Zine Review: Different Shades of Normal

Zine, Zippity Zinedra, issue 3,, $3

The author’s note at the end of Different Shades of Normal advises people to “Just read the zine. That’s why it’s here. It’s a glimpse of time. That’s it–just a glimpse.” However, it’s also a glimpse of 21 years, starting in 2014 and going back to 1993 in descending order, told in diary entries.

Writer Zippity Zinedra covers a lot of ground (depression, heartbreak, being a “queer loner”), but rarely goes into detail about any one event. In many ways, this is an intensely personal zine, but one of the most effective passages is a verbatim transcription of an overheard conversation where a blind man argues that his sighted friend doesn’t have an obligation to read a newspaper because “you have a choice.’” No comment is made about how this conversation fits into the writer’s life, but it perfiectly illustrates the issues of fitting in, personal choice, and individuality broached throughout the zine. It’s understandable that the writer feels vulnerable sharing details of their life with an unknown public, but even a little more detail would go a long way toward drawing us deeper into their world. (Joanne Huffa)

Indie Events Roundup Sept 1-8


Ted Gudlat’s Funny-Hahas launches Thursday at Weird Things

Tuesday, September 1


Hoser Punx Vol 3 Zine Lunch, 8pm, Handlebar, 159 Augusta Ave, free

An entire zine dedicated to all things Canadian punk! Zine is for sale for 5 bux all night.

Art Bar Poetry Series, 8pm, Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Ave, free

Art bar above and beyond! Robert Priest, Kelly Pflug, Evan Whyte read.


Resonance Reading Series, 9pm, Resonance Café, 5175A Avenue du Parc, free

Readings by Danila Botha, Steven Mayoff, Richard Rosenbaum, Rachael Simpson and Neil Smith.

Wednesday, September 2


Forge: Grant Writing 101, 6:30-8:30pm, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen St W, free with registration

The Ontario Arts Council hosts an information session on grant writing strategies.

Thursday, September 3


Barista Skills Workshop, 7pm, D-Beatsto, 1292 Bloor St W, PWYC

A DIY barista skills workshop! Anyone is welcome to apply but priority will go to marginalized youth seeking employment experience.

Funny Hahas Book Launch, 7:30pm, Weird Things, 998 Bathurst St, free

Weirdo comix kid Ted Gudlat launches his book about Slurpie and the gang!

Friday, September 4


Giving Birth To Yourself Chapbook Launch, 8pm, CEDA, 2520 Lionel-Groulx Acenue, PWYC

Performance by by Kim Ninkuru and Elena Stoodley flank the launch of Kai Cheng Thom (aka Lady Sin Trayda) and Emily Tee Clare.

Saturday, September 5


PLAY: A Series of Microtalks, 2pm, Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St George St, free

Microtalks from the likes of Jenny Sampirisi, Natalie Zina Walschots and more.

Batty Bwoy Book Launch, 6pm, Glad Day Bookshop, 598a Yonge St, free

Jamaican-born author Max-Arthut Mantle launches his new novel, Batty Bwoy.


Calls for Submissions


Got art about the future of food and farming? Country Heritage Park wants to know! 

Call for Submissions: Naked Heart – The LGBTQ Festival of Words

Glad Day is putting on a queer lit festival! It’s gonna be awesome, and you can be a part of it. It runs October 16-18. Sign up here!

Call for Submissions: Future of Food and Farming 2041: Changes and Choices

Country Heritage Park invites artists to submit works for an exhibition in October in Milton, ON. Works should explore the theme of the future of food and farming. Deadline is September 20th. Submit to $20 entry fee.

Call for Submissions: OCZ

OCZ will be a zine by and for people who have obsessive compulsive disorder, including folks who are self-diagnosed. Writing and artwork will be accepted through the deadline of January 2, 2016. Submit to

Call for Entries: The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing

Restless Books has a new prize created to foster emerging writers of sharp, culture-straddling writing that addresses American identity in a clobal age. The prize? $10,000 and a book deal. The fee? none. What are you waiting for? Submissions run September through December. More information on their website.

Call for Submissions: Dreams of Orisha Zine

Dreams of Orisha is a zine series that celebrates the brilliance, magick and creative richness that is Black queer and trans women and Black non-binary people of Canada. Currently they are accepting submissions to Volume 1, Oya, a warrior orisha of the Niger River who is loyal, unapologetic, and fiercelet protective. Submit to with the subject Oya Submission by November 1.

Call for Entries: 3 Day Novel Contest

Can you produce a masterwork of fiction in 72 hours? The annual International 3-Day Novel Contest is your chance to find out. The contest takes place every Labour Day long weekend, and attracts writers from around the world. This year’s 3-Day Novel Contest runs from September 5–Sept. 7, 2015! Register now. 

Worst Case Ontario: An Unapologetic Poetry Tour

worst case


by John Nyman

It’s Friday night, and a buzzing audience has gathered at the White House Studio Project (read: a concrete-floored upstairs ex-dojo in Toronto’s Kensington Market) to hear from five of the most resonant young voices in Canadian literature. This is day one of a groundbreaking nine-day tour bringing Jessica Bebenek, JC Bouchard, dalton derkson, JM Francheteau, and Julie Mannell to poetry readings in nine North American cities. They’ve dubbed it: Worst Case Ontario.

derkson opens the night by spitting half a beer in the air and telling us “This mic is your mic.” The audience takes him up, hooting, heckling, and chiming in between pieces, but somehow the ruckus is interspersed with long moments of rapture while each of the poets reads. The merch table at the back of the room is crammed full of hand-bound chapbooks…and custom Worst Case Ontario underwear.

After our interview at Ronnie’s Local 069 in Kensington, Ottawa-based poet JM Francheteau explains one thing all of the group’s poems have in common: they’re unapologetic. Bebenek, for example, admits she’s never thought about her audience while writing, and derkson unabashedly tells us “I’m going to be doing it anyway”—it’s up to you to like it or not.

Indie Events Roundup August 24 – 30



#BlackLivesMatterTO hosts a community teach-in at A Different Booklist on Wednesday

Monday, August 24


Videofag Season Launch, 7pm, Videofag, 187 Augusta Ave, PWYC

Discover and party with the artists Videofag is programming this Fall and Winter!

Tuesday, August 25


Toronto Comic Jam, 7:30pm, The Cameron House, 408 Queen St W, PWYC

Come draw at the Cameron House for the last comic jam of the summer. Bring your pens and pencils.

Wednesday, August 26


#BlackLivesMatter Teach-In, 7pm, A Different Booklist, 746 Bathurst St, free

Jay Kay and LeRoi Newbold lead a teach-in on the current actions and prospects for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Thursday, August 27

Pump up the FAC, 7pm, Younger Than Beyonce Gallery, 563 Dundas St E, Suite 201, $15

A networking and inspiration party to support the 2015 Feminist Art Conference, with special musical guest LAL.

Friday, August 28


Community Closet All Gender Clothing Swap, 12pm – 8pm, Ryerson Student Centre, 55 Gould St, free, runs through Saturday August 29

An epic all-gender clothing swap including workshops on sewing, design, and more — plus dance breaks! Friday is for black folks and Saturday is for everybody.

Saturday, August 29


Calgary Zine Co Mingle #1 Let’s Do Picnic Lunch Edition, 12pm-4pm, CommunityWise Resource Centre, 223 12th Avenue SW, free

Meet fellow zinesters and share your works! Or work on your own, donate to the Zine Tree, and trade zines. Stay for games, vegan food, readings and show ’n’ tell, crafts, and more!


Myseum on the Move: LGBTQ+ Protests, The Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives, 34 Isabella St,, free with registration

Focusing on how Toronto has led the way for LGBTQ+ rights, people of all ages are asked to share their objects and stories to help build the Myseum’s digital collection.

Canzine Toronto & Toronto Queer Zine Fair


TQZF poster by Jenny Chan

Yes, you noticed it too! Canzine Toronto this year is on October 17th at the Art Gallery of Ontario, which is the same day as the Toronto Queer Zine Fair at Trinity St. Paul’s Church.

We are really excited to be partnering with Art Gallery of Ontario to make Canzine its most accessible yet, and to bring ziney goodness to more people than we thought possible. Part of this venue change also necessitated a date change, and now you’ve got two zine fairs on the same day in Toronto — which, if you think about it, is kind of amazing!

The Toronto Queer Zine Fair was created in 2013 to fill the need for a zine fair specifically for the LGBTQ2ISA* zine community. As an event and a community, it has grown in amazing ways since then. It’s a different vibe and experience than Canzine, and both are worth visiting.

We at Canzine have grown a lot in the last three years. When TQZF began in 2013, Canzine organizers began to do some real thinking about the ways we have not been a safe or accessible space for queer, trans, and disabled people. Many of us are queer ourselves, and seeing the amazing and very intentional work that TQZF has done around accessibility, anti-oppression, safe space and inclusivity has totally inspired us, and this is part of why we’ve moved venues and changed approaches.

Because we think both Canzine and TQZF are important and amazing — each with their own identities and showing different slices of the zine community — we encourage you to visit both on October 17th!

In the next few months, we’ll be sharing information about travelling between the two venues, a join scavenger hunt with special prizes, and so much more! Although we are two separate events, we’re happy to be working together on making sure visitors can get the most out of the biggest zine weekend ever in Toronto.

Any questions can be directed to and