Alex #9 / $3 / 2 oz
The subtitle to this one is Privacy and Persona, and oh boy could I relate to a lot of what is inside. Alex starts by dissecting privacy: her history with it, her family’s relationship with secret keeping, privacy in relation to her zine writing & social media use, the notion of authenticity vs holding things back. She then moves into her feelings about persona: how using a pseudonym affects her what she chooses to share with others, how persona gets tangled up with gender identity, the ways that lived experiences are discounted or ignored by others. This is a straight-up gem of a zine, and it will encourage you to think about how these things play out in your own life. Highly recommended.
Always & Forever: A Zine About Friendship / $2 / 3 oz
I had the honor of putting together this comp zine, which — in my honest (& biased) opinion — fucking rules. It’s filled with stories & comics about friendships lost, about the difficulties of making new friends as an adult, about creating solid friendships, about friends as intentional community, and so much more. Every one of them is brilliant. Get stoked on this killer lineup of contributors: Brittany Maksimovic (Playing Victim), Caitlin Constantine (All I Want is Everything), Celia C. Pérez (I Dreamed i Was Assertive), Heather (Dig Deep), Jamie Varriale Vélez (Sinvergüenza), JC (Tributaries), Jen T (Tongueswell), Jenna Brager (The Sinew That Shrinks), K (Lake Effect), LB (Truckface), Leslie Perrine (Sometimes the Sky Explodes), Lily Pepper (PALS: The Radical Possibilities of Friendship), Sara Bear (Grin & Bear It), Sarah McCarry (Glossolalia), with a cover designed by Marissa Falco (Miss Sequential)!
BBBS #5: Personal Finance / $3 / 1 oz
Being a huge nerd about money stuff, I am super into Anna’s “not boring and very important introduction to personal finance.” It’s a beginner’s guide to vital finance topics like budgeting, saving, and investing that is easy to digest. Throughout the zine, there are suggested actions that readers can incorporate into their lives to make money managing a much less frightening & overwhelming process. It sounds dull, I know, but I promise you it’s not. Anna uses humor & honesty to share her knowledge, and her artistic background is evident because each page is arty as hell. Get this zine if you’re intimidated by money, don’t know much about handling it, or want a refresher on the basics. Personal finance might be scary but it doesn’t have to be!
Black Women & Self Care / $4 / 2 oz
There is such value in taking care of ourselves & our communities, and this zine is a great tool in shaping that process. Specifically written for black women, Naomi explores the ideas behind self care & mental health, going through the ways that anger, depression, PTSD, and white supremacy can negatively affect one’s mental health. She also offers several ways of coping with these things, through suggestions of small steps to take in your daily life, a short list of DIY herbal recipes, and how to find help outside of yourself. Naomi’s writing is compassionate and valuable, and this zine is an indispensable resource.
Black Women & Self Defense / $4 / 2 oz
Oh, THIS ZINE. First I will tell you what this zine is not. It’s not an instructional guide to the physical side of self defense. It doesn’t teach you moves to protect yourself from harm. Instead, as Naomi says, “This zines focuses on how we are treated in public spaces, how to conserve our energy, prevent situations and reclaim our space in the streets and other public spaces.” It’s about how black womens’ bodies are often targeted in public, how to confront the harassment & fear that is inevitable outside of the home, and how to take care of yourself when it happens. This is one of the best zines that this distro has ever carried. Highly recommended.
Brown People for Black Power / $4 / 3 oz
This split zine, written by the members of Brown and Brown Press and Moonroot (two collectives of people of color), focuses specifically on “confronting anti-blackness in our communities.” It’s stacked with sharp, emotionally bare essays by folks of color who are working to resist anti-blackness in various forms. The writers offer concrete ways to lift up and support black communities, to break down internalized racism, to dismantle anti-blackness on both a personal level and a broader societal level. This zine is a valuable resource that I hope sells one trillion copies because it’s necessary reading. Get it, then pass it around. Highly recommended.
Burned Out / $2.50 / 2 oz
With a subtitle of reflections on working in a domestic violence safe house, this zine covers the nearly four years that Sari (of Hoax zine) spent working as a domestic violence and sexual assault advocate at a safe house in New Jersey. It’s split into five sections, covering why and how Sari began their work, interacting with service recipients via a crisis hotline or in person, dealing with nonprofit bureaucracy, encountering outside opinions on this line of work & Sari’s personal experiences as they are connected (or not) to that work, and reflections on their job now that they no longer there. At times this zine made my heart heavy, but it’s a worthwhile, powerful read if you are up for it.
Critical Breakfast #1 / Telegram #38 / $3 / 1 oz
Hell yes to split zines, especially ones written by siblings. Critical Breakfast is Amber’s half, in which she shares stories about her bedroom ceiling crumbling & talking to strangers & her Saturn return, ending it with a piercing story about a tarot reading in the park. Maranda’s half is about reconnecting with their teenage self, how to bring justice to their past + current selves, their Return of Saturn, and jealousy, friendship, and support. Both sides are written with so much heart, so much tenderness. I’ve been reading Amber & Maranda’s zines for a million years and could read them for a million more.