Saturday, October 30, 2010

Teal Triggs: Fanzines: The DIY Revolution (Chronicle Books) This is a beautiful, folio-sized, 256-page history of zines, that is long over-due and as close to perfect as anything I have seen. It has page after page of full color cover reproductions with accompanying brief descriptive words. It is magical to witness all my old pals enshrined in what amounts to an art-book: Rollerderby, Nancy's Magazine, Murder Can Be Fun, Answer Me!, Vague, Sniffin' Glue, and many other deserving and not-so deserving zines from "back in the day". One sad omission I cannot stop myself from whining about is my own valiant effort, LowLife. Perhaps, I imagined those 17 issues: mailed out to addresses all over the country. Or perhaps not. 20 plus years ago the Rev. Ivan Stang published a very nice run-down of then current zine-world called High Weirdness By Mail (Simon & Schuster, 1988). Stang found a place for LowLife despite the fact my magazine was in adolescent form. His description remains a source of pride: "A generally disgusting celebration of everything uncouth... ...No reason for this to exist. Pretty damn cool!" Thanks Ivan. You remain in my prayers. While on the subject I should also complain about two other fine Atlanta zines not included: Useless Knowledge and Ratlanta. In fact there are thousands of worthy zines omitted from this hefty book. There is no way to include everything, but my pitiful feelings remain hurt. For the rest of the world, for anyone who is sane, this book will look fine sitting upon the better coffee-tables.