Aw, I was tickled to see that Broken Pencil editor Lindsay Gibb mentioned my blog and my involvement with the Shameless Anthology in this write-up in the Utne Reader (and look at how adorable she is in that photo!). It also reminded me that a few weeks ago when I was at my parents’ place, I dug through my filing cabinet of zines and picked out a few favourites. When I visit, I often like to grab a stack and flip through them. They’re such beautiful things. Everyone was so feisty and sincere. So here are a few (click on the photos for bigger versions).
I started off mainly reading zines about mid-nineties Canadian indie rock. “In the Meantime” was one of the very first, and it was really Sloan heavy and incredibly sweet. I never met Carol, who wrote the zine, but she always seemed like the nicest person. “Tally” was written by a girl named Heather in Halifax, who I also never met, but I always kind of idolized – she seemed really smart and funny. And “In Morning Clouds” was the photography zine for Canadian indie rawk. Sarah Evans, who I’ve mentioned in this entry, is amazing.
I remember being excited to grace the pages of an issue of “In Morning Clouds”:
Look at those glasses! No wonder I was an angsty teenager.
An excerpt from “Minstrel Heart”. I don’t know if many people read this zine but I loved it so much. Sarah had a distinctive style – kind of rustic and obscure and poetic – without being pretentious or too cool. I remember Sarah putting the Wooden Stars and Pavement on a mixed tape for me. And so wonderful, she’s now this ridiculously cool DJ in Toronto.
This was the first zine I ever read from the United States, a beautiful thing from Brooklyn. Molly Kalkstein was the genius behind this zine and I think it is widely acknowledged that Molly always made the prettiest, most elegant zines. And they weren’t just pretty – they were written beautifully and evocatively. She was a huge inspiration when I started moving away from writing about Eric’s Trip. This is an early Tyger Voyage – they became more elaborate in future issues (thick card covers with tiny skeleton keys sewed on, letter press, velum photocopies). Molly now lives in Montreal and we’ve had many Jean Talon market adventures together. She gave me a bright red pair of American Apparel underwear at my bachelorette party a few weeks ago, even.
I started reading more zines from the States after that:
“Pink Tea” (by Keight of uncapitalized.net), “Power Candy” (by Ericka, who was the zine mistress behind Pander Zine Distro and now does awesome photography), a one shot by Nidhi (who is still creating great art), “Hope” by Elissa, “That Girl” by Kelli. And some Canadians are slipped in there as well – “Open All the Time” by Angela and “Other Ramona” by Laura! It’s kind of mind blowing when I think of how many of these zine girls I actually met and still stay in touch with.
And look, it’s the nogoodforme.com girls in zine format! I loved their zines. I remember once visiting Laura at the coffee shop she was working at in Mississauga and the two of us gushing about Liz’s latest zine. She was maybe 16 then? I’m so happy the three of them have now started what is probably the most awesome blog on the internet.
Amy Greenan is also wonderful, and is someone I now consider a good friend. She’s also an incredible artist (we have one of her paintings hanging on our walls, and she recently painted the most amazing portrait of our grumpy cat, Archer). We met at a Cut n Paste zine fair in Toronto years and years back and now whenever I’m passing through Buffalo or Niagara Falls, I try my best to meet up with her.
There are so many other zines I didn’t get to photograph (I am noticing a distinct lack of Marissa Falco, Amanda Wheeler and Ciara Xyerra zines in here), but I’ll do more shortly, along with actual excerpts.