horribly.

Then, in the conclusion, there’s some sort of quick reconciliation.

Not exactly the type of book you can read to your kid and then just say, “Ok, sweet dreams.”

Read more: Flamingo Rampant’s Diverse Queer Kids Books Centre Joy, Not Injury

Fiction: Bigfoot Therapy

Illustration by Vesna Asanovic

By Barb Howard

Sure, there was an element of surprise when Bigfoot gently plucked Josie off her bike and enveloped her in his arms. But she didn’t feel fear. She felt a hug, really. A hug with just enough squeeze, just enough warmth. The hair on Bigfoot’s arms and torso was as soft as an angora comforter. And right away Josie liked the smell of him. He smelled a bit like popcorn – the way a dog’s paws often do.

Bigfoot held her for a moment, then he set her on the ground. Josie stood there, a little wobbly, missing the hug, while Bigfoot retrieved her bike, which had rolled down the trail a short distance, and carried it back to her. After giving her the bike he held out his huge paw-hands as if to say “sorry, sorry, I don’t know what came over me.” Then he backed off the trail into the bush. He gave Josie a short wave, turned, and walked deeper into the forest.

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The Deathmatch Hall of Fame

Not everyone has the stomach for it, but these indie writers reigned victorious in their years in the Deathmatch pit. With Deathmatch 2018 now open for submissions until December 31, 2017, we’re taking a look back at the past winners of the ruthless short story contest.

Click here to submit your story.

Read more: The Deathmatch Hall of Fame

Zine Review: All Together

All Together: A Primer for Connecting to Place & Cultivating Ecological Citizenship

Emma Percy, epercy95@gmail.com, emmapercy.com, free

When is the last time you’ve considered communities you are a part of, or what local plant and animal species are indigenous to your area? When was the last time you thought about watershed boundaries? These are just a few topics All Together asks its reader to contemplate, and to my surprise, my answer was: never?

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