A little more than ten years ago, I picked up a copy of Ghostpine and discovered zine culture. Jeff Miller’s stories drew me in to the world of self-publishing and cut and paste layouts, and inspired me to write my own zines. To say I have a soft spot for Ghostpine would be an under- statement!
In his latest issue, titled “boys”, Jeff starts off by sharing tales of growing up in Ottawa’s punk scene, touring, and first tattoos. I particularly enjoyed his recounting of the first time his teenage band played an out of town concert: “It was the kind of arty shit we loved, but the small town punks weren’t buying it…This song was so poorly received that I wondered if we might be attacked by the punks who came to see the headlining ska-core band”. Jeff ’s stories are humorous and perfectly capture the awkwardness of growing up and finding your place within a subculture.
The second part of this issue is an elegy to the late Will Munro. Divided in 11 parts, this tribute captures the spirit of the legendary Canadian queer punk icon. Although I never knew Will, Jeff’s stories paint the picture of an extraordinary person.
If you like text-heavy, well written zines, Ghostpine is mandatory reading. My only complaint is that the issues are never long enough! Oh, and if you’re ever in Montréal, visit Dépanneur Le Pick-Up to see the small press rack Jeff curates. Ghostpine, as well as other zines, are available there. (Maxime Brunet)