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Zines

The first issue of Fred Thomas' Balcony, a highly enjoyable take on the now-rare music-focused variety zine. Balcony is a joy. The brilliant opening essay (on the naming of zines and bands and season three of Jersey Shore) brought me back to a golden era of zines that I often long for, and the rest of the zine stays on this bright path with a short history of post-punk, a list, and an interview with sound artist Andrea Pensado...[ continued ]

In this issue of Balcony there's a public apology, an essay about Lewis Hyde's The Gift, an interview with left-field hip-hop musician Sterling Toles, in-depth record reviews, and a couple poems by Charles Gonsalves. But as in every issue of Balcony, it's also much more than that. A surprising, quietly exceptional zine.

32 pages, half-letter size.

 

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"A funny thing about regret is that it's better to regret something you have done than to regret something you haven't done." So begins the third issue of Balcony, the publishing outlet of musician Fred Thomas (Saturday Looks Good to Me, City Center).

Interviews with long-running New Zealand experimental rock band The Dead C, cultish songwriter Edith Frost, and ambient musician John Daniel of Forest Management...[ continued ]

The ten-year anniversary issue of Basic Paper Airplane! Short essays about trying to make a living from writing words. Comic nightmares from the world of freelance writing, night school, weekly papers, and cities of books.

Paper airplane examples throughout. 32 pages, cut half-letter size.

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The Seattle zine Clock Tower Nine is a perfect assortment of oddities. Pinball history, Cleveland novelty shirts, postcard lessons, jukebox stories. All I can say is I want every issue from here on out.

20 pages, half-letter size.

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Clock Tower Nine has become one of my new favorite zines. Using a variety-format approach reminiscent of classic '90s zines, Danny Noonan puts together a consistently interesting assortment. Letters, postcards, and the stories of others mix with personal narratives, odd facts, and ephemera.

This issue largely consists of a story about being a roadie for a band, an intercontinental fast friendship through postcards and drunk dials, and a barely-planned cross-country road trip...[ continued ]

In an attempt to figure out the last record he would ever sell, Danny Noonan writes the story of a skittish teenager’s discovery of punk that leads him to house shows and eventually a move across the country. It’s a celebration of record stores that spans 25 years and explores the anxiety of youth, the community of punk, and how much it sucks not to be able to find a job when you need it the most...[ continued ]

The world of work as a woman, explored through comics, essays, and other surprising and interesting forms. All great. Best part: the work histories of the authors' moms and grandmas.

56 pages, half-letter size.

Mini story-essays about tigers, Henri Rousseau, Yelp as a personal blog, Jorge Luis Borges, freight elevator rides, landlords with enemies, and more.

32 pages, quarter-size.

Though The Lowbrow Reader makes itself out to be a low-quality bathroom reader it is, in reality, a one-of-a-kind zine that holds some of the wisest and oddest essays about bygone pop culture and its fringes.

In this issue: famed cartoonist Drew Friedman writes about his love for Shemp Howard of the Three Stooges. Fast Times at Ridgemont High/Clueless director Amy Heckerling digs up a private diary...[ continued ]