Monday, November 4, 2013

Hey, Remember Zines?

I can’t tell ya when the last time was that I was sitting at home. Alone… With music cranked… Battling extreme pink-eye and reading zines. A whole bona fide batch of zines motherfuckers! If I didn’t know better it was fucking 1997! Sixteen years ago (at least).

But here I am…Regardless… Shit gets weird. It’s shaping up.

Anyway, it only seems important to mention that after picking up Cincignat for free at Shake It Records in the coveted area nestled in-between the random bucket of buttons and stack of Shake It Records stickers—the prime checkout spot mind you… I remember when the Neus Subjex had that spot once… Oh, the times! 

I didn’t really plan it this way but I just so happened to read this comic zine while I was in the library watching children (even my own) disrespecting the institution of the library. Hey kids, SHUT THE FUCK UP! GIVE IT A REST! THIS IS NOT A FUCKING PLAYGROUND… I’m surprised even by myself when I suddenly come to talking to a library employee about how the kids… THE KIDS! The kids are ‘playing’ in the library. Is there not a code of conduct anymore? Apparently, there isn’t.

Who the fuck am I? Not the best question to ask ones self while battling an extreme case of pink-eye and is usual round of paranoid thinking that I shrug off as a heightened sense of security. Yeah, it sounds like bullshit to me too…

Cincignat is a comic about a villain attempting to steal all the children’s books about puppies but is foiled by, ultimately, the bureaucracy of the Cincinnati Public Library! Oh, the irony. The drawings are clean, well done and work with the short plot. A quick idea executed well and steeped in frustration (whatever that means—I’m unsure myself in editing this piece after healing from my ailment)

Credited to a certain Kevin Marion I can honestly say mission accomplished… Upon trips back to Shake It Records I find myself looking for another adventure but have yet to see one. When you check out the fb site, the same scenes from this copy are presented in the cover and profile photos in color. Pretty cool.

One of the cool things about me sitting down to write this, listening to The Victims a guitar chug chug synth heavy semi-overproduced band that had music in an episode from Miami Vice once… Once… 

One of the principal moving forces of my mission with Bad Day At The Plastic Mines  was one of the best writers I have ever read, Gunther 8544. He never gave up on zines when everyone else has. He was still doing zines before and when I returned from whatever you wanna call it. My stint of jadedness at Cynicism Depot… Gunther and his perseverance in getting everything on the Internet in a ‘real’ print form is admirable. Even the whole colored paper idea, I rip that off with Bad Day. It’s a sort of constant nod to him every time I print one and hand it out. 

First up is Dirty Sheets #4 that captures reviews from the Dirty Sheets Blog that range in variety, exhibit superb documentation of the enthusiasm that fuels the glory of music. Focusing primarily on Gunther8544 and the writings of Josh Rutledge there’s also bonus splice porno mags covers and sometimes a whole page dedicated to mostly older women… I know its that way for a reason and Gunther, or ‘Gunny’ as I refer to him (we maintain a series of semi-regular phone calls), has probably told me but I cannot recall at this moment. No, don’t blame the pink-eye, but I understand why you will… Cause it’s easy for you… Well, anyhow. Consistently a high quality writing skills I always enjoy Gunny’s wit and cryptic roundabout pieces. I said always motherfuckers!

The Rung #1 is a blog from Gunther that is multi-topical and also well written. In just the short time with his splinter/bracket/branch of the family tree from Dirty Sheets Blog Gunther never ceases to amaze me. He writes about food in a way that makes me hungry… Gunthers conversation skills are unmatched and his writings on The Rung are universally packed with pure fucking wisdom. Gunther is a calculated, patient linguist. He can talk, and write about anything. He knows no bounds and delivers the goods consistently in crafted sentence form. The Rung (zine) almost reads like a Brian Williams (NBC anchor news man) transcript.

The Rung #2 continues in the same tradition of the first issue. Can’t ever say to many good things about Gunthers writing. This issue is a split with Dirty Sheets #5, the last installment of that blog project in printed form. Now that Gunnys The Rung (blog) is well established as well as Josh Rutledges Faster and Louder, this chapter of Dirty Sheets comes to an end. The Blog is mothballed but not counted out exactly yet. Gunther alludes to the good possibility of Dirty Sheets coming back one day in another form… If there one thing I learned, is to not underestimate what Gunther pulls out on The Rung. Trust me, when it comes to writing, as you can imagine, I can’t throw enough great adjectives before his name to describe the quality of Gunthers writing. With this pink-eye well entrenched into my system, I can only ramble on and on and on until the break of dawn… Motherfuckers.

But stay with me, cause also, I got Folk Dance Horror from Gunther… Another anthology of his submissions to the website Hardcore Norfolk from 2011-2012… All jumbled around Folk Dance Horror is a scrambled Hardcore Norfolk. Cleaver and it is a great name itself; this zine centers on Norfolk/Tidewater bands, places and such. There’s an interesting twist behind the Tidewater region that never fails to catch me off guard. Much like Gunthers writings, you just can’t dismiss what did happen there and what is still happening.

Catching me off guard, The Cincinnati based Hiders Zine, instrumented by Hiders front man Billy, is a perfectly perfect piece of literature… a glossy in black and white zine the same size of a 7” cover, instantly I was looking for an included flexi-disc that wasn’t there (maybe next time?). Hiders features short precise expertly written and edited pieces featuring Roxie Conquistador from Buenos Crotches, Mark Utley from Magnolia Mountain, Timothy Pritchard and The Boxcar Suite (from Dayton). There is GENIUS ‘review reviews’ of The Socials and Beyond the Black Rainbow rounding the issue out. Hiders is one project of many zine type formats that Billy is experimenting with planning to inundate the tri-state area with odd publications that don’t really come across as odd to some, but then again, the whole idea of self-publishing is sorta odd in itself so my guess is that some people are a but taken back from time to time when stuff like this is discovered. Honestly, I think Billy has found his niche with this. I would love to see more from him with Hiders EACTLY in this format but that’s another thing entirely. Self-Publishing is what self publishing is… Its his thing and just because you want something doesn’t mean you will get it… And that’s ok… Unfortunately, I can’t tell you how to get copies of this. Try asking/contacting at The Listing Loon in Northside for your copy. Cincinnati never ceases to amaze me.

Last but never least is another tri-state ‘greater’ Cincinnati master piece, Half Gifts Zine. I finally got on board with issue 5, of which covers publisher Jude Noel, a whopping 15 year old from Erlanger Kentucky, views on music which are wide, varied and expertly penned. There is an associated blog of the same name but with each print issue there is surprises and non-blog features. Bringing me out of a slump personally, Half-Gifts is a personal catalyst for my creation, Bad Day At The Plastic Mines. The Real deal Jude “Rude” Noel is smart, and innovative. He has a bandcamp site where Half Gifts is easily made available and is still developing his style in ways that truly baffle me. Half Gifts and Jude Noel is the new vision of what happens when a new generation is spat out from a generation that grew up in the 90’s surrounded with grunge and a ever developing college radio turned full fledged alternative music movement. Half Gifts is genius built upon genius and with the mouse-click.

Before signing off, Taking the concept of the Infamous Cincinnati D.I.Y. facebook group and combining it with the model and intention of B.A.G. (Blog Alliance Guild) I have created Z.A.G., The ZINE ALLIANCE GUILD. ZAG a place for those who publish or enjoy zine reading and the association of its culture... A place to support, share and exchange knowledge, tips and techniques. Started in Cincinnati, its not something meant to encompass just Cincinnati. It celebrates zine culture and born solely out of interest and a reviving zine presence being realized in the greater Cincinnati region. I encourage you to join.
Sitting at the Listing Loon Spirits room... Pint of Christian Moerleins Coffee Porter in the fore-ground.