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Zine Review: Skyscrapers All On Fire

ZINES_Skyscrapers-All-On-FireShane Large, skyscrapersallonfire@gmail.com, $3

Skyscrapers All on Fire is a cut-and-paste zine that is a bit like a hard copy approx­imation of a sullen teenager with a literate streak screaming against a wall. I know this sounds blunt and catty, but it’s not meant to be pejorative.

More so it’s a suggestion to readers to brace themselves: this zine seems both personal and massively abstract. Isola­tion (both urban and rural) appears to be a central theme in the visuals and text. The prose has a bit of a found poetry thing going on, lifted from periodicals in a style not unlike a ransom note. Some of the words you’ll see here: “dead,” “suf­fering,” “it’s all over.” You get the gist. Perhaps this zine would serve best as a Choose Your Own Adventure book for those whose idea of adventure is hanging out in jettisoned graveyards and tene­ments. Scary stuff if you’re easily spooked. (Cam Gordon)

Indie Events Roundup: May 25 – 31

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Lady Sin Trayda performs at the Yellow Noise launch in Montreal this Friday!
[image via facebook]

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

TORONTO

Popcorn Party Fundraiser: Send Fat Girl Food Squad to AMC, 6:30pm, Toronto Popcorn Company, 147 Baldwin St, $20 for entry and goodie bag

Help FGFS go to the Allied Media Conference! Come eat yummy popcorn!

Wednesday, May 27

WINNIPEG

Book Launch for The Book of New Canadian Noir, 7:30pm, McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Ave, free

Winnipeg authors Keith Cadieux and Chadwick Ginther, along with former winnipeger Corey Redekop, read at the launch for this new anthology.

TORONTO

Torontaru May, 8pm, Get Well, 1181 Dundas St W, free

Join other indie gamers and fans for a low-key, low stakes hang!

Thursday, May 28

TORONTO

A Night of Readings at 8-11, 6pm, 8-Eleven, 2-33 Spadina Ave, free

Readings from Stephen Thomas, Emma Healey, Arielle Gavin, Sebastian Frye, Aisha Sasha John, Nadia Belerique, Lili Huston-Herterich, Laurie Kang, Zeesy Powers.

The Spectatorial Journal Launch, 6:30pm, No One Writes to the Colonel, 460 College St, free

The Spectatorial is launching it’s third journal of speculative fiction, poetry, visual art, graphic fiction and not fiction from the U of T community. You’re invited!

HALIFAX

make all good things fall apart: zine launch and community discussion on addiction, intoxication culture and sober spaces, 8:30pm, Plan B Merchants Coop, 2180 Gottigen St, free

The newest collaborative zine from two of our 10 artists to watch in 2015, geoff and Clementine Morrigan launches complete with readings and a discussion out in Halifax, where the two are doing a residency at the Anchor Archive Zine Library.

Friday, May 29

MONTREAL

Yellow Noise Magazine Launch, 5pm-10pm, Les Verriers St-Denis Espace multidisciplinaire, 4326 rue St-Denis, Montreal, PWYC

The launch of the newest Canadian rad mag for Asian-identified people includes performances by Lady Sin Trayda, Huei Lin and Tina-Hanae. Support support support!

REGINA

Sit Up Regina, 7:30pm, Knox Metropolitan United Church, 2340 Victoria Ave, suggested donation $20

Join Buddhist teacher and social activist Michael Stone for a lecture on transforming stress, anxiety and turbulent emotions into positive forms of social change, titled “Embodying our Values: Mindfulness & Social Change”.

Saturday, May 30

GUTS Launch Party, 9pm, Bike Pirates, 1416 queen St W, PWYC

Come celebrate the fourth issue of GUTS by hangin out at the Queen St Bike Pirates. Lots of swag and fun stuff.

Zine Review: Instagerm,: A zine about sickness and technology

ZINES_InstagermHailey, blitzandpieces.tumblr.com, $2

18 year-old Hailey offers up a guide for comforting yourself during winter’s sick­nesses with tips on things to have around you, special snacks, and a list of sickness commandments, including “thou shalt not cough into your hands” (ew, just don’t). She reminds readers, in a kindly but not patronizing voice, that with the same hands you’re using to hold the zine you also type, swipe, pinch, scratch, itch, and pick — so wash them, regularly! Although the zine gives advice on how to take it easy, the author has not done that with this comic. The pages are intri­cately drawn and every spare bit of space is filled with panels, borders, and designs. You won’t find many open spaces but, then again, when you’re moving between loneliness and heartbreak there isn’t much space for quiet either. On some pages the lettering is huge and sprawling and on others the story panels are small and the writing is minute. At times it feels frenetic with unrelated stories, very much at odds with the low-key lazy pace of sick days. Yet the zine’s pacing works because the author’s excited and optimis­tic voice comes through despite her con­tinued dealings with snot and slime. I also very much appreciate a good pun, of which there are several. The last few pages of the zine switch gears entirely with an ode to Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer pro­grammer. Hailey is taking a computer science course that has exposed her to coding for the first time. The whole zine feels like an ode to the author herself, for knowing how best to take care of herself, for being self-aware, and for mostly rep­resenting her experiences with optimism and joy. (CJ Blennerhassett)

Zine Review: Fix My Head

ZINES_Fix-My-HeadZine, Anna Vo (editor), Issue 6, annaannavo@gmail.com, www.annaxvo.tumblr.com, $4.50

Portland’s Anna Vo is the definition of multi-hypenate: they are one of those amaz­ing human beings who boasts the ability to juggle tons of important projects that are always executed wonderfully (and on time, which is an attribute that will for­ever elude me.) They are a brilliant comic artist, make delicately ruminative folk music, play in doom metal and screamo bands, and write fiction! They are also an activist and speaker who runs workshops about race, culture and empowerment and they’ve been making an incredibly (I suspect) labor-intensive and thoughtful zine for POC punks called Fix My Head for a number of years now.

The zines run a standard size of 8 x 11, they’re black and white and there’s tons of stuff packed in each issue. #6 focuses on QTPOC punk artists and features an illustration by Karissa Sakumoto on its front cover of a piggy police cop getting his eye gouged out by a punk. That kinda sets the tone for the zine’s contents — there is not an iota of bullshit in the many interviews (all conducted by Vo) which read like a who’s who of rad POC creators, including artist Sarah Rosen­blatt, zinemaker Nia King (We Are Not White Lesbians) zinemaker Rosi Vo (Not Straight Not White Not Male) and fashion designer punk Ari Perezdiez. I especially loved Vo’s interview with the utterly un­compromising Oakland, CA punk band SBSM and the fold-out poster art titled “Unlearning History Series” by Cecilia Kavara Verran, which features a “map” of a nude mixed-race punk woman etched with the cartographical scars of coloniza­tion and control. Breathtaking.

My only quibble is that parts of the zine are a little faded, especially around the creator bios, which sucks because I wanna know more about all of them! Other than that minor detail, this zine is gorgeous and self-aware and funny, but it’s also balanced with a tone of author­ity, insistence and community, with not a shred of the pedantry and lecturing that sometimes comes from publications by and for punx. Read and feed your mind. Order copies at fixmyhead.storenvy.com. (Alison Lang)

Calls for Submissions


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Call for Submissions: Indigo Womyn

A new zine looking at creating and honoring spaces, communities, and conversations around black women’s health. See the image above for more details!

Call for Submissions: Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter is an anthology of short fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, personal narratives, critical essays and visual art that features the voices and stories of Black American’s and all communities of color responding to this nation’s continued police brutality directed at our community. Submit piece and, on a separate sheet, bio including name, email, phone and titles, to itisourturntospeak@gmail.com by June 20, 2015.

Call for Submissions: Yellow Noise

A new Canadian magazine for Asian identified artists and writers bent on the destruction of the model minority myth and the systemic racism that created it. Submit your art/writing or proposals by July 31st to submissions@yellownoise.ca. More info on their site!

Call for Submissions: Totally Radical Muslims 4

TRM is seeking submissions on the theme of rage! Or anger, discontent, frustration, resignation, overcoming, healing, unleashing, the edge. All self-identified muslims are encouraged to submit. Deadline is June 5, email submissions to islamophobia.zine@gmail.com

Call for Submissions: Living with HIV Poetry Anthology

Indolent Books is putting together an anthology about living with HIV in 2015. All voices are welcome. Read more on their submittable page.

Call for Submissions: Short Speculative Fiction by Transgender Writers

 Topside Press is now accepting submissions for an anthology of short speculative fiction by self-identified transgender writers. Publication would be Fall 2016, and its paid! Deadline is December 1, 2015, so you have some time. Check out the post! 

 

Zine Review: Cockroach Zine #6

ZINES_Cockroach-ZineThe Disguises Issue Meg Crane (editor), issue 6, cockroachzine@gmail.com, cockroachzine.com, $5

Cockroach zine is really more of a minia­ture bimonthly magazine than anything else. There are articles by regular con­tributors, recipes accompanied by pretty pictures of food, and even word games for when you get super bored/stuck on the toilet for a long time. The theme for this particular issue is “disguises,” which makes sense given that it was published around Hallowe’en, and every article touches in some way on that topic.

The content is generally pretty solid. I found some of the articles very emotion­ally affecting — for example, an essay written by a trans woman talking about the first day she left her house wearing a skirt, and one on the topic of name changes necessitated by doxxing. There were a few pieces that fell into the cate­gory of eye-roll forever (one was a pseu­do-feminist rant about Why Do Women Wear Makeup All The Damn Time that didn’t actually explore the social and cul­tural factors that make women feel that they need to at least put on some lipstick before leaving the house; another was a Cloud of Fancy Words That Doesn’t Really Say Much, a literary type that is a pet peeve of mine). On the whole, though, Cockroach zine is an enjoyable read, and it’s clear that there’s been much love and effort put into its creation. Plus there’s a hilarious picture of a cat on the back! Cockroach zine: come for the thoughtful articles, stay for the adorable cats. (Anne Thériault)