Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged zine

Nine Gallons #2: True Stories by Susie Cagle

In Nine Gallons #2: True Stories by Susie Cagle, writer and artist Susie Cagle recounts her experiences with Food Not Bombs. For those unfamiliar, Food Not Bombs is a "franchise activist non-organization dedicated to fighting hunger with vegetarian meals comprised mainly from wasted food.” Food Not Bombs chapters are all over the world, though predominantly in major cities. Though this publication is small, Cagle covers a lot of ground. You learn that it’s not easy being involved with the non-organization.

Rad Dad #18: Sex & Love

After a promising introduction I was ready to absorb the essays that lay before me in Rad Dad #18: Sex & Love, a short zine concerning radical parenting with narratives exploring issues of sex and love. Needless to say, this zine made me feel a range of emotions: offended, entertained, informed, and bored. Some of these essays do not concern love or sex or are only very loosely related to the topics in an abstract way. Rad Dad himself falls flat in his own personal essay.

Bipedal, By Pedal! #2: Confidential Mad Libs

Because it’s been about ten years, I forgot how funny mad libs could be, and the ones in Bipedal, By Pedal! #2 have proven to be a fun distraction during lunch breaks and in long grocery store lines. Take, for example, my mad lib from this morning: “On Wednesday, September 29th at 17:30 hours, the so-called 'bananas' are planning a bicycle rally in downtown Portland. From information supplied by C.I.D., their plans...were to gather coffees in the South Park Blocks, group into formations of twelve riders...and gyrate along a predetermined path.” Okay, it’s not the most mature form of entertainment, but that’s a large part of its appeal.

Zinester's Guide to New York City

I love Ayun Halliday's writing voice. It balances a small, healthy dose of making fun of oneself with a snarky and sassy perspective of the world. Her world is New York City, which she describes so well in her adventures with her husband and kids in her zine, The East Village Inky. So I knew I was in for a treat when I saw that Ms.

These Here Are Crazy Times 2

Every so often, I’ll be on the phone with my ninety-one-year-old grandma and she’ll reveal a tidbit I’ve never heard before. The most recent revelation—admittedly several years ago now—was about her only serious boyfriend before meeting my grandpa. He hadn’t been interested in religion, and my gram just couldn’t envision a future with such a man, much as she loved him.

A Guide to Picking Locks, Number Two

Full disclosure here: I have never, ever picked a lock. I suppose it would be kind of neat to know how to bust into a door with a wafer tumbler lock, but I just never have really experienced the need. An excellent parlor trick, perhaps? A desire to emulate Houdini in a daring escape from the chains of certain death?


What does one do when far away from home? What if you never had a real home to begin with? Feelings of homesickness, uprooting one's life, and moving to a new location is considered one of the most stressful events a person can endure. Settling in another country where people speak a different language and abide by the parameters of a culture one is not accustomed to is just icing on an already challenging cake.

How to Make Soap Without Burning Your Face Off

The ever-present danger of burning one’s face off is, in fact, one of the reasons I have hesitated to take up the hobby of soap making. Raleigh Briggs’s How to Make Soap zine helped to make the process seem less daunting and intimidating. While the zine is relatively short, at ten pages, it is chalk full of useful tips and information for beginners. The overall tone is lighthearted and fun, with a sprinkling of sarcasm and a wee bit of sass. Briggs does a wonderful job maintaining the cheery air, yet is still able to stress the importance of following all safety precautions and explaining some potential dangers of working with lye. Lye is a key ingredient in soap making, and if not handled with respect and caution, can be quite harmful.

The Curious Case of the Communist Jell-O Box: The Execution of Julius & Ethel Rosenberg

What could possibly be the connection between imitation raspberry Jell-O, communism, and the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg? I was intrigued. After all, what self-respecting leftist would not be interested in the case of the Rosenbergs, who at the height of the Red Scare were convicted of smuggling secrets to the Russians?

Scam: The First Four Issues!

Is it punk to drink when you’re flat broke? Is selling plasma or sniffing glue revolutionary? Is throwing shit off a Macy’s rooftop ever cool? Nearly twenty years after his zine was released in a series of diatribes about scamming the system and living on the edge of society, Erick Lyle’s writings as zinester Iggy Scam have been edited and bound for the masses.


With the popularization of blogs and personal websites in the past decade, there has been a sharp decline in the zine phenomena. I have longed for the days when the magazine rack at independent bookstores was lined with photocopied feminist zines, daring to say the things mainstream magazines cannot. Thankfully, there are still some zinesters willing to invest the time and money needed to undertake the taxing task of putting out a zine.

This – A Literary Webzine

Early this year, I began writing for Elevate Difference. Over the past few months, I have written more prolifically; built relationships with a handful of supportive, feminist artists; and above all, gained greater insight into my own writing through feedback from editors and readers. This – A Literary Webzine is another example of a space on the Internet that provides a forum for writers to produce and publish while joining a community of their peers. Created by Hollis University graduate Lacey N. Dunham, a former Elevate Difference contributor, This zine employs a volunteer group of editors and seeks submissions from a variety of genres.

My things, my grand-mother’s things

One of the wonderful things about living in this digital age is that you don’t have to be famous to be a real artist or a writer. You can create your vision, and then get it out into the world through the Internet if you're so inclined. And once online, you don't ever have to throw anything you create away. It can all be stored... forever. Enter Sarah Pinder: a Toronto essayist who, for a decade now, has been a maker of zines, self-published works.

Surviving the Witch-Hunt: Battle Notes from Portland’s 82nd Avenue, 2007-2010

Surviving the Witch-Hunt is collection of artifacts and commentary from 2007 to the present and catalogues the community forces that emerged after the City of Portland removed its controversial Prostitution Free Zones (PFZ). These zones had allowed the police to issue exclusion orders for those who had been arrested for sex work, even if they had never been charged.

Voces Zine (Summer 2010, Issue 3)

Unapologetic. Raw. Honest. The third issue of Voces Zine is a collection of poetry by artists from different communities—indigenous, people of color, trans, and queer—sharing their experiences as survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Originally inspired by a small community of Latino immigrants, this issue represents a first-time inclusion of contributors from outside of its original roots. The eclectic air of the compilation reflects this shift.

Brainscan #24 and #25

Putting one’s life on display is, in essence, quite a courageous act. Yet in this time of reality television, it is becoming more of a norm, infused with a sense of banality. Thank goodness for zines, where our need to know intimate details of strangers’ lives is a collaboration of intelligence between people who actually think about stuff, write with a purpose, and use their experiences to connect, grow, and reach out to their community. Brainscan is an extremely personal zine.

Sick: A Compilation Zine on Physical Illness

It surrounds us. No matter how difficult, awkward, or painful, we will inevitably come into contact with it. But despite its ubiquity, physical illness continues to be one of the most challenging subjects for people to broach. Sick is a compilation zine on physical illness that offers up the experiences and perspectives of individuals living with illness.

I Have a Song for You

I am so excited to be reviewing a zine this month! My love of little magazines and homegrown self-publishing began as soon as my level of dexterity allowed for scissors, paste, and a stapler to be wielded with semi-precision. This love of writing, crafting, and publishing blossomed into a passionate obsession during my first year of college, when I edited the school literary journal and stayed up all night making chapbooks.

Don’t Be a Dick

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) culture has made an array of otherwise lofty topics accessible through the format of personal zines that aim to educate and inform—from bicycle maintenance to vegan cooking. In particular, the strong foothold that DIY culture has in radical politics and feminism has allowed for the creation of some radical, eye-opening work. Paul Brown’s zine, _Don’t Be a Dick, _is an archetypal DIY zine, complete with staples, a gray-washed Xeroxed background, hand-drawn pictures, and a curious layout.

Trees Zine #4

A quarter page booklet of photocopied text with one off-center staple and as much profundity as you can cram in that meager space—how else would you present yourself to the world? I thought that zines went out with the twentieth century, at least in the sense of personal confessionals, and journaling went out traded out for online diaries, journals, and social networks. These days even the formal blog seems to be winnowing down to its base denominator: trading out contemplation for a sound bite, reflection for a terse witticism.

Stolen Sharpie Revolution 2: A DIY Resource for Zines and Zine Culture

First published in 2002, Alex Wrekk’s Stolen Sharpie Revolution has served as a resource for untold numbers of people both in and outside of the zine community.

Brainscan #23

This second printing of Brainscan #23 was released in September 2008, but don’t worry about it being outdated. While the events in this zine happened between 1995 and 2003, none of Alex Wrekk’s narratives has an expiration date. Wrekk’s travel-themed vignettes are entertaining stories, told the way a friend would talk about the wild things that have happened to her. Not only is this zine an amusing way to kill some time while riding public transit or sitting in a waiting room, it also allows the reader to experience bits of one woman’s life.

El Reflejo

Long Beach is unlike any other city in Southern California; it is a place where both million dollar homes and low-income housing co-exist within mere miles of each other, it is suburban and urban, it’s an oppressive, concrete jungle that happens to be surrounded by picturesque beaches, but most compelling, perhaps, is the eclectic mix of people that call the city home.

The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities

The Revolution Starts At Home is not your usual zine. At 111 pages, it qualifies as a book, and I’m excited to say the editors are looking for a publisher. Pending publication*, it will soon be available on the INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence website. Don’t be turned off by the bulk; this is an important zine that needs to be read by all activists of any sort. Contributors include Alexis Pauline Gumbs of UBUNTU, collective members of Communities Against Rape and Abuse (CARA), Vanessa Huang, Gina de Vries, and a collection of women from the Mango Tribe.

Make A Zine!: When Words and Graphics Collide!

Remember when self-publishing didn't mean having a blog? Remember when you spent time proofreading your random scraps of writing and rearranging clips, when you felt like you had time with your work instead of longing for the compulsive, furtive click of the "publish" button? In a time when ubiquitous technology is rapidly replacing print media as we’ve known it, spending six months on a themed booklet of your own musings might seem odd.

I Hate This Part of Texas #7/Keep Loving Keep Fighting #7

Though you may not know from reading it I Hate This Part of Texas #7/Keep Loving Keep Fighting #7 is a split zine.

The Constant Rider Omnibus: Stories from the Public Transportation Front

This second edition of _The Constant Rider Omnibus _collects issues 1-7 of Kate Lopresti’s zine of “stories from the public transportation front.” The first issue dates from September 2000 and chronicles the author’s holiday travels during a week riding Amtrak and VIA Rail (Canada’s rail system). The most recent issue included is from spring 2005 and covers tales of “celebrity sightings” associated with public transit.

Brainscan #22

As a lesbian with an incredibly regular menstrual cycle, I generally don’t ever really think about birth control. It’s not something that affects my life, and other than the random conversations about birth control that I have with my friends and loved ones who do use it, I don’t usually find literature on the topic particularly interesting.

Brainscan 21: Irreconcilable Differences

In her riveting zine, Alex Wrekk writes in raw and powerful detail about her marriage to a man named J who dominates the relationship and systematically chips away at her self-esteem until she feels like a big zero, like she's the one who is crazy. (Projection and gaslighting are tactics of choice used by the cowardly abusers, but victims don’t usually "get it" until they are in way over their head.) I believe no one can fully understand what a Herculean task escaping and recovering from abuse is unless they have traversed a twisted relationship personally.

Xtra Tuf No. 5: The Strike Issue

This zine is such an interesting peek into the world of commercial fishing in Alaska that it’s almost possible to overlook the story’s dismissal of the gang rape incident. Written in a style that is at once comforting and compelling, Moe Bowstern respectfully tells her story of life-as-an-Alaskan-fisherman. Xtra Tuf No. 5 takes us through the 1997 Alaskan Fisherman’s strike. It ends in 2005 with Moe coming full circle, back to her fisherman’s-soul’s life. We’re glad she does. Moe has heart.