Felicity Collier takes a look at radical publications outside the mainstream
RUSSELL BARKER’S music nostalgia zine Lunchtime for the Wild Youth is dedicated to gigs of his teens in 1980s Birmingham.
Stand-out moments include a Fall gig, memories of The Mission’s Wayne Hussey delivering his vocal duties in between swigs of Blue Nun, The Housemartins larking about and a Smarties-throwing frenzy at Shirley Manson of Goodbye Mr Mackenzie.
And there are reminiscences of the Red Wedge tour, with Billy Bragg collaborating with half of The Smiths and Ken Livingstone hanging out in the lobby.
The first issue of Grrrls in Print features comic art, illustrations, photography and interviews, all by women artists and writers.
There are insightful interviews with a techno collective, a band manager and all-women bands. Packed with opinion pieces, manifestos, humour and radical and feminist politics, it has a sense of creative communities joining forces for the good.
The different printing techniques and paper textures make it a striking tactile and visual experience.
Respectability is the theme of Dysphoria collective’s Race/Class, with some of its stories dealing with shame and guilt, while others aim to politicise.
Much of the zine is about the representation of people of colour and those who are queer, transgender or non-binary.
Denied a mainstream platform, they speak of difficult experiences and reflect on injustice, prejudice, assumptions and lack of acceptance, powerfully conveyed through interviews, personal accounts, and poems. Included is a valuable list of organisations and websites.
Bloody Hell is artist Soofiya’s zine about menstruation — “the whole shitfest that comes with shedding your uterus lining.”
The horrors, inconvenience and agony of various experiences are highlighted but there are also poems, comics and even a “period playlist,” including The Tide is High by Blondie — lol.
Elsewhere, Period Positive educator, crafter and comedian Chella Quint is interviewed. There’s a discussion of conditions such as PCOS and endometriosis and a positive guide to eco-friendly wear such as the Mooncup.
Thoughtfully compiled, it’s well illustrated and with welcome touches of humour.
The ear is the focus of the latest issue of small-press stalwart Arty, the arts zine edited by Cathy Lomax, with curator Paul Carey-Kent guest editor for this issue.
Auricular-related art is up for discussion, including Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights and Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear.
There’s also a look at stills from film, such as the severed ear moment in Blue Velvet, an exploration of the concept of beauty in relation to women’s ears and artist Alli Sharma enlightening us about echolocation — the way bats “see” in the dark by using their ears.
Poetry is as much a focus, with verses about earwigs, hearing aids, and childhood memories from Matthew Francis, Emma Cousin and Saradha Soobrayen.
Sister is a high-quality features and photography magazine that presents subjects not up for discussion in the mainstream and it does so in a richly creative format.
Stemming from the political fallout following Trump’s election, “strong” is the theme of the sixth issue of this “magazine for girls” and there’s plenty of fighting talk against the misogyny of the US president.
Lucy Vincent writes about the campaign for healthier prison food, there’s a piece on the sense of freedom found in crying and a spread of posters from the Feminist Library.
Artist Lyv Winter highlights the issue of receiving payment for work in the art world and the culture of late or non-payment and there’s an important piece on the women’s contraceptive pill and health effects that are little discussed.