April’s zine of the month is Shimotsuma produced by Stray Gang with various artists like Jane Mai, Punimelt, Jean Liang, Koyamori, and more. It’s a 40 paged limited edition illustration zine that is based of the story Shimotsuma Monogatari (Kamikaze Girls). I’ve never read the book or seen the movie but I fell in love with the zine the moment I saw it a Expozine last year. The colors and great combination of various types of illustrations work really well. There is comics sections, typography, and silk screening to name a few. Not to mention Shimotsuma is really well editted and put together beautifully. You can pick up the zine through Fan Grrlz and have a look below.
Shimotsuma by Various Artists
What better zine of the month for February than Love Spells by Lillian Cuda. Love Spells is a 20 paged zine about spells and rituals from lost love to self-love. I love how there is a form of love in there for anyone, no matter what your situation currently. I mainly bought it because I loved the drawings; they are bright and colorful and make me happy. Not to mention it’s very well put together and great attention to detail with the hand writing, makes the zine stand out. She also makes a variety of zines all of which I’ve enjoyed so if spells aren’t your thing…
If you want to pick up the zine you can, here and here or check out her blog for more of her work.
Love Spells by Lillian Cuda
This month’s zine is Fur, Hide and Bone by Erika Harada with featured contributors from the Tumblr community of the same name. I’m intrigued by taxidermy and bones as much as I am the collectors of it, although I myself do not collect. This zine was a great way to learn about each contributor’s treasured piece and about why they collect or what they enjoy most about it. The personal stories behind how they obtained or found the pieces was very interesting. I find skulls particularly fascinating and this zine did not disappoint. The artwork throughout was really nice and it was all put together nicely. It’s really a zine about collecting and I really enjoyed that aspect. Sadly this zine sold out this summer but you can check out the posting for it, here in case it gets reprint in the future and below I have a sampe of it. I also thought I’d show my singular skull that I found two summers ago on a road trip to Ontario. The bird skull was just lying on the beach already down to the bone, a lonely beautiful object in a pretty desperate polluted beach. I picked it up and took it home and cleaned it up carefully, without really knowing why.
Fur, Hide and Bone
October’s zine of the month is Soup by Ally Burke which showcases some of her sketchbooks between 2012-2014. It’s a 28 paged zine that features black and white sketches as well as some colored ones on 5×8 glossy paper. The reason I choose it over all the others she’s done in the past is partially because it’s still available, and I feel like lately I’ve featured a lot of zines that aren’t in production anymore. It also happens to be a great zine with a high production value and Ally’s sketches are just as ghoulishly delightful as her other work. Her tumblr is filled with snippets of her sketchbooks and every time she shares a bit it makes me want to just flip through them all. So it’s a great way to have a part of that. Soup is available to purchase here, along with a ton of stickers, originals and other goodies (the shop is closing temporarily in a few days so best to look now). She also has a coloring book zine of monster girls that is pretty awesome too, here and you can also check out her Instagram where she’s doing Inktober this month!
They Come at Night is an illustration zine by artist Deth P. Sun of his frequently used cat character whose name remains a mystery. The 20 paged zine is a pure illustrative story of the adventurer and the things that come out at night. I love this zine and have a few others of Deth’s and enjoy them all equally. He always has a high quality to his work and it shows in this beautiful zine. The larger format works well with the illustrations and story is cohesive and flows nicely along. His minimal style of illustrations looks great in zine format and it is worth checking any one of his current zines. Below is a closer look at They Come at Night which you can buy here, and if you’re curious about other things he offered I’ve done a review, here as well.
They Come At Night
The zine I picked for August’s Zine of the Month is Uncommon Spaces & Everyday Places Vol 2 by Erin Dorbin which takes you on journey down her 2013 travels down the Lincoln Highway in United States. Her 52 paged zine includes instant photographs taken with her Polaroid 195 Land Camera using Fuji FP-100C and expired Polaroid film as well some writing about the journey. She also includes along with the zine, 5 reproductions shots nicely printed out in the style and size of the originals. I personally loved it and thought it’s the perfect read for the summer when you are going on road trips and the prints are super nice. Sadly this was a limited edition zine and she currently sold out just last month I believe. However in the future she may chose to reprint and Vol. 3 is coming out this Fall! For now you can check out her website for more information about her photography.
Uncommon Spaces & Everyday Places Vol. 2
Starchild Stela is a local Montreal artist who does illustrations, paintings, and street art amongst other things. She also happens to make a huge amount of zines including one of my all-time favourites in my collection called Destroy Rape Culture. I decided to feature it today because the zine as you can imagine is all about bringing power back and positive messages. She showcases the message of empowerment with the use of Sailor Moon (one of my favourite animes) and catchy slogans. It’s a great collaboration between the two as Sailor Moon has always been about female empowerment and I am sure a lot of us 90s kids found the manga and animation an inspiration. The zine features illustrations of all the Sailor Scouts and a few of the villains from the series within its 20 black and white pages. I love her twist on Takeushi’s style and can’t recommend this zine enough. If you wish to pick it up or check out any of her other zines you can find it at her distro or her main store. Fair warning, it sells out pretty quickly but she has been keeping it restocked at the moment (and also in sticker form). Sneak peak below if you are interested.
Destroy Rape Culture
This month’s zine pick is Girl Glue, a collection of work by various female artists put together by Mel Stringer. There is two issues out of Girl Glue to date and some of the artists include have been Wishcandy, Rudy Fig, Lilly Piri, Bec Winnel, Buttons, Lindsay Campbell, Mab Graves, Natali Koromoto Martinez, Gemma Flack, Hungry Designs and others. Both have 30 pages of content to enjoy, and the production quality and size of both zines is superb. One of the main differences between the two zines is that issue one featured the work of over 50 artists and issue two takes a different format and does 1 or occasionally 2 page profiles on 27 artists. While I like the larger size of the work featured in the second issue, most of the profiled artists are already respectively well known in their communities and it honestly didn’t contain any artist I wasn’t aware of before which is what I loved about the first issue. I love collective zines for discovering new artists and the second issue came across more as the top artisans of Etsy (which isn’t a bad thing but felt a shift away from the first issue). I do love the colored cover and back page however of the second issue over the colored paper cover of the first. Both recommend to pick up although I don’t know if it’s possible to get the first issue anymore. The newest issue #2 is currently available to purchase through Mel Stringer’s store here.
Girl Glue #1 & #2 by Various Artists
April’s zine of the month is The Tiny Little Book of Bunny Behaviour by illustrator Lyndsey Green. As its Easter this weekend what better than a cute mini zine about bunnies for April? I’ve often thought about getting a rabbit as a pet so I loved reading this zine and finding out more about them. She even did a poster on the backside if you unfold the zine. Makes me wish I had enough space for one even to foster temporarily (which is super important especially at this time of the year because so many stupid people buy bunnies just for the holiday and then abandon them). Photos below of the zine and the cuddly bear card that I bought from her as well. She also has another zine about foxes that looks great and a mini zine of random animals if bunnies aren’t your thing. You can buy the zine here, and check out more of Lyndsey Green’s work on her website!
The Tiny Little Book of Bunny Behaviour by Lyndsey Green
I debated whether or not to make Bablien the zine of the month for March. Not because it isn’t awesome (because it is) but mostly because it’s not available anymore. Bablien was a zine put together by Catface and Brett Manning with the tag line “a collection of alien babe artworks” that came out in December of last year. Each artist that contributed was given 10 copies that they could sell and I was lucky enough to grab one up before they sold out. I mostly bought it for Victor as he is obsessed with aliens so I was really surprised by how much I loved it. There were nods to X-Files (a few too many), Star Trek and the great comic Saga and each artist brought a unique perspective to the alien babe. My favourites were by Brett Manning, Natali Martinez, and Madelen & Natalie Floss. Other artist featured Wishcandy, L0ll3, Electra Sinclair, Donya Todd and more. It doesn’t appear they will reprint it either which is a shame but it’s such a great zine I couldn’t resist sharing it, and perhaps they will reprint it in the future or put a 2nd edition.
Bablien by Various Artists
I’ll link you to Brett Manning’s tumblr as she has quiet a few comics that you can pick up.