Everyday Superheroes: Anti-Corporate Cosplay & the DIY Multiverse

Words by David Silverberg

“Are you Boba Fett?”

“Do you know Darth Vader?”

Drew Eckhardt fielded these questions from the five-year-olds huddled around him at the Victoriaville Mall in Thunder Bay, Ontario. It was just before Christmas, 2016. A guy dressed as Santa wasn’t far off, but all young eyes were focused on Eckhardt and his fellow Mandalorian Mercs, thanks to their passion for full-gear Star Wars dress-up.

Eckhardt and his squad were covered head to toe with breastplates, gauntlets, helmets — all made from everyday material found around the house. Some sported bright reddish colours, while others looked more menacing in all black. At first glance, you might have thought Comic-Con had come to Thunder Bay.

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Calls for Submission: Let’s Get Steamy

Call for Submissions: Queerotica Competition

For its Queerotica Competition, the Erotic Museum Vegas wants writers to put sexual exploit to paper and send in their best queer erotic lit. Along with nearly $2,000 USD in cash prizes, winners will be published internationally by Microcosm Publishing and featured in Harry Mohney’s Erotic Heritage Museum Las Vegas. Fiction and nonfiction are welcome, as are characters of all gender identities and sexual orientations—just make it steamy. The deadline for entries is October 10, 2017.

Call for Submissions: Static Zine

After more than six years, DIY magazine Static Zine is closing its doors, but not before it puts out one final issue. For its 15th issue—appropriately titled and themed The End—Static Zine has put out a call for pitches of writing, illustrations, or anything that works on a page. The issue will debut at Canzine Toronto on October 21, 2017. The deadline for submissions is September 15.

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Zine Review: WoRMHoLE


Zine, worm, Issue 46, 2601 Old Rt 14a, Penn Yan, NY 14527, USA,, free

“Best local zine!!!!!” “totally rules!!!” “Love it + support the Print (sic)!!” These are excerpts from the zine reviews in the 46th issue of WoRLMHoLE, a fanzine about fanzines that might be the most enthusiastic thing I’ve ever read. This oddity almost defies reviewing simply because anything you might consider a defect in this zine is actually kind of awesome and funny. There’s the illegible front cover that might make folks with an astigmatism dizzy, there’s the author, named worm, and his wretched handwriting, and then there’s the fact that the reviews are a maximum of five words. It makes my head spin. But what are you going to do, ask for a refund? Forget it Jake: this is fanzine town!

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Podcast Activist Katie Jensen: I Am Woman, Hear Me .RAR

Words by Kristel Jax
Photos by Lindsay Duncan 

It’s April 2017. I’m at Katie Jensen’s Inclusive Podcast Workshop series where, surrounded by strangers, I’m holding back a panic attack. Yet Katie’s ultra-friendly voice and casual bless-this-mess, we’re-all-in-this-together vibe is so soothing, and her enthusiasm for the medium is so infectious, that I start to chill out and believe I can survive three hours of this, especially after a round of introductions.

The all-women class is brimming with intriguing, challenging program ideas on topics ranging from Canadian history to disability to women in music. Part of Katie’s inclusivity mandate has meant PWYC workshop participants have paid as little as $5, or received full sponsorship.We each write a script and make a demo, and when mine is played out loud the class, everyone, especially Katie, is enthusiastic and supportive. I’d arrived with the vague idea that podcasting is an important skill for a journalist, and I leave dedicated to turning my niche podcast idea into an iTunes reality. That night, I get an email from Katie that ends: “What next?! What can I do to help make this pod real?”

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Jonathan’s Pick: Sheffield Park Black History Museum

image by Emily Milton

About five years ago, Maggie MacDonald wrote a cover story for Broken Pencil Issue 45 about DIY museums and small town marvels. She wrote about the care and passion that the curators and artists in that story put into their collections, and how dedicated they were about documenting the world and creating a special experience for the (sometimes very few) visitors who would make it through their doors.

Over Labour Day Weekend, a friend of mine invited me to drive up Clarksburg, near Collingwood, ON, to check out the Sheffield Park Black History and Cultural Museum. During my visit, I thought often about that article, and about the the importance of grassroots and DIY archiving, museum building, and collecting in all of its forms.

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Zine Review: Patch Sewing Guide and Sew Sew Sew

Patch Sewing Guide and Sew Sew Sew

Zine, Michelle Margaret,, $5

Don’t you hate it when you’ve spent hours covering your favourite hoodie or denim vest with sick patches, only to have them fall off the first time some well-meaning friend or relative is able to wrestle the garment away from you and run it through the wash? Worry no more! Both of these 1/8-size zines contain instructions on how to stitch patches on your stuff and have them stay put, whatever adventures or laundromats may come. Each zine is bound with a long safety pin along the spine, and they came bundled together in a repurposed plastic ID badge holder, which I found both creative and practical. Patch Sewing Guide contains the most detailed instructions and suggests a few different stitches you can use, and also includes helpful strategies like how you can sew with nylon thread or dental floss, and how to singe the ends rather than knotting them for an even firmer grip. Sew Sew Sew contains similar information, but its instructions are more minimalist, with many words whited-out so the tutorials are transformed into poetry. (Mary Green)