I thought I’d write a few more zine reviews today, as I haven’t actually done anything of interest since my last entry. Hank has been working away in Aberdeen for the past two weeks, and has now gone to work away in Milton Keynes for another week. All I’ve been doing in his absence is reading, writing for my zine, getting very frustrated with how few submissions I’ve received for Artemis (more on that later), playing the piano, blahblahblah no one wants to hear about that. I know I review zines very sporadically, but I’m going to make an effort to review them a little more regularly from now on.
Tempest In A Tea Cup #3
(Louise, UK – xoverdramatickissxAThotmail.com)
I’m delighted that Louise has finally written another issue of her mental health perzine, as I loved the first issue to bits! This issue is quarter-sized, printed on coloured paper, and features lots of vintage adverts as backgrounds, so the look is closer to issue #2 than issue #1. It’s packed full of short pithy pieces, including female masturbation, sex-positive feminism, feeling insecure about her talents, dealing with difficult customers in her job, tattoos, annoying pet names such as “darling”, and feeling sad. Tucked at the back of the zine are a few short zine reviews. Her writing style varies greatly in this zine – the piece on female masturbation has quite a dry journalistic tone, whereas “Borrowed money, a sausage roll and a pair of ripped jeans later…” is very prosaic and descriptive. I would’ve preferred if this issue had a few long pieces rather than lots of shorter pieces – she chose such fascinating topics to discuss, so it would’ve been great to hear her elaborate further on some of the issues! It was a little frustrating to get submerged in her discussion of female masturbation and the enjoyment of pornography, for example, only to turn the page and find that the piece was almost over! But that’s just my personal preference; I’m sure many people like the variety that Louise’s zine provides. One piece that stood out for me in particular was “Why I’m a Bad Feminist”, where Louise talks about how she feels unable to call herself a feminist due to some of her lifestyle choices (such as the fact that she can “be quick to criticize other girls” and looks forward to getting married). Again, this piece is too short, which frustrated me as I identify with what she’s saying – I know I can be judgemental too, and sometimes I feel somewhat alienated from certain feminist circles for being in a heterosexual relationship. I would’ve liked more personal analysis here, for Louise to explain why looking forward to getting married makes her feel like a bad feminist (maybe she’s encountered some judgemental holier-than-thou feminists who have chastised her?). Nevertheless, I think Louise definitely can identify as a feminist! While it’s a little jangly in places, Tempest in a Tea Cup is always very honest, interesting, and entertaining.
Not Lonely #2
(Hannah, UK – not_lonely_zineATyahoo.co.uk)
In the second issue of her mental-health perzine, Hannah writes about a number of interesting topics, including not getting married and the feminist reasons behind that decision, and not going out dancing on a Friday night (something I’m writing about in Here. In My Head #6, and have written about in past issues). There’s also a very useful piece on how to cope with mental health issues without medication, and some discussion of her university life and coursework deadlines, etc. The article about not getting married was the most interesting for me to read, as an engaged feminist in a heterosexual relationship – I think Hannah is right about a lot of things, including the oppressive patriarchal implications of marriage, and the heteronormativity behind it all. The topics Hannah discusses are interesting, and she manages to write just enough to get you hooked without rambling or waffling (something I must admit I struggle with sometimes). A simple, clean layout, with typewritten and handwritten pages. Very nice indeed.
Cooking Hearts Up At The Stove #1
(Cherry T, UK – chchcherrydarlingATgmail.com)
I’m a big fan of Cherry’s blog and her kick-ass drawings, so was very excited to read her first ever zine! It’s a feminist perzine, covering subjects such as body hair, feminist stereotypes and myths about feminism, making friends, sexual harassment and violence, and procrastination. Her drawings are by far the best thing about this zine, with at least one drawing to accompany each piece (here is my favourite). It was also very interesting to read her view of feminism, coming from an Indian background – she makes great points about how mainstream feminism tends to be “a white, middle-class concept” concerned with issues that aren’t applicable to women who don’t live in the West, such as the abortion debate and women juggling career and family. She also discusses how torn she feels when it comes to body hair, as a dark-haired woman – one the one hand, the mainstream media insists that body hair is disgusting on women; on the other hand, the (mostly light-haired) radical community say that those who shave are selling out, which is easy enough to say if your body hair isn’t too noticeable. This was a really interesting discussion that I hadn’t really thought about before, so that was great to read. I wasn’t too fond of the layout of this zine – it was a little too plain for me, which was disappointing considering how amazing her drawings are. Other than that, this was a really great first zine, and I think subsequent issues will be even better!
Music News: The recording studio is booked for a week commencing the 13th September. We’ve designed the album cover, but still need an album title. Maybe it should just be self-titled, that might be easier. I’m so excited about hearing the finished product, I hope you guys are too!
Zine News: As you may or may not know, I’m the editor of the Women’s Network comp-zine, Artemis. I’m trying to put together an issue in time for Fresher’s Fayre (21st September), but so far I’ve only had two submissions! Argh! I don’t know what to do; there’s only so much content I can submit myself before it effectively becomes my zine! If there are any Nottingham-based ladies reading this, please consider submitting something, it would help me out so much. To find out more about Artemis, join the Facebook group. Back issues can be viewed online here.
I’m halfway through Here. In My Head. #5 and #6 – they’re both very different zines so it does make sense to work on them seperately! I want them finished before the end of September, so keep your eyes peeled.
101 Things Update: Hank bought me some new underwear, thus completing item 059 of the list! A nice photo will be revealed soon, promise (Hank’s dying to spend practically a week taking nice photos of me!).