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 danhelen@idx.com.au

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.
me@janell.tk http://janell.tk/
Dr. Danny Swank

If you care about checking Dr. Swank’s page in wemakezines.ning.com, 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