Reading and re-reading my favourite zines from Saturday is helping me battle through the post-zine fest lurgy, and gives me something to do while re-runs of Kitchen Cousins plays on the telly. I have very low standards for reality tv shows on the food network and if I start watching the new season of Kitchen Cousins I just won't stop. So zine reviews it is.
Emily writes one of my favourite zines D&D Virgin, a fun perzine documenting Emily and her mates getting into D&D. I loved reading about her adventures with gaming and it neatly coincided with me and my mates embarking on a new d&d campaign last year. I spotted Emily's stall on Saturday and had some ace chats about rpgs. We chatted about some of the problems with the 4th edition of D&D. I've since moved onto Pathfinder as the combat rolls were doing my head in and I was more interested in strategy and storytelling, and it was cool chatting with Emily and finding out her group had opted for a different system for similar reasons. I spied some other ace gaming and anime zines on her stall and Cassandra Pentaghast is NOT my girlfriend was my top choice.
The zine is dedicated to Cassandra Pentaghast, a character in the Dragon Age series. In the game you can choose to romance a number of characters with varying sexualities, unfortunately for Emily, her character of choice Cassandra Pentaghast in the game is straight, The zine is a fanzine to Cassandra, with Emily listing all the awesome things about her as well as commenting on other LGBT characters in games. It's a cool mini fanzine if you like fandom, queer stuff, or gaming, and Emily's passion is infectious, smart, and funny.
Edited by Seleena and Em with various contributions.
Poor Lass is my favourite zine right now. Its brilliant to read a zine that gives a platform for diverse working class voices and to document personal histories. Each issue is themed and issue 5's theme is education. This issue features a mix of stories including those who had no formal education, people who felt excluded from education, people talking about their favourite teachers who believed in them, people who struggled academically, people who met class barriers in academia, and people who get shit done. It's a brilliant compilation of stories all written in different styles and voices, and it's great to see such a thick issue with so many people wanting to contribute. The zine sold out at Sheffield Zine Fest but for anyone who didn't manage to get a copy you can now order it online here.
Scratch that itch
Oooh it's a right slick issue this one! Super pretty and beautifully illustrated and a free sticker to boot, definitely one of my favourites from this weekend. Kathleen writes about visiting Tokyo and getting to stay in a capsule hotel, her life long dream. And for those who are fans of compact spaces it is pretty dreamy, but don't worry if you can't get yrsen to Tokyo then Kathleen's tips of how to recreate the experience at home will suffice. Kathleen's comic about Buzzcut, a pair of hair clippers with feelings, depicts aspects of PTSD and mental health in an honest and articulate way It's very moving and is accompanied by a reading list/play list of mental health. There's a super ace interview with Nathan (Onsind/Martha) about diy, mental health, and music which has some brilliant discussions regarding balancing creativity with your every day life and your every day mental health. I read it on the way home from zine fest and I've since re-read it a couple more times. I love the way Kathleen writes and draws and the themes of exploring diy creativity and I hope this is available at upcoming zine fairs for more people to get a copy.
Will Tapply and Alex Minshall