Saturday, July 27, 2013

Pen pals anyone?

John Adams is a good friend of mine who is doing time in Texas. Those of you who know my zines and/or have been following this blog know that he has contributed to a couple of them.
If you are looking for nice, long and thought provoking letters from an intelligent former zine maker, please write to him. You won't be disappointed. Here’s John’s self introduction:


Incredibly interesting Zen master who is a world class portrait artist, compelling writer and a nice guy, seeks pen pals.
Okay okay okay, maybe I'm not incredibly interesting, but I too have a story. And while I'm not exactly a Zen master, I do meditate and am absolutely a master of leisure.
I am a nice guy though. Really!
I'm also a hostage in prison, which makes me the best pen pal you'll ever find.
Share your prose, please:

John Q Adams 768543
810 FM 2821 Rd. W
TX 77349
Please send him your zines and especially your letters, but do not add anything strange (e.g. stickers or other stuff on the envelope) as everything gets censored, blocked and sent back.
Thank you

Anti-Civ Dictums

A few light years ago Sid Clark sent me this booklet. The first thing that struck me was the cover, as I immediately recognized the wonderfully weird art of recently deceased Al Blaster Ackermann. 

The zine itself, though, is equally good, at least if you are into angry rants against modern civilization and The Establishment. Sid's overall message is, 'All systems are sick. A misfit is the only way to be.'
There are many opinions inside I agree with and some I don't. For instance, Sid hates city living. As I've already mentioned elsewhere, I'm a townie at heart, and even though I see why Sid rejects urban life, I think I couldn't live but in a big city. This said, the best thing about this pamphlet is that it makes you stop and think about a lot of important things that we all too often take for granted.

28 pages, digest size, $1.00 or trade, from Sid Clark, PO Box 32, Morgantown WV 26507, USA + sidclark1953(at)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Stickerman Museum, Tokyo Annex

The Stickerman Museum, Tokyo Annex is finally up and running. All sticker art and mail art lovers please have a look here:
Of course everybody is invited to contribute.
In a few days I will send out a thank you gift to all who have already donated stickers.

Monday, September 24, 2012


Thanks to Vittore Baroni's help - who guest edited the project - K17 is out.
Here's a review by Maria Zarro of Astrobabble fame (great zine for astro nerds and beyond)

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Blue Cubicle Press #2

The two issues of The First Line (see previous entry) actually were not what I had traded for with David LaBounty. David is a very generous guy, so he sent me a whole lot of nice booklets (in a very professional-looking cardboard box). What I was really looking forward to, though, was his travel zine Bookstores and Baseball.

This is not your average zine. It's a full color beauty, printed on good quality paper, and with a nice cover. If picture quality was a tad better, it could be mistaken for a mainstream publication. Apparently this little jewel is not for sale. At least according to the review I read in Xerography Debt, this is trades only.
Now, if you hate baseball, don't worry because this is mostly a travel/perzine with a lot of space devoted to books and bookstores. If, on the contrary, you love baseball, get it as soon as possible because there's a lot for the sports lover too: nice pictures of the stadiums the LaBounties visited, fun facts provided by David's son Gabriel, etc. To tie it all, David's writing is solid, funny and informative, and the zine's intro (Batting Practice, as he calls it) features some of the best writing I've seen lately. Nuff said.
The first three innings of B and B are already out, and I sure hope this zine is going to extra innings.
Blue Cubicle Press #1

Independent publishing is full of literary journals, some of which overlap with the zine network. I find the people (mostly men?) behind such enterprises a bunch of DIY saints of sorts. Think about it. Nearly all zine makers are a one-man band and usually write most of the content, if not everything. But editors of literary journals actively look for other people's stories, then spend their time, energy and money to circulate them.

I confess I don't really care for such publications - or most zine fiction, for that matter. When I want to read a novel, I prefer the classics. A few days ago, though, David LaBounty sent me a couple of issues of The First Line, and I found myself reading these booklets cover to cover.
The genial idea behind this project is clearly stated in the journal's name: Every three months, the TFL editors challenge potential contributors with a line of prose (e.g. "Working for God is never easy") and all the submitted stories must start with this same line.
Each issue features about ten stories ranging from one to eight pages. They are nicely printed and put together, and the stories are of above average quality. All in all it was a very nice surprise.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

KAIRAN Zine update

Job, existential angst, the recent quake and my chronic laziness have temporarily taken my mind away from mail art-related things, but my zine KAIRAN is still alive - sleeping but alive. The latest issue I've published is #16, while two more are ready and I "only" have to do the layout and the usual boring stuff.

For many years I kept reprinting the old issues in order to make them available to as many people as possible, but from now on I want to use my limited free time to create new works insted of keeping xeroxing, folding, and stapling the same stuff. So when the few copies of the back issues are gone, they are gone for good. Don't say I didn't warn you.
The issues listed below are still available (remaining copies in brackets). Issues #1, 3, 9, and 12 are out of print, but issue #12's guest-editor Bernd Reichert may still have a few copies left:

- #2 (3) has various articles, essays, etc.
- #4 (3) is devoted to mail art in former Yugoslavia
- #5 (4) is a homage to Robin Crozier ("the most famous unknown artist in the world")
- #6 (1) focuses on art & money
- #7 (3) is devoted to mail art in Latin America
- #8 (1) is about femail artists
- #10 (6) & 11 (5) explore the huge poetry network(s) including traditional, experimental, and visual poetry, with tons of essays, interviews, etc.
- #13 (11) is one of my favourite issues ever. Find out why.
- #14 (8) & 15 (8) are the two volumes of the catalogue for my project on copy-art (or xerography)
- #16 (many) is the first volume of a three-part interview project (an update to Ruud Janssen's m.a. interview project of the '90s)

Many of these issues also feature rubberstamp art, stickers, and artistamps.

One issue is US$ 4.00. The two-issue sets are US$6.00.
Please send well-concealed cash or pay through Paypal (
My address hasn't changed:

Gianni Simone
3-3-23 Nagatsuta
226-0027 Kanagawa-ken

Order today some of these great zines, so you don't have to go all the way to the MOMA in New York, the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Oslo or the Staatliches Museum in Schwerin, Germany to read them.

End of transmissions.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Mini Zine Gathering, Shinjuku, Tokyo, July 30th, 2010

One night after infiltrating the Tokyo Book Fair, I found myself in a small bar in Shinjuku with a much smaller but infinitely more exciting group of people.
But let's take a step back and start from the beginning, i.e. when still-unknown (at least to me) Aussie zinester Jeremy Staples mailed me and other Japan-based zine-makers out of the blue announcing his coming. A little scared by his huge beard, wild look and strange zines, I wasn't really sure I wanted to meet him in person, but good Jeremy turned out to be a mellow guy and great conversationalist.
When, on July 30th, I arrived at our meeting place, I found Irregular Rhythm Asylum's Kei-san, Wasabi Distro's Andrea Hope and lilmag's Momo Nonaka (together in the picture below)

Tattoed Jeremy (sporting a less intimidating beard) was sitting next to Ian Lynam, a veteran zinester from US who now lives in Tokyo.

I'd never heard of Ian until a couple of days before when for a strange coincidence I read an interesting interview to him in the latest issue of Xerography Debt.

We were later joined by Takurock, who's running a library to document the history of Japanese zines

a bunch of Japanese zinesters and, last but not least, the omnipresent Jennie Hinchcliff hot from the Book Fair.
All in all it was a fun night of zine trading, free-wheeling chatting and plotting for future actions and publications. I'll keep you posted on future developements.

Jeremy Staples:
The Tokyo Art Book Fair 2010

On July 30th - August 1st the good folks at Zine's Mate (a Tokyo gallery/shop that actually has almost nothing to do with zines) organised the second Art book Fair. If I bother to write about it here is simply because my good friend and mail artist Jennie Hinchcliff of Red Letter Day fame attended and was kind enough to include me in the guest list for the preview/party on July 29th.
I wasn't expecting anything truly special or particularly surprising and I wasn't disappointed in this respect: These people's idea of what an art book is supposed to look like is quite different from mine. I couldn't care less about all those slick publications. To me those are just common books whose content happens to be art-related.

Jennie of course shared my opinion. Among other things, she was also surprised by the tiny space each participant was allowed. Apparently it was back to school. Check those desks out!

The small room where Jennie was "relegated" actually was the wildest and most interesting. Her "neighbour" was a Japanese lady, Aya Muto, who lives in Los angeles and mostly works in America. Her picture zines are very elegant and poetic.

Useless to say, among all those people the real queen of the night was Jennie-chan.

If you want to read a longer & better story about the book fair you'll better check out Jennie's blog at
Are you interested in Aya Muto's zines? Her address is

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


I saw the interesting movie Black, White + Grey: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff and Robert Mapplethorpe, a James Crump documentary about the famous American collector. Even though his relationship with Mapplethorpe takes center stage, the movie is mainly about Wagstaff, his life, and the people he met in the frantic NY art world - among them "an eccentric artist named Ray Johnson."

This same photo appears in the movie (Johnson is only briefly mentioned... let's say his part in the movie is about 2-3 seconds) and a zine I received from m.a. queen Jennie Hinchcliff.
Bizarrism #10

When Dann Lennard is not running after his daughter Jones (see below) he's probably amusing himself with such a zine.
If people asked me what a zine is, I would show them this jewel from Australia. Admittedly, not all the zines out there feature weird people and tall stories, but all of them – and especially the best ones – approach their chosen subject without filters or inhibitions, and are refreshingly candid and honest. Add to all this a real talent for writing and you have Bizarrism. In issue #10 you will find, among other things, articles about the mystery surrounding Floreana Island; the horse mutilator of Albury; the Collyers Brothers, compulsive hoarders extraordinaire; and our favorite dictator, Uganda’s Idi Amin.

This could be considered as typical tabloid/trashy stuff, but be careful because editor and main writer Chris Mikul thoroughly researches his stories and displays a well-developed critical sense and a healthy dose of humor. This is what separates this zine from those whose only goal is to shock people. Maybe not a zine for everybody, but one which rewards the curious reader.
AUS$6.00/US8.00 postpaid/full size/40 pgs.
Chris Mikul, P.O. Box K546, Haymarket, NSW 1240, Australia
Isn't She Lovely

This one arrived only a few hours ago. Dann Lennard and Helen Vnuk are the middle-class-looking weirdos who have been publishing Betty Paginated from their base in Australia (see older post). Rather improbably, they managed to create the little angel you see featured below...

... and this zine chronicles Jones' growing up. I haven't read this one yet, but if it's as good as the premiere issue, it's a keeper.
Hell, I wish I had a dad like Dann...
If you want some of their stuff, mail them at

Are you tired of reading silly, badly drawn comics? Here’s something you might like – if you have nothing against sex, violence and blasphemy, that is. Mr. Stratu (of Sick Puppy Comix fame) is finally back with a vengeance, and has assembled a bunch of talented (sometimes demented) artists.

Issue #1 loosely revolves around “religious crazies,” while the brand new second offering is subtitled “Father.” This is an excellent zine, with full color cover and high production values. Recommended to all the not-so-easily-offended comic lovers.
$7.00/digest/40 pgs.
P.O. Box 35, Marrickville, NSW 2204, Australia

Janell is hot. She has decided to publish her zine on a monthly basis and she has managed to keep the pace so far. Luckily her writing hasn’t suffered from all this work. This is your typical perzine, by a 23-year-old “advertising student and geeky dreamer” from Singapore. It consists of personal thoughts and feeling towards the places and people she encounters every day.

Her style sometimes betrays her young age, but all in all it is very mature and poised. An added point of interest is reading about life in Singapore. And don’t forget Janell’s drawings that manage to be chaotic and detailed at the same time. This is definitely one of my best recent finds.

$3.00/digest/44 pgs.
Dr. Danny Swank

If you care about checking Dr. Swank’s page in, you will find the picture of a slightly weird but very likable older gentleman. I’m told this is not the doc’s real portrait, but I refuse to believe it. After all his writing style, erudite but funny, perfectly fits that photo.

As for his zines’ contents, Manuscripts Don’t Burn features true stories about this and that, most of them written by the doc himself, including the always hilarious Tales from the Bus that have also been collected in a single zine of the same title. In my opinion, though, the real jewel is Cranky Buddha: This is a history zine of sorts in which the doc writes about such people as Benjamin Franklin, Diogenes the Cynic, and Calamity Jane by mixing rigorous historical research and wicked humor.
Quote: “I saw an interesting factoid recently: Human beings are physically incapable of licking their own elbows. Try as I might it turned out to be true, at least in my case. But I was close. And now my shoulders hurt.”
Cranky Buddha, $2.00/digest/64 pgs.
Manuscripts Don’t Burn, $2.00/digest/28 pgs.
2262 SE 39th Ave, Portland, OR 97214