Zines!, edited by V. “formerly co-publisher of RE/Search” Vale, is a collection of interviews with a selection of zine editor/publishers and one zine distributor in the now-familiar Re/Search Q-and-A format. From overeducated thrift shop aficionados and a connoisseur of Ike-era sexual stereotyping to insurgent teen riot grrrls, Zines! profiles some of the quirky personalities behind the xeroxed, self-publishing boom. A high-powered, back-of-the-envelope socioeconomic analysis of the global zine situation (now also a steppingstone to hip, corporate website employment) is provided by Ramsay Kanaan from the anarchist publishing and distribution cooperative AK.
Part of the appeal of a zine is obtaining some very personal insights from people you might never meet (or get up close and personal with anyway) in the usual course of events. While Zines! doesn’t offer the libido-dripping cultural musings of horn-dogger extraordinaire Lisa Carver (Rollerderby) or the turbo-charged venom of Answer Me!’s Jim and Debbie Goad, it does provide some knowing words of wisdom from Ask Gear Queen of Fat Girl—the zine-organ of the dyke “thunder-thighs” sexual-liberation collective of the same name—on ass-wiping for the big-is-beautiful set: “The basic problem is a species design flaw. Arms don’t grow longer as needed. As the depth of your body grows the distance from armpit over belly to asshole increases, and there comes a point where your hand just can’t reach your asshole anymore. But fear not! Depending on the configuration of your body and the arrangement of the toilet area in question, there are all sorts of things you can do… Use something to extend your reach. It can be anything that is long enough, appropriately soft and absorbent, and washable and disposable. I remember women at the NAAFA gathering suggesting the kind of kitchen pot scrubbers with a foam head and hollow handle designed for liquid soap.” SS
Paperback: 184 pages