Zine Reviews – the sequel

More of those funky pro-woman, pro-grrrl zines reviewed

, 16 April 2002

Since putting up details for zines in February I have managed to get my grubby hands on loads more of ’em! And they’re so fantastic I just have to share. So if you think feminism is dead in the UK, think again: these sisters are definitely doin’ it for themselves.

Antisocial Scarlet #4 & #5

50p each & A5 SAE, Sophie Scarlet, 6 Melrose Ave., Mitcham, Surrey CR4 2EG. Email ms_scarlet@btinternet.com

A horribly personal zine – touching and intelligent

Antisocial Scarlet is subtitled ” a horribly personal zine”, and yep it sure is personal! Sophie’s honesty and frankness about her personal life and experiences is amazing. But its not just personal; this zine definitely lives up to the phrase ‘the personal is political,’ incorporating lots of feminism. In Issue 4 (Nov/Dec 2001) she talks about falling in love, women who aren’t feminists, warns us about sex in the afternoon, gives us some feminist must-reads, discusses cheating in relationships, talks frankly about orgasms, dreams, and her love for girls. In Issue 5 (Jan/Feb 2002) the mood is different, more subdued relecting what’s happened in her life. She talks about rejection, “the new me”, moving on, saying goodbye, and celibacy. The zine also includes some touching and emotional writing. Antisocial Scarlet invites you in – take a trip into someone else’s life.

Cigarette Girl

20p + A5 SAE, Izadora, Watery Barn, Raddon, Exeter, Devon EX5 5PN. Email hopscortch@hotmail.com or izzypop@bikinikill.com

This is a collection of Izzy’s personal thoughts and rants – “a grrrl-powered zine, but its about LOADS of other things too.” She states straight away that she’s a riot grrrl and a radical feminist – but she is in no way a man-hater. In this zine she talks about abuse of women in the mosh-pit, the poet Cheryl B, about sex and violence against women in the piece ‘my vagina rocks’. There’s a rant about anorexia, reviews of books and about being treated badly because of the way people dress and more.

Finger_Bang Distro

Finger_Bang Distro, Red Chidgey, 29 Wellesley Road, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, CO15 3PW. red_chidgey@yahoo.com

The mighty Red of Varla’s Passed Out Again has created her own feminist, anti-capitalist distro. She explains: “We’re a not for profit distro (distributor) of ladymade goods and DIY/political resources. This is a feminist, anti-capitalist project which aims to showcase womens talent and creativity, inspire, inform, and politically activate/empower individuals. Write or email Red for a catalogue. At the time of writing, she distributes the zines: All My Heroes are Virgins, Bitter Strawberries, Eye Scream, The Nerve, Riot Girl London, Riot Grrrl Europe, Tigerheart, Twinkle Eye Fizzy, Varla’s Passed Out Again, and LOADS more, including badges, free factsheets, music and even videos. This is also a great way to get hold of some of those overseas zines. At time of writing, Finger_Bang is also looking for contributions to a sex zine and a publishing handbook.

Hairspray Queen

This zine is no longer available

Produced in 1999, this is an early zine from Clairy (who subsequently wrote the zines Honey Spectacular and Sister Disco), done in her own unique style. This is a personal zine containing articles about depression, bisexuality, stories, confidence, cartoons, bullying and even public hairs! The zine has a great sense of humour.

Honey Spectacular

This zine is no longer available

The second zine from Clairy has evolved and contains cute artwork. There’s an article about Clair’s feminism, why she is a feminist, articles on animal rights, rejection and relationships, and inspiring and encouraging pages on fatism and how to retain your confidence in the face of the exploitative diet industry.

Rebel Grrrl Punk #6

£1, Kirsty, 8 Eden Close, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 6BG. Email sometimesslightlyconfused@yahoo.com

At 6 issues, Kirsty is very prolific! I haven’t seen the earlier ones but I love this – its an A4 zine with loads of interesting stuff. The zine just looks great too – much of it is handwritten but Kirsty’s handwriting is very pretty. In this issue she looks at Dido, My Ruin, feminist theory, Jewel, Bettie Mae Page, reviews of music, other zines and films, Courtney Love, Riot Girl and the future, Queen Adreena, an interview with Angelica, drugs, and custom-made corsets!

Riot Girl London #2

£1, Sophie Scarlet, 6 Melrose Avenue, Mitcham, Surrey, CR4 2EG. ms_scarlet@btinternet.com

This group of fantastic young women impress me so much and I am honored to be considered part of the group. The second Riot Girl London zine has talent and intelligence in abundance. Like the first issue in 2001, the zine contains contributions from members of the group on all issues of feminism. Make no mistake – this is a feminist zine; riot girl and feminism are the same thing here. There’s articles on street abuse, the evolution of riot girl, “my feminism”, riot girl in the mainstream, feminist art, being gender blind, “why I’m a feminist”, the Blood Sisters Project, Guerilla Girls, feminism in the past (and busting those feminist myths), and an article on why “punk rock is not just for your boyfriend!” This zine is joyous, inspiring and fills you with enthusiasm. The amount of talent and motivation here is incredible. If this is the new feminist generation, the future is bright.

Sister Disco #1

This zine is no longer available

Clairy’s latest zine is packed full of cool and interesting articles. There’s loads of content, including a rant on Eminem, resisting the Beauty Myth and promoting fat-positive attitudes, smoking, cartoons, the relationship between punk and politics, Groop Dogdrill review, moshing, and sexism in rock. There’s also comments on sex and porn, “fake bisexuals”, witchcraft, and tons more.

Starlette #3

£1 + A5 SAE, Rebecca Dyer, 86 Goshawk Drive, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 8XP. Email: miss_anthrope@angelfire.com

Starlette is highly recommended – a fantastic out-and-out feminist zine written by Bec and Anna. These ladies sure can write! It’s so exciting to see feminism expressed without shame or reservation. Issue 3 is the latest and last. It contains writing about fashion models, why she calls herself “Ms” and talks honestly and frankly about sex. There’s a powerful collage on anorexia which I looked at for ages ‘cos it just blew me away. There’s reviews of feminist books, Ladyfest 2001, Bratmobile, Babes in Toyland, the Cherry Bombers and Eve. It also contains a piece on shaving, “confessions of a nice boy”, an introduction to the poet Grace Nichols, a rant on Shirley Manson’s apparent hypocrisy and sexual harrassment on women at gigs. The zine finishes on a positive note – put your faith in yourself, not your idols, because they always let you down.

Varla’s Passed Out Again #4

£1.50, For details on how to get a copy, email: red_chidgey@yahoo.com

Red goes from strength to strength. In this issue – very visually distinctive, by the way – she talks about Anais Nin, surveys riot bois for their views on feminism and riot girl, tells us how to set up a photographic darkroom, includes receipies for gingerbread biscuits, and practical tips on how to beat DIY burnout! She gives us her thoughts on the future of riot girl, love, pornography, art and feminism, interviews witches, and of course there’s the latest responses to the infamous sex survey.

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