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An all-new Pop Culture Beast is coming!
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Pop Culture Beast proudly supports The Trevor Project
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Saturday, February 8, 2014

BLOG ZINE! It's Los Angeles Zine Week!

by Kari Tervo

ZINEY BEASTERS! This is a very exciting week. It's LA ZINE WEEK!!! LA Zine Week is when many of the good people of the zine scene converge on Los Angeles for a week of zine events, like readings, music performances, and finally, LA ZINE FEST! That's on Sunday, February 16th, 2014. omg! You should go!

I'll be at LA Zine Fest this year, slinging my humor zine, Shards of Glass In Your Eye! and collecting donations for my volunteer project, Zines for Troops! Stop by my table and say hi!

And. . .omg, I can't believe this is happening, but I will be rapping (!) at Aurora Lady's launch party for her new zine, Don't Hide Behind Your Skirt! That's at Pop Hop in Highland Park on February 12th. I hope you can check out some fabulous Zine Week events!

As if you can't already tell I'm excited about Zine Week, I'm so freakin' excited that I'm reviewing three zines this week! Here's the FAQ, long-haired freaky people! You don't got to have a membership card to get inside.

Here's my rating system:

Here’s my Rating System:
Recommended: !
It’s Aiight: .
Maybe If You’re Into That Sort of Thing: ? - See more at:
Recommended: !
It’s Aiight: .
Maybe If You’re Into That Sort of Thing: ? - See more at:
Recommended: !

It's Aiight: .

Maybe If You're Into That Sort of Thing:  ?


Mustardless Barbarians #11
Rating: !!
Price: free

Mike Fenn

The Boot #5
Rating: !!!
Price: Not listed.
Kevin Ulrich   - See more at:
What a delightful zine. Mike's all about amusement, and he serves up three courses of the stuff: The amuse bouche of fun facts at the start ("My friend Squall has left the same sock at my apartment twice now") is crack-a-smile satisfying. The entertaining main entree, "Bungee in the Basement," recalls the efforts he and his sisters made to replicate a carnival in their basement. "Basement World" sounds like an idea that's gonna fail, but it's garnished with grins and giggles. Dessert is in the form of "Going to the Chapel and We're Gonna Get a Playstation," a really excellent wedding toast that I hope Mike really got to deliver! Maybe in a future issue, he'll tell us how it was received. Mustardless Barbarians #11 is a well-proportioned serving of amusing zine reading. At only 8 pages, I wish he'd have cooked up a few more stories to share! I'll definitely turn to #12 for some more great Mustardless flavor.

Mustardless Barbarians #11 is marked as free, but when a zine gets a good review, a lot of orders can flow in. Help Mike offset his copying and postage expenses by sending a few postage stamps or PayPal-ing him a dollar.

Seven Nine Thirteen (Twenty Four Hours 12)
Rating: !!
Price: not listed

Josh Medsker

A twenty-four hour zine is one that's produced within a 24-hour time limit, from concept to finished product. Josh Medsker created Seven Nine Thirteen as a 24-hour version of his signature zine, Twenty Four Hours. Which is not usually a 24-hour zine. Confused? Don't worry about the specifics, just know this is a great 24-hour zine.

I love reading anecdotes, and I'm impressed with the effort Josh put into brainstorming and developing a number of anecdotes in such a short period of time. He mixes opinion and analysis (about work unions or body image in the punk scene) with lighter anecdotes (about Archie comics at a flea market!) to provide us with a broad spectrum of ideas to entertain. In this zine, Josh has a straightforward story-telling style: Grand conclusions and life lessons are eschewed in favor of what was represented in Josh's thoughts at a given moment. Seven Nine Thirteen reads a lot like your own brain might read: a recollection here, an insight there, moving on into whatever strikes next. It's a great portrait of a zinester's mind, and a great 24-hour effort.

The Worth of Water
Rating: !!!.
Price: $4

Sarah Rose and a number of contributors

I like this zine a lot, so let me get the "it's aiight" portion out of the way first: The cover sheet was basically black on both sides, though it clearly (ha!) was not meant to be that way, and I couldn't read the introduction on the inside front cover. Boo to shitty copy jobs. But that's the only negative feedback I have about this wonderful zine about self-care.

What is self-care? Many people think of bubble baths and bon bons, but self-care is not generally about indulgence. It's a focus on maintaining emotional stability by addressing one's emotional and physical needs. It's a concept that's particularly important for people who have mental illnesses. However, self-care is important for everyone, whether or not you have a mental illness. Ever feel really cranky, snap at someone, and then realize all you really needed was a hot meal? That was a small lapse of awareness that led to a lack of self-care. 

Contributors to The Worth of Water drive home the importance of self-care. For instance, Deirdee Prudence shares how successfully making a zine contributes to her overall emotional wellness. Sarah lays out "The Rules" of self-care, such as explaining to (safe) people that mental illness symptoms can make you less effective sometimes. Laura Marie shares her personal list of self-care options for when she falls into a depressive low or shoots up into a manic high. All throughout this zine are candid stories that help you understand the importance of self-care and strategies for self-care. Importantly, they also provide insight into the experience of mental illness from a personal perspective. The Worth of Water is an important zine.

Okay, Ziney Beasters, I'm out! I'm going to save up my energy for LA Zine Week! Have a great week, wherever you are!


Send 'em to me at:

Kari Tervo
Blog Zine
PO Box 7831
Beverly Hills, CA 90212  

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