Oh, the pain of it all! Here it is: the horror that is high school. Supposedly based on a diary (found in a gas-station bathroom, no less) dealing with the trials and tribulations of the high school career of one "Tammy Pierce," this turbulent tale of teen turmoil that is set in the 1980s delivers to its readers a heaping portion of the unrelenting pain of a self-consciousness that can't turn off, all rendered in a scratchy, messy... splatchy ink line that has a bit of the flavor of Nicole Hollander and Aline Kominsky, but is an indisputably original creation. A remarkable artistic document of a female coming of age in the image-obsessed America of the Reagan/Bush era, this is a unique work that stands out in the crowd. A short, squat pink hardcover (complete with green glitter), this book is presented, for the most part, at the rate of one page-filling panel at a time that makes for an up close and personal experience. This book may be too close for comfort for some, too voyeuristic for others, and, read in the wrong light it may appear depressing, but looked at from the proper angle it is clearly a work of deep empathy -- a long, loving mile walked in another girl's shoes.
This is a nifty guide to zinemaking and zinestering that is a great primer for anyone who is getting started -- or even thinking of getting started -- down the road of making a zine, whether it be comics or otherwise. It's purposefully designed to be exactly the kind of guide that the authors wished they had when they started out. In covers the practical ins and outs such as formats and print-marriage set ups, the pros and cons of various drawing tools and printing methods, and a wide array of binding methods that one might never think of on one's own. But there's much more as the authors bring in a bevy of talented cartoonists, zinesters and self-publishers to offer their artistic, poetic, historical and technical perspectives, encouragements and insights. Among those creators featured are John Porcellino, Ron Regé, Jr., Souther Salazar, Dan Zettwoch, Martin Cendreda, Dave Kiersh, Allison Cole and Raina Lee. All in all this book has a great feel and is sure to be enjoyed even by those who are well on their way down Zinester Avenue. And it's bargain priced to boot!