Venus Zine (Spring 2007)
Venus has come a long way from its inception more than a decade ago. In its current form, it bears little resemblance to the average zine. Instead, Venus is a refreshingly sophisticated publication — glossy enough to tempt more mainstream consumers into giving the pages a once-over, while still maintaining a feminist perspective.
The latest issue is packed full of everything one might expect from a woman-centric publication, sans skeletal models and hetero-focused sex tips. Coverage of and interviews with musical acts are extensive in Venus, so if you're looking for a zine that seamlessly blends fashion, DIY culture, music and more, you're in the right place. Even the half-page blurbs on various products and services are more meaty than those of a "traditional" woman's magazine. I was able to find figure-fitting jeans and learn about alternative fuels in the span of a few pages.
While Venus' DIY section was definitely the most fulfilling read (the punk rock yoga techniques actually worked), the other features excelled in their own way. An article centered around Canadian singer-songwriter Feist was compelling, but in terms of what deserved the most front page hype, the five-page exploration of Myspace "e-famers" is definitely worth the cover price.
For those who remember the late Sassy magazine of the 80s/early 90s, there is in-depth coverage of a new book How Sassy Changed My Life, and even an interview with Christina Kelly — known as one of the biggest tastemakers of the former magazine. All in all, Venus is a reasonably well-balanced creation, managing never to linger too long on any particular topic, but still delivering the insight one might expect from a zine aimed at modern feminists. The Spring 2007 issue is on the newsstands until June 1, 2007.