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Archive: Zine Culture

JIMMY is a beautifully designed and lovingly edited zine from Los Angeles, with the aim to “preserve and promote that special brand of gayness we do here in LA” – which means that fans of muscles and sun tanned bodies will be rather discappointed by this. Instead, the zine cultivates a certain indie chique I really like and focusses on the less highlighted sides of the gay live in the city. I only have the first issue entitled “Male Intimacy” so far, but find it really promising with stuff like an interview with indie band The Soft Pack‘s drummer Brian Hill, a gorgeous photo series of a cute guy called Jimbo (who does educational music for children), a couple of essays and short stories, and much more. The second issue entitled “The Greenwood” is out now, you should check out the zine’s website or its tumblr for a little preview. To buy JIMMY you have to invest 7$, a subscription with four issues is 24¢. You can order it online or get it in a whole bunch of book shops all around the world (you find a list on the website).

In a Western world where ‘gay culture’ seemingly melds into the candy floss of everyday pop music and is repackaged as a commodity of camp and fierceness, Chicago IRL is a refreshing take on the creativity of young queers. And it is a freshness that shouldn’t be geographically bound to the Windy City.

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Christopher Schulz is the inventor and maker of Pinups magazine. “Seth”, his book with fictional drawings of Canadian actor Seth Rogen, whom Schulz describes as his “ideal Pinups model” in this nice interview with Future Shipwreck, was released in February.  In another interview with New York Press he explained the project like this: “I wanted the book to be something entirely different [than Pinups]. By drawing again, I kind of returned to a past love from which I’d been far removed over the years… So, when I decided to give it a go with drawing, I really embraced and enjoyed working with raw materials again. It was liberating in many ways. I wanted this book to embody these feelings: I had it printed on this rough paper and I hand wrote, in pencil, the copyright info on the front and back pages. But, of course, I had it digitally scanned and reproduced for the final product”. You can buy a copy of  “Seth” on the on the Pinups website. And if you have a little spare time I also recommend Schulz’s fabulously weird porn collages on his “Mopping is Stealing” tumblr.

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The Queer Zine Archive Project, an online archive based in Milwaukee and run by a group of 6 anonymous people since 2003, is collecting queer zines from the last three decades and making them available online for free. I really recommend spending some time over there, since it’s a a really entertaining lesson in queer history full of real treasures such as a all issues of J.D., the legendary queercore zine by G.B. Jones and Bruce LaBruce from the late eightis/early nineties or hilarious zines by Vaginal Davis, such as “Evil Taco” or “Yes, Mrs. Davis”. They also have an “Calls For Submission” section in case you have you’re own zine and still search for contributiors or want to publish your own stuff.

Here are a couple of my favourite covers of zines you can find in the archive, starting with my favourite one, the cover of the 4th issue of the “Queer Fuckers Magazine” from Salt Lake City, Utha, published in 1992. For mor of them click here:

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Make Out Magazine is a new queer/feminist/lefty print publication, based in Berlin but seeking international contributors. The “wo_manifesto” is copied below. If you’d like to take part, please get in touch by tomorrow, April 15th:

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No Layout is an awesome platform that publishes older issues of fashion and art (maga)zines and books online. It works like a digital library, you simply click on the magazine covers and than are allowed to flip through the content. Featured publications are both already espablished magazines such as sleek or Fantastic Man and treasures like the complete back catalogue of Peres Project‘s Daddy Magazine or Russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy‘s aglec zine. Really worth the click!
Thanks, Stefan!

Death: a magazine for the enthusiast and non-enthusiast alike is an open magazine project edited by Portland based graphic designer Forrest Martin. I can be fully previewed for free online on a nicely designed website, where you can also order a printed copy (available by tomorrow). The current issue, a sex issue features “sexy and/or deathy content from a variety of artists, in literal and figurative ways” (Martin) such as some writing and artwork by Slava Mogutin, a hand-stitched black on black panel by Joel Gibb, color-dense canvases by Clark Goolsby, a not-so-funereal funeral review by Anna Huff (Anna Oxygen/Cloud Eye Control), an intimate look at freshly tossed sheets by Chris Hornbecker, Jersey poetry by Sara Marcus (Girls to the Front), and Stephen Irwin‘s final interview before his fatal Christmas Eve heart attack. The cover art was made by John Patrick McKenzie. Check it out:

I decided not to do a special Christmas post this year, but I guess this is still kind of Christmas-related: I’d like to introduce you to three interesting projects whose initiators are asking for donations to realize them. So if you feel like doing something good right now or simply have a litle bit money left over these days, I’m pretty sure that these people would appreciate some generosity.

After showing a dick picture of a transgender artist called Rafalala the Warsaw-based free queer magazine Replika has lost some of its sponsors and is now struggling for financial survival. You can donate via PayPal on this link.

Shakekdown is a documentary about a Black lesbian strip club in Los Angeles by a director called Leilah Weinraub with a score by Tim Dewit of GANG GANG DANCE. You can help realizing the movie’s release by donating money on its Kickstarter site (call for donations runs until February 7)

I already posted this on Facebook: Scott Hug, a New York based artist and founder / editor of the magazine K48 (I’ve already mentioned his blog here) is searching for people who financially support the production costs of the new issue called ABRAK48DABRA. You can donate via Kickstarter (runs until Janury 26), maybe this video will help you with your decision:

Garçons is a Chilean queer (post-)porn magazine I regularly mention here because I think it’s a nice project. It’s one of the few zines that brings together pictures of people from different genders. Check out the current issue released in November.

Photographer Paul Rodriguez has released the first issue of his new web-magazine DUST, an art magazine “exploring photography, the new weird, and essential lifestyles”. DUST I features artists such as Former Ghosts, Margaret Haines, Harmony Korine, Terence Koh, Phuc Le, Philippe de Sablet, and Mickey Mickey Rourke and is worth the few pennies Mr. Rodriguez charges you for the download. You find a couple of screenshots and the link where you can buy the zine on the photographer’s website.

I have a new favourite tumblr called Cruised Or Be Cruised. The blog (which I’m pretty sure is run by a German) by artist Dean Sameshima is only a few days old, but even at this early point the collection of  pages you can click yourself through so far offer a pretty entertaining journey through the history of gay subculture, starting with John Rechy book covers and Hanky Code guides over works of contemporary artists to zine covers like the one on top of this post (it’s from a zine called “GSM” [gay skinhead movement] from 1991). The tumblr looks like the attempt to make a private collection of these kinds of artefacts accessible online, so if you have a tumblr yourself or don’t mind putting tumblrs into your blog reader this could be a good chance to take part in something nice.

Yesterday BUTT magazine announced that Billy Miller, the editor and publisher of the legendary Straight To Hell magazine will throw a little launch party in Berlin tonight  (July 31st) for the release of the zine’s 67th (!) issue. The evening with will take place  from 7 to 10pm at Exile, an art space in Kreuzberg, 4 Alexandrinenstraße, for which Miller has also curated two exhibitions called Head Shop and Lost Horizon which are still shown there and I guess can also be visited during the event.
Straight To Hell was started in 1973 by columnist and journalist Boyd McDonald and since then has maintained its original concept, which basically consists of an entertaining combination of sex reports written by the zine’s readers and a bunch of raunchy pictures and illustrations. For more background information about the history of STH I recommend Bernard Welt‘s essay on the magazine which is published a while ago on Dennis Cooper’s blog.