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Review Zines

A resource list of zines dedicated to reviewing zines, gathered by Karl Thomsen. Updated for November 1998.

It's not easy to keep track of what's going on in this chaotic zine culture of ours. Fortunately there are an abundance of zine review zines out there to help us keep track of it all. Sure they aren't perfect, but they can be very useful. Whether you just want to know what's going on or if you have a zine that you want the world to know about, this zine review zine list should help you on your way.

All information provided is subject to mutate without notice. If you're sending a zine in for review, include all important information such as mailing address, email, price & ordering info, publication schedule, etc. If sending your zine internationally, keep in mind that Customs Officials often confiscate material of "obscene" subject matter. Discretion is advised if you don't want to waste a lot of postage.

Amusing Yourself to Death
"The guide to surfing the papernet"
Standard magazine format
Editor: Ruel Gaviola
Published: Bimonthly
Sample issue $3
($4 Canada/Mexico, $5 World. Audio version $4.)
Subscription: 6 issues for $18
Email: rgaviola@aol.com
Web: http://www.aznet.net/~lorax/aytd/index.html
Mail: PO Box 91934, Santa Barbara, CA, USA 93190-1934
"AYTD is a bimonthly publication that reviews and promotes the independent press, primarily zines and other self-published works. AYTD offers useful resources for self-publishers: news, articles, advice, commentary, contacts, letters and much more. Our staff is dedicated to being a positive part of the small-press community and we look forward to working with those who share similar ideas and goals."
[A good sized review zine with in depth reviews and all sorts of zine news and resources. It comes out frequently and has a lot to offer. Well worth a look.]

Broken Pencil
"The guide to alternative publications in Canada"
Standard magazine format
**Specifically reviews Canadian publications
Editor: Hal Niedzviecki and Hilary Clark
Published: Thrice a year, in April, October and January
Last known issue: October 1998 (#8)
Next issue due October 1998
Sample issue $5.00
Subscription: 3 issues for $12, 6 for $23
Email: halpen@interlog.com
Web: http://www.brokenpencil.com
Mail: P.O. Box 203, Stn P, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 2S7, Canada
[Recommended if you want to get to know about the small press in Canada. Although the reviews tend to be more entertaining than honest, they often do let the zine speak for itself by offering up samples of the zine's contents (often reprinting articles or graphics/comics). Reviews are broken up into the sections of the country where the zines originate from.]

Factsheet 5
"Your perpetually surprising guide to the zine revolution"
**Currently in limbo**
Standard magazine format
Editor: ??
Published: 2-3 times a year
Last known issue: #64 July 1998
Next planned issue: ???
Sample issue $6 U.S.
Subscription: 6 issues $20 (US)
Deadline for zines for issue #65 is August 13,1998
Email: seth@factsheet5.com
Web: http://www.factsheet5.com
Mail: P.O. Box 170099, San Francisco, CA, USA 94117-0099
"Yes, this is our last issue. The workload and pressures have been just way too demanding, and we've both decided to call it quits. The reasons are numerous, way too many to list here. Christopher is burned out, and after five years of publishing Factsheet Five, I've simply run out of steam. Don't worry though, the magazine will almost certainly continue - there's just too much momentum for a massive thing like Factsheet Five for it to come to a screeching halt. I'm right now working out the details and Factsheet Five will soon have a new publisher and a new editor. Just keep watching your mailbox (or your favourite book store, newsstand, or zine shop) and there'll be a new issue before you know it."
-Seth Friedman [publisher], from his final editorial in the latest issue of Factsheet Five.
[This publication's existence is currently in limbo. Both the editor and the publisher have stepped down, and there has been no word on whether anyone else has stepped in.]

Funhouse
"Digging in the underground"
5.5" x 8.5" format
Editor: Brian Johnson
Published sporadically.
Last known issue: #7, Summer 1998
Sample Issue $1.00
Mail: 11 Werner Road, Greenville, PA, 16125-9434, USA
[A casual friendly review zine which categorizes zines according to the cover price. For a buck it offers up a healthy serving of reviews. Worth a look.]

Kitty Litter
Format: 5 1/2" x 8 1/2"
Editor: Sarah Rife
Publishing Schedule: ??
Last Known Issue: #1, Summer 1998
Next Planned Issue: ??
Sample Issue: $1
Email: groovy346@aol.com
Mail: 346 Old Mill Creek Dr., Waco, Texas, USA 76712
[A healthy focus on girl zines rounded out by reviews of numerous other zines. Worth a look.]

Holy Temple Of Mass Consumption
Xeroxed 8 1/2" x 11" format
Editor: Wayne Aiken
Published sporadically.
Last known issue: Summer 1998
Sample Issue $1.00
Email: slack@ncsu.edu
Web: http://www4.ncsu.edu/~aiken/
Mail: PO Box 30904, Raleigh, NC, USA 27622
[Inspired by Bob and the Church of the Subgenius, this is a selection of reviews of zines, comics, and other assorted weirdness. An entertaining read.]

Indy Unleashed
5.5" x 8.5" format
Editor: Owen Thomas
Published sporadically.
Last known issue: #6 Fall 1998
Sample Issue $2.00
Email: vlorbik@msn.com
Web: http://people.delphi.com/vlorbik
Mail: P.O. Box 9651, Columbus, Ohio, USA 43209
"Indy Unleashed is written in a pleasant chatty style, but offers little competition to such reviews as Zine World or AYTD."
[Done as more of a supplement to his other zine Ten Page News. What this review zine lacks in size it makes up for in the reviews. Owen seems to review material that interests him, and usually offers a lengthy review similar in style to AYTD. If you're looking for a casual read, it's worth a look.]

Kluttered Visions
"Fringe and Cult Visual Pop Culture"
5.5" x 8.5" format size
Editor: Keith O'Brien
Published: quarterly
Last known issue: #10 Spring 98
Next issue due: July 98
Sample copy $2.00 US
Subscription: (domestic) 4 issues for $6.00 US
Email: gerbil@aztec.asu.edu
Mail: PO Box 71, Mesa AZ 85211-0071, USA
"It's an interview and review zine designed to appeal to today's alternative, cutting-edge, pop culture readers."
[It's main focus is comics, but it also features reviews of videos and zines as well as a few interviews. A well done review zine, but will probably suit comic fans more.]

MSRRT Newsletter
"Library Alternatives"
Standard magazine format
Editor: Chris Dodge
Published: bimonthly
Last known issue: Mar/Apr 98, v11 #2
Next issue: May/June (due in a couple of weeks)
Sample issue $2
Subscription: 10 issues for $15
Email: cdodge@sun.hennepin.lib.mn.us
Mail: Chris Dodge, MLA/MSRRT, 4645 Columbus Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN, USA 55407
Web: http://www.cs.unca.edu/~davidson/msrrt/
[This long running publication is oriented toward librarians who buy zines. You'll find reviews of zines as well as books, comics, and videos along with noteworthy news. A wonderful resource.]

Muuna Takeena
Standard magazine format (xeroxed)
Editor: Timo Palonen
Published sporadically.
Last known issue: #4 (late 1997)
Sample issue: send a few bucks or a few IRC's
Email: lahtinen.palonen@megabaud.fi
Mail: Talvipaivamseisaus Prod., Timo Palonen, Hepokuja 6 B 26, FIN-01200 Vantaa, Finland
[A very unique review zine from Finland. A playful punk sensibility brings together reviews of music tapes/CDs (international independents, with reviews in English), Finnish language zines (in Finnish), and international English language zines (in English). The reviews in here are very spirited and casual but honest. Worth a look.]

Party Pooper
"Ottawa's Own Indie Fanzine"
**Status unknown**
8.5" x 7" format (xeroxed)
Editor: Stephen Bourne
Published Sporadically
Next issue: July 1998 (the SmallPox Expo edition)
Free plus postage
Subscription: $2 CDN/US for 4 issues
Email: ap291@freenet.carleton.ca
Web: http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/4758/red.html
Mail: ???
[A double sided legal sheet folded in half, semi-seasonal list of 20-25 reviews of self-published and small press zines, comix and chapbooks from around the world. A funky collage is featured on the cover of the zines reviewed inside. The reviews tend to be fairly dry, but they give a good idea about what each zine contains. I've lost contact with Party Pooper as of late, so if anyone knows what's going on could ya drop me a line?]

Rag
Editor: Brandy
Published: "Quarterly"
First planned issue: October 1998
Sample issue $2 CDN
Email: ragamuffin@chickmail.com
Web: http://members.xoom.com/zinestress/rag.html
Mail: 242 Stoneway Dr., Nepean, Ont., K2G 6A8, Canada
"A brand spanking new guide to girl zines! Dedicated to girl-positive DIY publications, kinda like a female powered and female centered Factsheet 5, nest pas? Since this is a girl zine guide, please send your zine in for a review only if you are a girl or have a girl-positive publication. That means you boys are invited too, as long as you are girl-positive."
[Although I've only seen the web page so far, the first issue should be out fairly soon.]

Ralph Recommends
Editor: Ralph Alfonso
Sample Issue 50
Email: ralpha6982@aol.com
Web: http://www.bongobeat.com (updated regularly)
Mail: Box 93627, Nelson Park PO, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6E 4L7
RALPH: Coffee, Jazz & Poetry, a monthly zine of pop poetry, zine, record reviews & more.
"This is a monthly review column that appears in VERB Magazine, Vancouver (circ: 20,000) and WORD magazine, Toronto (10,000). I also post this column on the internet and on my web site. Some reviews are also featured in my monthly zine, RALPH."
[Ralph offers up a spirited but straight forward review of zines sent his way. Please note - a new snail mail address is in effect. He's been slow to update his website as of late, but he's started to review zines once again (the November reviews have been posted).]

Resource for Radicals
Standard magazine format (spiral bound)
Editor: Brian Burch
Published: Annually (in August)
Last Known issue: 1997
1998 Issue currently underway
Sample Issue: $10
Accepts submissions all year round
Email: burch@web.net
Fax: (416) 651-9700
Mail: Box 73620, 509 St. Clair Ave. West, Toronto, Ontario, M6C 1C0
"Resources For Radicals is an annual annotated bibliography. We welcome review material at any time. We are interested in magazines, books, broadsheets, pamphlets and other print material devoted to progressive social change. We aim for a publication date of August 15th of each year. Comments, ideas and suggestions are always welcome. Resources For Radicals is a project of Toronto Action for Social Change."
[If you're looking for a resource listing for publications on progressive social change, this is a good place to start. Or if there's a publication you think they should know about, drop them a line!]

Review Addict (web site)
Editor: Michael Stutz
http://dsl.org/review/
Updated weekly
Mail: PO Box 542, Berea, OH 44017-0542, USA
"Short, opinionated reviews -- mostly indie, obscure or experimental music and zines-- written by an addict. Fresh content weekly. We do mostly music, but want to expand coverage and review more zines."
[Mostly music reviews here - looks like he could use some zines to review. But hey, the price is right and the updates are frequent. Worth a look.]

Small Press Creative Explosion
10.5" x 8.125" format
Editor: Timothy Corrigan
Publisher: New Voice Media
Published monthly
Sample issue $1.25
Subscription: $15 for 12 issues ($30 Overseas)
Mail: PO Box 25, Houghton, NY, 14744, USA
[Although it's not the "Cornerstone of the Self-Publishing Revolution", it is monthly, inexpensive, and jam packed with reviews! It's primary focus is comics, but it does review other types of zines. Well worth a look if you're into comics!]

TRS (The Review Sheet)
Single page review zine
Editor: Peter Ashton
Published: sporadically
Last known issue: November 1997
Sample issue: SAE in Britain
(overseas costs one IRC or $1 US)
Mail: 29 Wheatsheaf Road, Birmingham B16 ORZ, UK
[A single page British review zine for small press comics from around the world. For those interested in the British comics scene, it's well worth a look.]

Underground Zine Scene
Editor: John Ridge
Published Sporadically
Last known issue: #10
Next issue: #11 (coming soon)
Sample Issue $3 US
Email: zscene@juno.com
Web: http://www.azstarnet.com/~zscene/uzs1.htm
Mail: 316 E. Main St, Sebewang, MI, 48759, USA
[Focusing on worldwide music zines, but also reviews a diverse range of zines.]

Zine Guide
Standard magazine format
Editor: Brent Ritzel
Publisher: Tail Spins Inc.
Published Sporadically
Last known issue: #1 (late 1997)
Next issue: #2 (late 1998)
Issue #1: $4 ($6 Canada/Mexico, $7 Overseas)
Issue #2: $6 ($8 Canada/Mexico, $10 Overseas)
Email: tailspin@interaccess.com
Mail: Zine Guide, PO Box 5467, Evanston, Illinois, 60204, USA
"Complete contact information for 1500+ zines and assorted independent publications. Complete contents, cost, pages, size, and production quality of all available issues of every zine listed. Indexes of bands, record labels, and all subjects/topics."
[Although listed as a zine review zine, it is more of a zine directory with occasionally brief reviews from zine survey responses. Survey forms come with each issue (or just make up your own?) to list your 5 favourite zines with enough room for a brief review. Serves as an impressive resource as an up to date directory for many zines, but not very helpful as a review zine in general. Music zines in particular are well represented. If you want them to know you exist, send in your zine, and while you're at it, send in a survey to alert them to other zines they should know about!]

Zine World
"Freedom of the press is for everyone"
5.5" x 11" format
Editor: Doug Holland
Published: Seasonally
Last known issue: Fall 1998 (#8)
Sample Issue: $3.50 USA, $4 Canada/Mexico, $5 worldwide
Subscriptions:
US: 4 issues $12, 8 issues $23
Canada/Mexico: 4 issues $13, 8 issues $25
Worldwide: 4 issues $19, 8 issues $36
Mail: 537 Jones #2386, SF, CA 94102 USA
"We're not interested in anything from mainstream media, or anything fancified enough to have a UPC, ISBN, or ISSN. Such stuff might be wonderful or it might be wretched, but it's not what we're about. And no, we're not playing Zinier-than-thou; we simply want to save our pages for actual zines that need the coverage."
[This zine has an attitude and it knows how to use it. But if you can look beyond that, it is a very provocative and informative read. This is a great place to find out what's going on in the world of zines.]

Zum
Standard magazine format
Editor: Paul Schroeder
Published Annually.
Last known issue: 1997 (#10)
$5.00 American funds for a sample copy
17 Lime Street, Todmorden, Lancs, OL 14 5JN, UK
[Recommended. An impressive indie comic review zine from Britain. A good place to catch up on British comic publications, as well as a sampling of European and North American comics. Each issue is a thick read, chockful of reviews! The reviews usually have a lot to say, and a sampling of the artwork is included near the review. It's main drawback is it's annual publication schedule. Despite that, it's well worth a look. I have not heard when the next issue is planned.]

Deceased Review Zines

Bypass
[A British review zine, that is presumed dead. Nevertheless, I am still hearing rumours that it may yet rise from the dead.]

Small Press Zone [the web site]
[Andy has decided to call it quits.]

This list is maintained as a resource list on the Sunburn web site at: http://www.cyberspc.mb.ca/~mosfog/. It will be updated/reposted from time to time. Please feel free to download and redistribute this list as desired.

Am I missing anything? Let me know!

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