New zines!

So little time, so many awesome zines. I’m hoping to have a bit more time over the holidays to do some proper zine reading – but for now here are a few zines that I’ve been excited about lately.

play-a-long songbookThe Play-A-Long Songbook: Number One: Wellington by Isobel Cairns, with transcriptions by Mark Turner

Hello this is a great idea! The Play-A-Long songbook (but we’re calling it a zine just because) is a lovingly produced A4 compendium of radness. It compiles lyrics, chords and melodies for five songs from some of Wellington’s best known artists – Disasteradio – Wet Wings – Secret Knives – The Sing Songs (with our very own 2nd floor librarian Jeremy!) – Seth Frightening. Also features awesome drawings by one of our favourite zine authors Isobel Cairns.

extraExtra Curricular (issue 10) edited by Ellie Smith

Merry Christmas! The newest issue of Extra Curricular has hit the zine shelves. Each issue has a theme and issue 10 encourages you to dip your toes into the whole self sufficiency thing. I had a completely lovely time listening to some tunes and browsing through its pages full of stories of regular* type folk creating and doing such inspiring (and yes, self sufficient) things, like – soap making, beer brewing, bread baking, fashion designing, herbal medicine concocting and beekeeping. Beekeeping looks awesome btw, we should so do that! I could live in Extra Curricular. It is good for the soul.

* regular not in a boring way, but in a hey, you can probably maybe one day do this sorta way

christchurch zineChristchurch Post Earthquake Reaction: Zine Expression by Jennifer Holdaway

I’ve been meaning to share this zine since it came across our desks a few months ago. It thoughtfully brings together photographs of the aftermath of the Christchurch Earthquake with a few carefully chosen poetic words and phrases. To me these collages really expressed both the sadness and emptiness that must be felt by the Christchurch people but also conveyed a real sense of emerging hope. Simple and heartfelt, this zine also includes a beautiful ‘wrap around’ poem by Jennifer.

New zines – Vita’s picks

If you’re looking for some whimsical ephemera to help wile away the holiday hours, we have HEAPS of new zines, including Wellington Zinefest purchases, on display in the zine collection on the first floor at WCL.  Here are some of my picks from the newbies…

bookofpoetryBook of Poetry and Short Stories by Zora Patrick. 
This was Wellington Zinefest 2011’s ‘Best of Fest’ winner, and as part of the erudite panel of judges for that award I’m possibly slightly biased, but I cannot say enough about how awesome this little zine is.  At just 11 years old, Zora has created a piece of self-published art that is funny, philosophical, original, weird, a little bit poignant, and downright lovingly crafted and beautiful.  Pretty much everything a zine should be, in my opinion. 

theyearimetelvis1984: The Year I Met Elvis – An Exhibition About Growing Up in the 80s by Sally Papps et al. 
Zine/catalogue of an exhibition by Sally Papps, Elvis is a memoir of teenage life in Nelson/Golden Bay in the 80s. A cute work of local history and a wonderful slice-of-life ethos.

dailysecretionDaily Secretion: Third Emission by Hannah Salmon. 
As delightfully transgressive and bad-taste pioneering as ever, the third installment of Daily Secretion answers all your questions on topics such as Paul Henry and thantophobia (fear of death or dying). The perfect Christmas present for grandma. 

whereyouatbroWhere You at, Bro? by David Merritt. 
David Merritt’s self-published travelling poetic ramblings are bite-sized but sturdily built.  While this is my favourite of his latest offerings, grab a few at a time – they are genuinely inspirational for writing, roadtrips and general Kerouac-esque badassness.

New Zines chosen by Carla

Statistical Analysis of The Things that happen but don’t make sense and everything else by Sarah McNeil
This zine is much more fun than taking a course in research methods or Statistics 101. Sarah has managed to find a very interesting use for statistics by collecting data on funny, mundane events and creating all sorts of graphs. In her zine you can find pie charts on “thoughts in thinking time”; as well as linear graphs of “uncomfortable ideas and feelings” set against “time looking at kittens behind the glass at the pet shop”. This zine is full of funny, cute and interesting diagrams and graphs.

imaginaryImaginary Lovers by Devon Smith
This zine is so romantic and funny! It is full of illustrations of people that Devon thinks are cool. All kinds of descriptions of imaginary lovers are included in this zine… but some of them are crossed out! I think I recognised one of them the other day… This zine deserves a “librarian’s choice” sticker ASAP!

application poemsApplication Poems 2010-2011 by Alex Mitcalfe Wilson
This is another awesome zine from Alex Mitcalfe Wilson, a well-known multidisciplinary artist from Wellington. Alex’s anthology of poems is quite unusual and original. I really enjoyed the poems inspired by the World Press photo exhibition and one called “Empire”. These poems were originally submitted in applications for various writing programmes, and they are really good.

cupcake13Cupcakemonsters 13 by Alex Mitcalfe Wilson
This is an upgraded/next-level-beats edition of the usual Cupcakemonsters. Alex has moved away from the usual dull winter-like colours to explore the contagious positivity of pastel colours. This pastel pink issue is bigger and feels nicer. This zine features three bands (Grouper, Martial Canterel & Captain Ahab) and it also comes with a really powerful poster of crystals.

pernicious anaemiaPernicious anaemia by Alex Mitcalfe Wilson
This zine is quite mysterious. The theme of the zine is black metal iconography and is full on scary logos and hilarious statements. There is a really funny list of Doom Band names. Come and check out this zine even if you are not into black metal.

postroastProtroast5 by Ya-Wen Ho and Makyla Curtis
This zine has a lot of cool stories written by various story tellers from all around the world. Some of these stories are accompanied by illustrations. There are some beautiful poems and nice comics. I wonder how the editors manage to get artists from Russia and Japan to collaborate on this awesome zine? Quite impressive.

Red, yellow, blue repeat AND Blue bits by Anthony Zinonos
I have been following Anthony Zinonos’ art for years, and I am so happy that we have 2 of his zines. Red, yellow, blue repeat is full of beautiful abstract collages; while Blue bits is a bit more conceptual and funny. Both zines are gems, especially if you like collage-montage art and Anthony’s style.

YOU

Nearly Ten years and still going strong…

youHere at Wellington City Libraries we now have “You” in our Zine collection!

 “You” is a free weekly paper zine created by Luke You. A copy has been published every week since November 2001.  “You” zine usually appears as an anonymous hand written letter sealed with staples in a paper bag. The letters are usually signed off by Luke but may be written by different people. “You” has a wide circulation and even has had issues published in other languages, including German and Arabic.

For me the experience of “You” is strangely intimate and uplifting – the anonymous yet personal revelatory aspect of it had the effect of taking me sideways for a moment, putting me in quite a different headspace.

Try it….   Come check out “You” in our Zine Collection and see for yourself…

Read more about “You” here

Brand new zines!

We’ve been getting a whole lot of new zines in over the last couple of weeks. These are a few we’ve enjoyed reading over the Easter break. Available in the zine collection now!

Spoonful: A Happiness Companion, edited by Thea spoonful zine

Spoonful is a lovely little zine from Australia. It is a little bit of a lot of things – crafting, good thoughts, inspiration, short stories, objects of affection and tea! – “happiness in a spoonful” as they say. We have issues 1-4 in the zine collection now, issue 4 just hot off the press. See more of what Spoonful is about on their website. (Steph)

King Cat comics and stories, by John Porcellinoking cat zine

I’ve been hearing good things about King-Cat comics for a while now and after reading issue 70 I can say that it’s all true. Issue 70 is filled with many little moments from John’s life that everyone can relate to – visiting the dentist, drinking, a day in the suburbs, remembering high school hijinks etc. I think he must keep a little journal of all the amusing things that happen to him because a lot of the stories are drawn over a year after they happened. Find out more about King Cat comics and stories here. (Steph)

7,000 year of African Art, by Duncan Vahid McNaughtonafrican art zine

A few weeks ago I found a really beautiful book about African art at the library. I realised how little I know about African art. I find myself mainly exposed to a very Western focused approach to art. There are not that many other options really, except for a few old school Art books that explore tribal art from Africa and other exotic destinations. Duncan Vahid McNaughton’s zine celebrates African art in a very distinctive and innovative way: black and white collages. His zine is beautifully assembled; it is indeed a fine piece of art. These collages make me remember how much more I would like to learn about African art and culture in general, and how I would like to incorporate it to my everyday life. Duncan’s zine is truly inspiring as well as visually pleasing. (Carlita)

Extra Curricular, edited by Ellie Smith (Perhaps more of a magazine than a zine? Fine line I’d say, but we’re calling it a zine because we desperately want it in our collection!)extra curricular zine

There is only one thing to say about this gem – L.O.V.E. Oh something more? Well Extra Curricular is a tri-annually published Auckland zine “for and about people getting creative with their spare time”. Does it sound like you? Perhaps? Well once you read Extra Curricular you will be so full of inspiration that you will quite possibly spend the evening looking up pottery classes on the internet or pulling out that old bag of wool and knitting needles hiding behind your yoga mat in the wardrobe. We got issue 5 in the mail last week and it is a beauty with a featurette on ceramics, a visit to a lovely vintage and handmade goods store, an article about mad keen crafters going the distance for thier craft, an interview with the wet hot beauties (a synchronised swimming group) as well as all the usual recipes, fashion and how to projects. Visit the Extra Curricular blog to find out more . (Steph)

Queen Mother Adventures, nos 1 & 2 with bonus Kate Middleton in her own words comic, by David O’Connellqueen mum adventures zine

This is a very topical little comic right now isn’t it? Well I have a fondness for the royal family so these comics by David O’Connell were right up my street as they say. The Queen Mother is depicted as a gin drinking, horse betting, corgi loving sweetie who manages to get herself into some unusual situations –involving the seedy side of Soho, and royal ghosts! As an added bonus you will learn some interesting royal facts too. Very funny and much recommended. (Steph)

Zine Fest Round-Up….

Kia ora Zinesters!

Welcome to the library’s Team Zine “Considerably Belated Zinefest 2010 Round-Up Post!”  At least no one can accuse us of jumping the gun, or counting our chickens, or something.

Terminal disorganisation aside, your Supreme Team Zine got busy down at Zinefest 2010.  And by busy, we mean curling up in a corner of the Mighty Mighty, munching foil-wrapped chocolatey goodness and perusing the Zinefest wares to bring you the sweetest bites of small-print media that Wellington had to offer.  Below are my personal picks from our swag of Zinefest zines:

Jack, 32 Mulberry Dr, Melbourne, Australia by Laura Chaplin and Rowan Burns

"Jack" by Rowan and LauraMy love for this zine is only tangentially related to the fact that author Rowan was one of my favourite high school buddies who now has an amazing girlfriend who invites me over for dinner parties and vegan chocolate icecream.  It’s a totally lovely, intricately illustrated piece of fiction.  A love story set in the time of an apolyptic flood.  Beautiful.

Fern Zine by Vanessa Berry

Fern ZineThe inspirational Vanessa Berry is Australia’s Queen of Zines, and author of I am a Camera, a much-loved zine here at WCL.  One of her latest projects is Fern Zine, a guide to identifying, collecting and growing ferns for your botanic edification.  Choice.

Small Victories by Nausea Nissenbaum

small-victoriesSmall Victories ties with First Kiss as my absolute favourite zine from last year.  Small Victories is a love song to the tiny triumphs experienced by activists in the never-ending struggle, and also features Harry Potter quotes <3.

Those Like Us by Eamonn Marra

Those-Like-UsA neat collection of poems for the disaffected among us.  Favourite bit:  “From now on i will only be friends with people that pick on my Hemingway quotes That I found by googling ‘hemingway quotes’ Which i will drop into casual conversation It is not worth being friends with uncultured people”

Animalz by Zora Patrick

AnimalzZine-making wunderkid Zora Patrick introduces a collection of totally awesome and vaguely Pokemon-esque creatures.

ARGH that is a whole lot of guaranteed zine-awesomeness right there.  Everyone should come and take these babies home for a real good time <3.

Around 21 by Yelz

A brand new addition to our zine collection is Around 21 by the very around21a covertalented Yelz. Yelz moved to New Zealand a few years ago and quickly found a strong connection with native birds. He started to illustrate them with an amazingly unique style. The first page of this zine has a listing of all NZ’s native birds that are quickly disappearing. This zine is beautiful and meaningful. I wonder if Yelz knows how highly talented he is and how moving his art can be. This is for sure another Librarians’ choice!

By Carlita

Check out more of his amazing work here.

Susan Te Kahurangi King

My absolute favourite zine we got at Wellington Zinefest is this limited edition book of drawings by New Zealand artist Susan King. It’s bloomin’ gorgeous.

Arranged in a thoughtful and transparent way by Smallminingtown, the variety and quality of Susan’s work is really on display here. Oddball cartoon ducks and cats sprouting astonished sweat compete for space with melancholic, geometric landscapes. Her drawings are fanciful and wonder-filled, often surreal, nimble and intricate.

Susan’s personal story is also intriguing. At four-years-old she stopped speaking, but begun to draw; creating a huge body of work before she turned 26, when suddenly, she stopped. Encouraged by those just discovering her work, she began to draw again in 2008. Her extraordinary talent and story have been quickly recognised this time around. A documentary is in the works and she has exhibited both here and in Australia.

Currently on our new zines display, this is one to savour.

Fancy Times!

We got a number of super fancy zines at Wellington Zinefest. No staples or sticky tape lines for this trio of beautifully bound cuties. Best enjoyed next to a diamond shaped pool with a shatteringly dry martini in hand.

We’ve got Chew Gum Bitches aka the Zine of the Fest, each edition of which is completely unique (check out ours above). Nick Boyd of Cross St Studios has compiled a sequence of sweet and gruesome illustrations including a timely pencil drawing of an all-grown-up Max (from Where the Wild Things Are), and a warning on the perils of hopping freight trains.

The prolific and pseudonymic Sid Skull has created a zine no librarian could resist. Issues is a slyly humorous arrangement of  library cards. The one we bought spans Dewey numbers and years, and are all an attractive shade of apricot.

The Common Sense Nihilist Manifesto by David Cauchi is an elegant wee thing. Slender and minimal, it contains a meditation on the nature of existence (!) and a series of beautifully coloured, often macabre illustrations. Check it out!

New Zines!

We have some pretty great brand new additions in this week.  Some highlights:

mixtape coverMixtape, issue eight
Mixtape is one of our most popular zines and we are now faithful subscribers. A craft-focussed zine, this issue is their first in full colour, and contains a few crafter profiles, some great tips for producers wanting to promote their work, and an article about Blythe dolls, you know, the ones with the creepy eyes? All this and more, come and check it out.

wsw coverWorld Sweet World, issue five
Beautiful eco-chic mag made right here in Wellington. Jamie, our resident DIYer here at the Central Library, was very taken with their jar-as-lampshade idea. Full of inspirational craft ideas, gardening tips, and lots of other gentle nudges in the right (in that please-can-we-save-the-planet kind of way) direction.

worn coverWorn, issue six
Our Québécois fashion friends have done it again with the latest issue of Worn. On offer this time are some dapper paper dolls, a feature on the Paris Ethical Fashion Show, and an interview with a rather extraordinary collector of kitsch. My favourite feature of the mag is Emily’s fashion themed haikus. An example:

If Project Runway
Wasn’t just on cable then
I’d be a huge fan

To find these zines and about 600 others, come up to the Zine Collection on the first floor of the Wellington Central Library. For more info about the WCL Zine Collection, please visit www.wcl.govt.nz/zines

We would also like to take this opportunity to direct you to the blog of one Kim Gruschow, the lovely subject of last week’s zinester interview. In it she says nice things about our zine collection, and funny things about a lot of other stuff:  www.mistyconfessions.blogspot.com