Damn Bloody Rite: A Quarterly Rag Mag
Edited by Janeen Singer and Daniela Fernández
My period has a cantankerous personality, and I regularly scour the earth for new remedies to help numb—or at least distract—me from my monthly pain. My agony recently led me to an apothecary in Oakland, California, that holds a “Politics of Menstruation” class each year. When I expressed regret that I missed the class, the owner recommended that I read the premiere issue of Damn Bloody Rite, which features the workshop’s hosts as contributors. When I got home, I curled up in my electric blanket with a piece of dark chocolate and a copy of this zine. I learned about the perils of menstrual stigma and shame, discovered soothing herbal remedies, and immersed myself in poetry, artwork, and stories by other “bleeders” about their flow. Damn Bloody Rite was so interesting that I forgot about my cramps and bloating for a few hours, which to me was priceless. You can get your own copy through this Etsy site. —Jamia
Pop Culture Puke
Edited by Rachel Davies
Founded by Canadian teenager Rachel Davies, Pop Culture Puke is a must-read li’l magazine of poetry, personal essays, and criticism that is staffed by young women who are obsessed with art, music, movies, and the like. The zine has a different theme each month (examples are “Intuition” and “Closure”) and essays that focus on concerns including Big Brother contestants and FKA twigs. You can read issues online, but PCP just put out its first print issue, themed “Familiar,” which unfortunately is sold out! Even in its internet incarnation, the zine has a patchworked, collaged aesthetic, and is filled with scribbled drawings and handwritten text. But what makes PCP really fun is the voices of its writers, who are both vulnerable and very funny. Reading it is like listening in on a sleepover that keeps the giggle-filled anecdotes and tear-jerking feels-sessions rolling. —Hazel
Edited by Emily M. Keeler
I am going to let you in on a Toronto secret and tell you about the best literary magazine you’ve probably never heard of: Little Brother. (Not to brag, but this mag is published in my neighborhood.) It only comes out twice a year, and is so well curated: All killer, no filler. Little Brother has published some of my favorite longform pieces in the last couple of years, in part because the editors allow writers to flex on topics both strange and beautiful. In issue two, the “Jokes” issue, Alicia Louise Merchant writes about making jokes while living with cancer. In the “Holiday” issue, Kelli Korducki writes about the history and culture of street meat. The magazine also smells really, really good in the papery way, which I think is very important with print publications. —Anna F.
Mimi and the Wolves
A while back, I got a text from Hazel that there was a small zine fair going on a few blocks from my house. We zipped over, and I spent a good long while hovering over a table of comics by an artist named Alabaster. I happened on the first installment of Mimi and the Wolves, a screen-printed, illustrated series of tiny books. Don’t be deceived by the sweetly drawn protagonist, Mimi, or her doggie partner Bobo—the dreamlike stories tackle serious stuff such as spiritualism, female agency, and the darkness that can overtake us all. The hand-bound, silkscreened version of the first act in the Mimi and Bobo saga is all sold out, but you can still get your hands on a copy of an offset printed version at Alabaster’s online store. Act II is available now, too, and I cannot wait to read it :-) —Allyssa
You Don’t Know Me
This illustrated zine is by the Australian artist Gemma Flack. I’ve loved her art for ages—how cute is this Grimes sticker? Gemma makes comics, too. There are often strong themes of body positivity and feminism in her work, and the words that accompany the drawings complement the characters’ expressions perfectly. Among my favorites: “You don’t know anything about me. And yet you judge me.” A dollar from the sale of each copy goes to the International Women’s Development Agency, which advances women’s rights in Asia and the Pacific. You can buy your own right here. —Bianca
Edited by Amos Mac and Rocco Kayiatos
I love the genderqueer, magical world of the photographer Amos Mac so very much—especially the one he and Rocco Kayiatos curate in Original Plumbing, a quarterly magazine for trans men. The latest issue—the Selfie Issue—includes a collection of dialogues with trans men and women about how they portray themselves and trans culture to a larger audience. Check out interviews with the creators of Transparent and web series Brothers, as well as a chat with Winter Laike, last year’s winner of New York’s Mr. Transman pageant. —Caitlin D.
Under Ice: A Kate Bush Fan Zine
Edited by Krystal DiFronzo
I treasure this Kate Bush zine, which was created by Krystal DiFronzo and includes contributions from more than a dozen artists. Every time I flip through this thing and its precious drawings of Lady Lionheart, particularly the stunning little comic based on lyrics from her songs, I feel the affection that the contributors surely have for dear Kate. It reminds me all over again of why I love her and her theatrical music. Sadly, the zine is sold out on Etsy, but I have seen it at a few record stores and book shops—notably, Quimby’s in Chicago. It’s a must-have for any Kate Bush fan, whether that’s you or someone you love. —Meagan
Tara Jayne and Kira
The creators of CrushIN are known in Australia’s punk scene as good people doing great things. Tara Jayne is in the band Canine and runs the record label One Brick Today, while Kira runs a distro called Dirty Bird. Together they aim “to make space for women, queer kids, and others marginalized by a largely male dominated, heteronormative music scene.” CrushIN is their tape-compilation series, and each cassette comes with a zine about the Australian DIY bands featured therein. Really great stuff! You can get the tapes and zines by emailing emailing Tara and Kira at [email protected] (The series is non-profit, so the profits from each sale go directly into production costs for the next release.) —Bianca
A Field Guide to the Aliens of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season One
Star Trek: The Next Generation was one of my absolute favorite shows growing up, so when I found this zine, I freaked out and bought copies for myself, my brother, and my childhood best friend. The handwritten name, date, and grade on the front cover of the zine indicates that it was written on May 15, 1990 by Joshua Chapman, for his seventh-grade English class. The project is essentially an episode guide to season one of ST:TNG (at least, all the episodes that feature aliens) in which Joshua reviews the aliens and shares his personal thoughts about them. But what really takes his writing above and beyond are snippets about his personal life—girls, his angry and neglectful mom, bullies—that help you understand why he relates so deeply to the show and its aliens. When I googled him, I learned that “Joshua” was not a real kid (he was just too good to be true)—the book was actually written by a guy named Zachary in Portland. However, this doesn’t make this zine any less earnest or hilarious. Find it here, or through the Reading Frenzy distro, which is where I discovered it. —Stephanie
Adults are mysteriously absent in the world of Sacred Heart, but it’s no thing. The teen residents of a black-and-white comic suburban town keep right on going—lurching through high school, thrashing in bands, and navigating the dating world—kinda like they might do if their parents were around, honestly. Copies are available here in their original format, but Fantagraphics picked up the series and plans to release a book version come summertime. If you’re into Sacred Heart, I recommend also checking out , Suburbia’s zine that explores punk lyfe and dogs. —Caitlin D.
Brie Moreno’s zines are fun, imaginative, and sometimes a little odd—my heart swells any time I see that an envelope full of her latest offerings has arrived. Each publication has a very personal, handmade feel. One of my favorites is Scruncheese, a zine that is “filled with drawings inspired by a thrifted painting of a horse,” as Brie describes it herself. You can order it here. —Caitlin H. ♦