Sadly, I've known for a while now that a ton of the zines listed on our little Website here are most likely defunct. I've been reluctant to take 'em down, though, because I've got no clue if a lot of these zine (or zine-like things) are still around -- most never had a Website to go with the handmade print deal, so while it's been a long time since I'd seen a lot of 'em, I held out hope that maybe some of 'em were still around.
As of now, though, I've got to give up the ghost. There're a ton of other, more recent zines (or Websites, or what-have-you) out there now that are worth paying attention to, and more importantly, I don't want SCR (and my laziness) responsible for people randomly sending cash and/or CDs to these long-defunct publications and basically throwing 'em down a black hole. And yet, I can't toss 'em completely. So here's the official Back Issues Pile for all the zines we've run across over the years; c'mon in and wallow in the nostalgia. If you happen to have info on any of the pubs listed here, by the way, definitely let me know at "gaijin" at "spacecityrock.com"; I'd love to hear what happened to these folks.
Oh, and I've removed the contact info for the bulk of these folks; odds are that they're no longer at whatever address we had listed before, so it's probably better to not pester the new tenants, right? Less pain/embarrassment, all 'round.
AH LOST TACO:
Took me a while to get a hold of a copy of issue #3 back in the day, and it definitely didn't disappoint me. I've read quite a few politically-oriented zines over the years, and I have to say, this one actually made some of the strongest, most well-supported points I'd yet to hear at the time... Taco was done by Butch of 30footFALL, and he did a kick-ass job with it. One of the coolest parts (for me, anyway) was the HUGE number of other zines he talked about in here - something like a full quarter of the zine (which is pretty damn hefty) was listings of other cool local zines, including in-depth descriptions & stuff. Besides that, there was also a ton of environmental-type info, stuff on vegetarianism, intelligent rants about the current state of music today, personal journal entries about how fucked life can be, stuff on racism, stuff on sexism, tour diary-type bits, "scene" elitism/hypocrisy, poetry (by Butch and others), and musings on death, life & the whole mess in general. This rocks. Er, rocked. (Oh yeah, and the name's an anagram for "Total Chaos," if you were wondering...)
AT LEAST WE DON'T HAVE EARTHQUAKES:
And here's another that just plain doesn't exist anymore... According to Ah Lost Taco, this used to be a cool zine done by Kevin of Badger & Sore Loser and Matthew of Dig Dug & Sore Loser, but they got lazy and never put out another.
I have to admit that I never got to see much of it, but from what I did see, Audities is (or was, at any rate) a cool, very well-done online and print publication. Unfortunately, it's apparently inactive, "and will remain inactive for the forseeable future." sigh. The site's still up, though, so go ahead and check it out. The magazine was billed as "The Journal of Insanely Great Pop," and pop in general was pretty much the focus (although they did review & talk about lots of other genres of music, too). Reviews I've zipped by include folks like Catherine, The Shambles, Emmit Rhodes, Velvet Crush, The Connells, The Vandalias, and Houston's own Bee Stung Lips (among others). There're also interviews and articles with folks like The Posies and Richard X. Heyman, columns like "Guilty Pleasures" (which reviews stuff you really shouldn't like but do, like Rachel Sweet and Shaun Cassidy), cool folks like Marshall Crenshaw listing their fave albums, and "Pop Detective," a feature that tracks down your favorite "where are they now?" people. Even though it's no longer running, I'd still recommend this to folks who like pop (or, heck, music in general). [2/9/2000]
AVENUES & ALLEYWAYS:
Dunno much about this one, other than it was free & was distributed to kids in the Spring/Woodlands area... Oh yeah, and the title might have changed at some point... [12/26/97]
Interesting anti-authoritarian publication -- they called themselves "Street knowledge for the radical massive." They didn't do music at all, but had plenty of good, informative political- and activism-related stuff. There were apparently 8 print issues, but all I ever found was the one online one linked above. [2/9/2000]
Saw this one mentioned in the Public Noise column, of all places, and then ran across it in the zine rack at SoundEx (I'm told it could be found at Fitz, too, down where people always put flyers & stuff, but I could never find it there). This one was one of the few "big" zines in town (meaning it was full-sized, as opposed to digest-sized), and it had some cool shit in it. A lot of it is literary-type stuff, poetry and the like, even a story or two, which I'm not usually too into, but it was darned decent, to say the least, at a few points. Oh yeah, and as of issue #4, they changed their name from Bonesmuggler to just B.S. (which, I'm sure you'll agree, was much less confusing). Issue #4 was a lot like the other one I was able to find (#1, I guess?), with quite a bit of poetry, some intriguing stories, random musings, a cute little conspiracy theory claiming that Marilyn Manson is a covert government agent, and the "Instant Skater Punk Kit"; overall, pretty entertaining. [8/16/98]
Found this one once at SoundEx...it was an alright little zine, fairly standard stuff in there - the first issue I got (#1) little articles about how much the U.S. education system sucks (well, yeah
); interesting clippings of an article about fighting in Israel; an interview with Karl of the Descendents & All; goofy horoscopes; articles about violence & sexism; and a bunch of other stuff. It was pretty small, as local zines went, but hey, it wasn't bad... Ran across issue #2 eventually, and it was similar, except that...well, it was pretty close to unreadable (sorry, but it's true). Even so, it had some entertaining cartoons, poetry, and lots of rambling about the punk scene, etc., etc., yadda yadda yadda. Oh yeah, and it was a "split" deal with The Tow Truck Orgy
(see below)... Turns out Michael Koshkin, the guy who did the zine waaaaay back when, went online for several years, doing a now-defunct thing called hOt whiskey blog
, and yes, he remembers the old days
. And, uh, I think the "slammin' review" ("slammin'" as in, "I slammed it") he's referring to might be me. Um. Sorry? [10/24/2008]
Okay. This wasn't really a "zine"-type zine, but was actually a zine distro, meaning the actual publication was this big-ass catalog (it's thick, seriously) with page after page of cool zines from all over the country, mostly grrl-zines and stuff like that. I don't think I ever got a hold of any of the zines they listed, but there were a hell of a lot of 'em, and a lot of 'em sounded damn intriguing. Also, the catalog itself was worth reading, 'cause there was lots of personal info & insight from the Bratgirl folks thrown in just for the heck of it, and some of it was real good (there were lots of little excerpts from various zines they distributed, too). These people rocked. (And the other zine-type things they each did were pretty cool, too, like Katie's there is a song in me and if i don't sing it i die. Really powerful, impressive stuff, seriously...)
BROWN PAPER SACK:
Hmm. This was a weird one, to say the least. I always felt a little odd listing this here, because, well, it wasn't about current Houston music, by a long shot. Instead, this zine focused on garage bands that existed in Texas and Louisiana waaaay back in the mid-to-late 60's - bands very few people out there had probably heard of, like The Five Canadians (from San Antonio), The Roamin' Togas (Lafayette, LA), The Bad Roads (Lake Charles, LA), Oedipus and the Mothers (Austin), and dozens more. Also thrown into the mix were lots of old photos, ads for slot cars, and a piece about a freaky Christian organization in H-town back then called The Teen Liberators. Odd little magazine, and not exactly what you'd expect, but it was really well done & cool (and plus, it was very nicely put together). And damn educational, I must say - made me want to root around in junk shops to see if I could dig up an old Playgue 45 or something... For any fan of garage rock, 60's music that wasn't about guitar wankery or arena-rock (no, Woodstock does not encompass the 60's), or music in general, it was a cool read... Sadly, the guy who did it only ever put out one issue, as far as I can tell. Damn shame.
This was a cool, well-done little e-zine; it's not really a music magazine, but is more aimed at art and art collecting, focusing on Houston. It was a neat subject, especially for folks like me who know nada about that stuff. [7/5/99]
This was a joint effort between Demetrius of Clandestine Star (see below), Kei of Mantras Rise, and their buddies Alek & Lucas. It was fairly small, and there's nothing about music in there, but instead it was full of little thoughts on various subjects. Interesting, if small... [8/16/98]
This one was apparently known as Hidden Veneer, but there was a little note inside the issue I got saying it was changed to Clandestine Star. Odd, considering the issue seemed to be issue #1, but hey... At any rate, this was mostly a writing/personal/poetry-type zine, w/little to no musical stuff in it, but it was still kinda interesting. I'm not big on poetry (which was the majority of this, written by four or five different people), but some of it was neato, and there was a really insightful little bit on going vegan near the beginning... [6/30/97]
CRAP FOR THOUGHT:
Got a hold of a copy of this zine after hearing about it for a long while - it was pretty small, but packed full of lots of political stuff, and was pretty interestingly done; I particularly liked the bit about shrinking the world to a village of 100 people, and how only 1 would have a college education and nobody would have a computer. Pretty neato... [12/26/97]
Yup, more cool stuff from Cool Beans Press kid Russell - and it was easily just as neato as his last zine, Smack
, if not more (I think Velvet Comics
is still my favorite of the ones he did, though). He had a cool idea here, definitely - the zine was all about dancing and getting down & funky, and it had odd little articles on breakdancing and cool bits where random friends of Russell's reminisced about dancing, as well as some interesting personal-type stuff and interviews with folks like the Peechees and Los Crudos. And of course, it was all held together by lots of Russell's ultra-cool art (man, I can't tell you how much I dug, and still
dig, some of his stuff), and it was generally really well-done, overall. Darn cool. After a while he moved up to Pittsburgh for school, and Dance Party
pretty much went away. These days he's back in town, thankfully, running the Domy Store
, but I think the zines are pretty much toast, sadly. The last issue of Dance Party
I was able to find was great, as you might expect - it featured some awesome
cartoons (no, really), articles about Ally McBeal's repressed side and all kinds of stuff about dancing. [1/29/99]
Definitely an odd little zine... This one was pretty much exclusively non-music-related, but I figured it was worth listing here anyway. In the issue I got (which was apparently issue #1 1/2), there were loads of obscure facts (like how in Kansas it's illegal to catch fish with your bare hands), odd "how-to"s (like how to make a "Pez gun"), some fiction, a Mr. Goodbody centerfold (of sorts - man, I thought that guy was surely dead by now...), musings on punk & straightedge, poetry, and some handy info on Amnesty Int'l. [7/5/99]
ENDURANCE OF WISDOM:
"wisdomzine" at "geocities dot com"
This used to be a print zine, but these days it looks like it went online-only, and then the guy doing it just kind of let it languish (the main page says it hasn't been updated since 1997, which makes me feel a little bit better about SCR's outdated-ness). Anyway, I originally found it mentioned in Flush, and the print version sounded interesting, at least if you're into loud, nasty, whoo-hah-type music. Interviews with people like metal-industrialists Skrew and local scary punks Sad Pygmy, some deal on serial killing, and lots of other stuff about noise and metal. (Oh yeah, and it was previously known as Void of Tolerance...) [10/25/2008]
FALL INTO PLACE:
Interesting little zine I picked up at one point; the only one I could ever find is #1. It was kind of your typical Houston punk-youth zine, but it wasn't bad - in fact, it had pretty damn cool shit about why people should view the Houston punk "scene" with pride, as opposed to the other way 'round... Anyway, it also had some record reviews, ranting (rightly) about underage drinking at Fitz fucking it up for the rest of the kids out there, some vegetarianism-related stuff, stuff about how hellish Barbie dolls are, and a plea for all-ages places to play in town (sigh...). Not bad; zine writer Anthony definitely had some cool shit to say. [6/15/97]
Picked issue #3 of this one up at SoundEx, and it wasn't bad. It was pretty small, in comparison to things like I'm Not Afraid or Out Of Order, but it still had a lot of good information in it. Some album reviews, some zine reviews, lists of Texas shows, poetry, info on political prisoners and the atrocities being committed (daily) in Tibet, an interview w/Squirtgun, and a list of addresses of the few remaining drive-in theaters in Texas.
I think that of the zines Nothing Solid distributes, I always liked this one the best - it was another photocopied deal, smaller-sized, but I really liked the design of it. Kinda neat. [8/16/98]
I actually found a few different issues of this one (writer Dr. Watcheweet got up to #3, at least), and y'know, some of it was hysterically funny. I think my favorite strip is where Donald Dorknut learns about "The Gangsta Life" ("Issallabout love, troop")...ah, man... Oh yeah - this wasn't a zine, per se, but was more of a collection of goofy comics, mostly either quasi-autobiographical or centering around the misadventures of his favorite characters, Donald Dorknut, Spaz-Boy (who happens to look just like Bart Simpson), Lil' Joe Scenester, and hapless moron Gueedo. It wasn't all great, by a long shot, but some of it was funny as shit. At the time, it reminded me a bit of fellow local artist Scott Gilbert's True Artist Tales strip, but more silly and slap-happy. [1/29/99]
Got sent this one several years back, and sadly, it doesn't appear to be around anymore. Which is a shame, because it was pretty neato, a real zine-type zine; writer Holly Hinson said she owed a lot to Patrick Phipps' Trick Hips zine, and yeah, I could see the resemblance (particularly in the fascination with all things Sanrio). I must admit, I was a little partial right out of the gate, mostly because the intro to the zine echoed my own feelings on Houston's "scene" -- there's some amazingly cool stuff out there, but you have to work to find it, that's for damn sure. Anyway, Hello Lunchmeat contained a bunch of entertaining stuff, including a "match-the-underwear" game, writing on music, funky cartoons, and even a little glimpse of the Houston scenester world from Larry of farrago records... [3/26/2000]
This one was another pretty much entirely political zine, and it wasn't bad. It was small, but real cheap (as in, $0.25 at SoundEx). Issue #3 had a lot of girl-/riot grrl-/nerdgirl-oriented stuff, along with lots of general personal stories (some of which I seriously empathized with), why child beauty pageants are some of THE most disgusting displays on earth (why, might I ask, is there a "swimsuit competition"? are these kids supposed to look sexy, or something? fuck...), poetry, conspiracy theories, and a cool little bit about an organization called "Bikes Not Bombs," who were trying to spread the use of "ecologically sound transportation," by getting bikes donated by various folks in Houston and leaving them at several spots around town for people to use.
This was an interesting one, and it kinda snuck up on me; apparently there were some issues previous to the one I ran across, but I sure as hell never saw any of 'em, y'know? Anyway, the format was basically like the old Public News used to be -- show listings, CD reviews, interviews with local bands, all that, even some art-type stuff -- these folks definitely covered some cool stuff. I'd thought they were still around, but sadly, the Headline appears to have gone away... If anybody knows otherwise, let me know, eh? [10/25/2008]
Well, the much-loved Public News went the way of the dodo, but some of the true-believers behind the PN refused to call it a day, and those brave ex-staffers got together to form a "commune" of sorts and release their own alternative paper-type thing, covering local & non-local music, art, movies, and whatnot. It started off a little shakily but built up to where it eclipsed even its progenitor, writing-wise (the folks at the Other didn't much like being compared to the PN, by the way). Sadly, the Other didn't last, and the paper closed its doors back in May of 2001, due largely to the fiscal demands of running a print publication (something we here at SCR can relate to, believe me). They were a damn fine paper, and we miss 'em. [2/1/2005]
I'M NOT AFRAID:
Not your average scissors-and-a-copier-type punk zine (not that those are bad, mind you - some of them bore the crap out of me, and some are damn amazing), the folks at INA actually did some cool, slick design stuff (they even had a photo editor, who did a damn good job - that picture on the back of INA #4 kicks ass...). Beyond that, they also had some cool content, too - they were largely into indie-rock & melodic punk-type stuff, but they did get into some other cool shit, too: their 3rd issue featured a Jawbreaker retrospective (entitled "That Fucking Hurt"), plus interviews with Mineral, Weston, Propagandhi, and Houston's own Celindine; and then #4 had them talking with face to face, J Church, Spent, New Sweet Breath, Squirrel Nut Zippers, and the New Bomb Turks, with a big pile of reviews alongside. Cool, intelligent stuff. Issue #4 claimed #5 would be out soon, but I never found it... (The website died an untimely death before the zine did, unfortunately - seems that the folks at the Jesuit college where they'd been hosting it didn't want outsiders getting the wrong idea from looking at it...sigh) [4/16/98]
IN MY EAR
The site's still there, but the e-zine itself is gone, at least in its past form... Writer David Cobb moved on to his Houston Calling
site, and he's been cranking out great writing there ever since. [10/26/2008]
JEAN IS DEAD:
Dunno a thing about this zine, except that it was listed in You Ain't Punk!, but damn, that's a hysterical name for a zine... According to Ghost of You Ain't Punk! (haven't seen this one myself, unfortunately), there was a ton of women's issues information in here, along with a bunch of album reviews, band interviews, and other random shit, too... [1/29/99]
KNOW IT ALL:
This was a fairly small zine, as ones from 'round here go - it was decent, though, largely because Danny, the guy who wrote it, was a totally in-your-face sarcastic jerk. Why was that a good thing? Well, it does get annoying at points, but he made some interesting points about the state of zine-ville today, punk rock clothes, and love in general (the one I found was "the love issue," apparently). Beyond that, there was an alright interview with the Groovie Ghoulies, a few album reviews, and some other random stuff - it was no Cometbus, but hey, what do you want for a buck? [12/9/97]
LADIES' FETISH AND TABOO SOCIETY COMPENDIUM OF URBAN ANTHROPOLOGY:
P.O. Box 184
Oak Ridge, NJ 07438
"fortuna" at "pipeline.com"
Yeah, yeah, I know -- Ms. Biehl's actually been gone from H-town for a looooong time now. Kept her on the list because, heck, we love our Houston expats, y'know? It finally felt like it was time to shift her over here, though, since she's now moved down to New Jersey(!). Still a good zine, from what I've seen, but no longer a "Houston zine"... [10/26/2008]
LIP UP! SKA FANZINE:
This is actually the only full-on ska zine I've ever heard of in Houston, and it unfortunately appears to no longer be around. The latest issue I ever saw, #5, had cool interviews w/The Allstonians, the New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble, and ska god Laurel Aitken, and was filled out with a ton of fairly insightful ska (and other) reviews. It was a nice job...except for one thing. This may be nitpicky for some, but it's not to me - in the zine's little "bio" section about the creators, Dennis and Fat Todd, they both stated that they dislike homosexuals. Ah, well. If it weren't for that, I'd have recommended this wholeheartedly. Sorry. [8/30/2000]
MY PLACE IN LIFE:
Another zine of the Nothing Solid family, this one was pretty similar to the rest, handmade & d.i.y.-Xeroxed all the way. It was done by Alva, and the issue I've got was pretty much just one long rambling bit from her...odd, but intriguing. [8/16/98]
MY WALLPAPER COULD KICK YR ASS:
This zine was one reviewed in Out Of Order (see below); never saw it, myself, but it sounded cool, at least.
As opposed to the large no. of politically-oriented zines out there in Houston over the years (not that they're bad
, by any means), this one always seemed to focus a lot more on the actual music - punk, pop-punk, and lots in-between. One of the issues I found featured cool interviews with Austin punkers Ignorance Park and Dynamite Boy, as well as a few pages of music reviews and a pretty surprising number of ads. Decent (and cheap - it was a mere $0.98 at SoundEx)... Things changed a bit later on, tough -- rather than the usual music & politics zine, it turned into pretty much all
punk-type cartoons (kinda like The Toilet Papers
; not as funny, tho', sorry...). Some autobiographical stuff about getting in fights w/skinheads & shit, but a lot more little comics about silly punk stereotypes, like The Runaway Boys vs. SxE and "Poser Explosion." (Oh yeah, and the "Hi-Five" comics, which are pretty pointless & bizarre, but y'know. To each his own.)
Every time I found an issue, it felt like things had changed...when Moz moved from Katy to Pearland, he changed the name of his zine from Oi-Punk to O.x.P.x., but it was still pretty darn cool. The last issue I saw featured interviews w/folks like Gorge, Hermit, The Haters, and The Grumpies, among others. Again, it was nice to see a punk zine that focuses on the music more than anything else. Oh yeah, and he was also doing some music-type distro stuff, as well, which sounded pretty good.
Sadly, O.x.P.x. went away back in 2000, and Moz apparently moved on back up to Anchorage, but he's still doing stuff -- as of 2003, he's got something called Drunk On Green Tea, although I dunno how often he's doing it. Damn shame... [10/26/2008]
Never got a hold of a copy, myself, but in the late '90s lots of other zinesters in town seemed to think this is The Shit, so if you ever spot it in a zine box somewhere, get it (and get me one too, eh?). From reports I've heard, the issues had really cool info about women's issues, all kinds of activism, and lots of personal stuff (and a classifieds section? huh?). [6/30/97]
PIG BLOOD BLUES:
Hmm. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure what this was - it's just one page, art & poetry. Very odd, but kind of interesting. [8/16/98]
PIX & STIXX MAGAZINE:
I dunno what this one was, but the title alone always scared the crap out of me. I envisioned hair-flinging metal gods when I thought of this, for some reason...
RED FLAG MAGAZINE:
When I first heard about this zine, I'll admit, I was more than a bit skeptical. How the hell could you surf anywhere around here, when the waves barely get high enough to bodyboard? As I've learned since, yes, it is possible (and in fact, the issue that I found had a bit directed at ignorant folks like me...). Anyway, I ran across a copy of this one night at Fitz, and it was pretty damn cool, and packed w/info, to boot (it's pretty hefty, seriously). Issue #5 had quite a bit of stuff in it - some thoughts on Bob Marley; news about surfing, local music, etc.; articles on "the zen of skateboarding" and the Las Vegas Triple Crown of skateboarding (complete w/tons of pics); interviews with (now long-dead) locals I End Result and Taste of Garlic; and a big pile of music reviews. Overall, damn cool and damn informative - and the surfing photos made me hang my head in shame that I ever doubted. Unfortunately, the one issue I found turned out to be their last; not long after, the Website went away, and I never saw hide nor hair of the mag ever again. Crap... [8/16/98]
Never found out much about this, other than it was a zine/zines by somebody named Dayna, and that they supposedly "rock[ed] your cooter"...
Heard of this one before I saw it (and that was thanks to a friend of mine who lent it to me)... It was an odd little comic, to tell the truth - some of it was genuinely funny, but some of it just felt like "weirdness for weirdness' sake," y'know? The one I saw, issue #4, actually didn't have much to do with Side-Kick Boy himself (a.k.a. Billy Bo Bob), but was an story about an old enemy of Emanuel, his genius pet monkey. There's love lost, people beaten up, and uh...well, other stuff. Not my favorite, but it was fun & entertaining, at least... [1/29/98]
Well, this was the zine-type effort of Cool Bean Press guy Russell (who also does the super-cool Velvet Comics
(see below), and has since moved on to actual "work"-type stuff at his Domy
store). He sent me a copy of issue #4 many moons ago, and it was pretty neato - it included some silly zodiac stuff he found on the Internet (I think I'd seen it before, actually); details about how obsessed he is/was with those wacky Canadians, The Kids In The Hall; a story about nearly getting his ass kicked for shooting spitballs; a synopsis of those trying high-school years; some zine reviews; and a few other random things...not bad, definitely. He also had a cool-sounding split zine in the works, too, a joint effort w/Arizona's Puberty Strike
zine -- I was told it'd be called Jump Start My Heart
, but I never saw it. After a while, Russell dropped Smack
but kept up Velvet Comics
and started up a new(-er) zine called Dance Party
that was pretty dang cool in its own right. [12/9/97]
To tell the truth, I'm not sure this even was a zine, but anyway... This was a little (no, really, it was tiny) booklet of writing, mostly deeply personal, insightful bits about blame, pain, being in love, and all the rest. It was pretty cool, actually - I'm always impressed as hell by stuff like this, 'cause it's a seriously brave thing to do to state your emotions this plainly for the whole fucking world to see... Anyway, there was some very thoughtful, painful stuff in there (a good thing). [6/30/97]
THIS BAG IS NOT A TOY:
Odd little rambling, not-really-musical zine, along the lines of stuff like Out of Order and Hey Jerkface, more than anything. The issue I found contained a lot of useful info, like which major (and minor) corporations you should boycott because of environmental, animal rights, and labor abuses (the list includes the Houston Zoo and the Gulf Greyhound Park, unsurprisingly), some truly scary stuff about corporate control over textbooks, some poetry (of course), some really personal writings about losing friends and trying to live each moment like its important, vegan info, Bikes Not Bombs stuff, Food Not Bombs stuff, some defiant ramblings on rollerblading, an article in defense of Mr. P.W. Herman, and a bunch of other stuff. It definitely wasn't bad... [4/16/98]
THE TOILET PAPERS:
Man...this one made me laugh harder than I had in a while, seriously. The main focus of this zine (this issue, anyway) was these cool little punk-rock mini-comics that poked holes in all the stupid "more punk than you" fucked-up-ness that goes on so often in the punk rock "scene". It didn't pull any punches, and it slammed everybody, from skins to straight-edgers (my fave, I think, is still the kid with the "Really Cool Punk Album"...). And in addition to the criticism, he also had some cool music stuff, notably interviews with Nomeansno and Tilt, and some really good, thought-provoking words on vegetarianism and the the untimely demise of the APV Room. Anyway, this zine pretty much rocked (and was a mere $0.50!). Plus, Brett (the guy who did it) also ran a distro called Down the Drain; shame he had to eventually give up the ghost.
This one was pretty damn cool, and indie to the core - writer Mike seemed like a cool guy, with a lot of strong opinions about some important shit, and he did a pretty good job of letting people know what was going on. In the one issue I've got, he did a lot of soul-searching, really, and spilled his guts about a lot of his own problems, which I thought was pretty fucking brave, really... There was
some music-related stuff in there, reviews of punk & ska albums and shows, a tribute to Propaghandi, and stuff like that, but most of it was political- or ecological-action-oriented (stuff about capitalism, how much Republicans suck, and recycling, for starters). And then some of it was just plain silly (like the Olympic photos and the stuff about kabaddi).
At any rate, he apparently ran out of Issue #2 (dunno about #1), and told me he'd be changing the name of his deal to Exhortion for #3, but I dunno if that ever happened. He also did one called Too Many Love Poems, and at one point he asked me to put some stuff in here about the group he was trying to get going, called Concerned Individuals Performing Benevolent Acts (C.I.P.B.A.); here's what I slapped up on the site back then:
C.I.P.B.A., or Concerned Individuals Performing Benevolent Acts, is a Houston-based organization (still trying to get off the ground) that is founded on the principle that almost everyone likes to do charitable things, but sometimes it is just too much of a hassle. There are so many other organizations out there which specify on their own little concern, and the average person must send ten dollars here, and fifteen dollars there, and fork over their money and their time everywhere, just to feel like they are making a difference for what they care about. CIPBA is designed so the average person won't have to do that. We want to be an army of volunteer mercenaries for all these other specific groups, so that we don't have to be in thirty different organizations just to feel like this world is better with us being a part of it. We will do our own things of course, but that is not the main reason for our being, because whatever it is you would like to help with, I am sure there is already something for it. Come be a part of everything else through CIPBA. Send a 3x5 index card with your name, address, and telephone # LEGIBLY written on it to: [Address removed because it was undoubtedly no longer valid]
So, there you go; it was a nice idea, at least...
THE TOW TRUCK ORGY:
Well, I got the first issue of this one quite by accident - it was the "other side" of a split-zine deal with Brain Cleanser (see above). So, what was in it? Uh...I'm not entirely sure what all of it was, to be honest - there was a deal about a trip to El Salvador (taken by Chocolate Thundarr, one of the zine's three creators, alongside Loc Dog & Fat Boy), some stuff about racism, weird games, a trip-down-memory-lane bit about the Boy Scouts' Order of the Arrow (yup, me too), and lots of other random shit. Hmm. Can't say as I'd die to read it again, but it wasn't bad for the price... [4/20/98]
Possibly my all-time favorite of all of these...(and one I know a bit more about than most, to boot). This was the love-child of one Patrick Phipps, an artist who worked (still works? God, I hope not...) at the Menil bookstore and pined for Molly Ringwald in his spare time. It was funny, personal, awkward, sometimes even painful, and very, very cool.
Issue #1 featured stuff like "Eurotrash Travel Diary," record reviews (Patrick was/is apparently a serious Teenbeat fan, even including their whole catalog in this issue), a very short interview w/Malcolm McLaren, "The monster island cycle" poetry, and lots of bloody Hello Kitty haikus; issue #2 (the "love issue") was even cooler, with a neat, colorful, watercolor cover, an art-/lit-student dissection of Star Trek: First Contact, some music reviews (including the Junior Varsity 7" - woo-hoo!), why all "long-haired sensitive guys" are all lying bastards, lots of love poetry, and a cool list of good love-type songs to put on tapes.
This was truly a cool zine, and I wish everyone in the world could've owned their own copy (although, to be honest, I dunno how many copies he made of each issue...). There were also a few copies of a little mini-comic of his floating around, called Mecha Comickes (???), and it was pretty neato, an odd little Xeroxed comic about love & robots, mostly. These days, Patrick's still writing, albeit electronically -- he's now got a blog called Perils of Fort Awesome
(is that a Mathletes reference, there? hmm...), and what I've read of it so far is oddly entertaining.
c/o Terry and Amanda Farr
6934 Ocean Drive
Baytown, TX. 77521
"tfarr" at "compassnet.com"
$1. 00 per issue (to pay for postage and cost of printing)
It may sound like exaggeration, but seriously, Velvet Comics
is still one of the coolest, funniest, most interesting small-press comics I've ever seen... I got a few issues, back in the day (#7-#9), thanks largely to ex-co-writer/co-artist/zine-guy Russell being a cool guy and sending me copies, and they were all darn cool. #7 was pretty much what the comic "anthology" was usually like, w/a bunch of different bits from a bunch of different artists; there was some good stuff in there, esp. the bits by Russell himself. #9 was kinda along the same lines, with the continuation of the "Contamination" story from earlier issues, a guest comic by Moz & Scott of the Oi-Punk
zine (see above), and some other truly cool stuff (I esp. liked Russell's own comic "The Interview"). Oh yeah, and the cover was this cool butterfly-collection thing - he'd warned me that it might be cheesy or something, but seriously, it wasn't. The kid was a damn good artist...
Of the issues I've got, #8 was definitely the oddball - and I think it's still my favorite. It was all one story, the minimal, dialogue-less story of one guy's willingness to do whatever to make his friend happy. It was apparently written & drawn by Russell's partner Tim Weldzius and inked by Russell; it was a bit bizarre for some, I'd bet, but really touching and well-done. I liked it a hell of a lot then, and still think fondly of it now. Anyway, this comic was another Cool Bean Press product, like Russell's other zines, Smack and Dance Party (see above). [12/9/97]
YOU AIN'T PUNK!:
Well, no, I'm probably not, but anyway... This was an interesting little zine; unfortunately, my opinion of it was marred a bit by the fact that some of the cooler shit in here was ripped straight from Giant Robot (a truly cool zine, by the way). At least he admitted it, tho'... Anyway, there was some interesting stuff in the issue I got (#2): some handy zine listings; stuff about the restoration and "loudening" of the classic Bruce Lee flick Enter The Dragon; journals of Ghost's time on tour w/30footFALL (he was a roadie, at least at the time); ways to annoy your roommate (from another zine, The Conqueror Worm); instructions for "The Hole Game," something I hadn't played since I worked at summer camp; and even a quick Japanese primer. All in all, it was pretty neato, and the zine listings were very handy, but c'mon...half this stuff was from other zines! Granted, some of it was from zines I wouldn't have known of otherwise, but still... [6/30/97]
NOTE: Information, pictures, etc. from the above 'zines are all property of their respective owners/writers/whomever, not of me, and are all used w/o permission. But hopefully nobody'll sue me, since I'm kinda giving 'em free publicity, right? Right?