Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged zines

Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution

First, an admission: like several feminist friends in my age group, riot grrrl didn’t make a profound impact of me until college. I was ten in 1993, the year Sara Marcus claims as pivotal for the movement in her book Girls to the Front. I was moving away from Mariah Carey and getting into the Pet Shop Boys. Riot grrrl was first on my radar through mainstream distortion in the pages of Spin and in the Spice Girls’ defanged “girl power” message.

Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism

In Girl Zines, Alison Piepmeier elegantly chronicles the emergence in the early 1990s of zines: a complex, multifaceted phenomenon aligned with third wave feminism, and a powerful and unruly articulation of the same cultural moment that produced riot grrrls. It may also have been the last gasp of the manuscript culture—since, some would say, eclipsed by the blogosphere and electronic media—as a pervasive form of underground radical expression.

Slanted and Enchanted: The Evolution of Indie Culture

I’ve always thought of indie culture as the marriage of individuality and community, and of course, a celebration of the do-it-yourself (DIY) morality that is ingrained in our society. However, some of our most creative pioneers are often obscured from mainstream art, music, and literature.

The Chainbreaker Bike Book: A Rough Guide to Bicycle Maintenance

This “rough guide to bicycle maintenance” is really two books in one.

Invincible Summer, Volume II

Reading Nicole Georges’ collection of zines, Invincible Summer, is like opening a time capsule to not only the writer’s life, but also the community and time period in which she lived.

Lesbian Connection

Lesbian Connection is a ‘zine published out of East Lansing, Michigan. The reader base isn’t immediately apparent, though after one read through it might be assumed that the ‘zine is geared towards older, white lesbians. It opens with a brief introduction and some “housekeeping” items and updates. Readers can then dive right in to articles submitted by readers.

Tazewell’s Favorite Eccentric #4

This zine, published in April of 2006, is tiny but powerfully personal. It has 30 pages, and, at only 5½ by 4¼ inches, it’s small enough to fit in a pocket for on-the-go reading. On the very first page, zinester Sarah Arr! writes, “this issue is a lot more personal than things I’ve previously written,” and adds that she will not give copies to co-workers and casual friends.

You Live for the Fight When That’s All That You’ve Got #1

This zine is the latest from the woman who brought the world five issues of A Renegade’s Handbook to Love & Sabotage. After her dad’s unexpected death in 2002, she took a break from producing zines because “the words just didn’t come out in a way that felt right” to her. With You Live for the Fight…, she is “trying to let the words come out in a way that feels right to them.” I’m really excited by the way the words came out.

The Fence: A New Place of Power for Bisexual Women (Various Issues)

Okay, I have a terrible confession to make: I have a very difficult time reading and enjoying zines. There are so many sub par zines on the market that I often get flustered and run to the nearest issue of Bitch instead. However, the second I read the mission statement of The Fence, I was smitten. Created by Canadian writer Cheryl Dobinson, The Fence attempts to fill an enormous gap in the GLBTQ community—the voices of bisexual women.

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.

Sister Spit: The Next Generation (4/18/2007)

Some of you may have heard about the original Sister Spit tours in the mid- and late-1990’s. The tours were organized punk-rock band-style: a shoddy van with nights spent sleeping on floors of anarchist collectives and punk houses, but instead of music these tattoo-clad queer folks delivered words from their newly published books.

Croq Zine (Issue #7)

Remember reading or making your first zine? It was most likely folded in half, stapled and sold, given or traded to your friends. Staying up all night at your local Kinko’s, you felt inspired and part of a something bigger-something revolutionary. You went to your local bookstore and bought zines made by people you didn’t know personally, but felt connected to in a way that no magazine ever could? Croq is like that. Edited by Heather Mann of Portland, OR, Croq Zine is focused on crafts and crafting culture.

100 Dollars and a T-Shirt: A Documentary about Zines in the Northwest US

This is a documentation of Portland, Oregon’s zine scene between 2002 and 2004. While it’s kind of basic, it’s worth it to see what Portland’s Reading Frenzy and Independent Publishing Resource Center are doing. Reading Frenzy is amazing – a whole store full of zines. The IPRC, right upstairs, is a nonprofit art space dedicated to do-it-yourself publishing – mostly zines, but also letter press, desktop publishing and other crafty things.

The Flow Chronicles

Initially, The Flow Chronicles didn't seem like it could inspire me to do anything, but now I feel like wearing baggy pants and freestyling just for the hell of it. The author is really multi-dimensional, making me feel at ease and uncomfortable at the same time. It's about growing up and standing up, with Hermitt's first move to Seattle at only eighteen. "Interview with an actual, authentic lesbian" showed a different side of this brash, unapologetic woman. She made tactless a desirable trait, and self-discovery less painful.

Greenzine #14

Any radical unfamiliar with the art and writing of Christy C. Road by now should check this out, in addition to visiting her website at http://www.croadcore.org to get caught up. That being said, everyone already acquainted will know what to expect with Greenzine #14, but this proves to be a good thing.


Applicant is the story of one man’s journey into an Ivy League recycling bin and the humorous and cringe-inducing files he finds there. While searching through a bin for magazines, Jesse Reklaw happens upon the discarded confidential Ph.D applicant files for the biology department of an Ivy League school between the years 1965 – 1975.


When you think of Miami, you don’t often think of punk. I grew up in South Florida, I’ve come back here (for now). Miami is anti-punk – superficial, isolationist, materialistic. It’s possible to be punk in this city – to create and exist outside of the mainstream. Yet I’m always curious to see how others form their own identities, their own cultures, in a place that doesn’t do much to support them. This is what made me read Cristy C.

Scrappy: A Crafty Zine for Scrappy People, #1: Stitches

A couple of years ago, my grandmother gave me her sewing machine (circa 1940). Have I used it? Hardly. To hem a pair of pants a year or so ago. So I was thrilled when I was chosen to review Scrappy: A Craft Zine for Scrappy People, #1 Stitches. Perhaps it would be just the push I needed to unveil Grandma Betty’s machine and get to creating fabulous, designed-by-moi outfits! Scrappy is an adorable handmade zine that is perfect for the beginner seamstress (or the hibernating one) looking for a little inspirational shove.

Support Zine

“How do you define consent? Have you ever talked about consent with your partner(s) or friends? Do you know people, or have you ever been with people who define consent differently than you do?” Thus begins one of the best zines I have ever read on the subject of healing from sexual abuse. This zine is specifically geared towards friends, lovers and allies of survivors, and is written in an accessible, loving, realistic way, including writing and comics by a dozen or so contributors who are healing from or supporting others with abuse histories (many have experienced both).