Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Things Wes got at Manchester Zinefest 2008

On Saturday I went with a bagful of Attack!!!!s and such to table at the Manchester Zinefest.

This blog is about what I picked up there for trades and for cash.

The other half of my table was taken up by the lovely folks of Ladyfest Manchester. Above is their very colourful little folded flyer thing. Basically, they like women. It's hard to find fault with that position.

An example of a woman is Carol Batton, who approached my stall in a very friendly manner and told me she was mad. After telling me this and insisting that the characters on my Tinariwen t-shirt were not Tifinagh or any North African script but a mix of Greek, mathematical and astrological symbols, she flung some cut up bits of paper and card at me that had some of her poems on. They were surprisingly good and reminded me of Spike Milligan.

The authors of this volume kindly gave offered this to me for free - and I gave them a copy of one of my own pieces as trade - but unfortunately it's dreadful. It's in deliberately bad taste, but not funny and worst of all the style of inking makes it incredibly hard to figure out what's going on most of the time anyway. I think it wants to be in colour.

'Sporks' and 'Aloof' are two perzines occupying the same space: you flip one over and there's the other, upside-down.

'Sporks' is a short collection of memoirs by M. Fernandes.

I really didn't expect to get much out of it initially (you know, yet another perzine) but M. Fernandes has a very easy writing style and really does have a few stories to tell (her memories documented here consist, in brief, of being kidnapped, a slightly odd sort-of-date [the appearance of a spork in which gives the zine its title], playing a gig in a brothel, eating junk food outside a gym, and answering the door naked to a policeman).

'Aloof' is similarly surprisingly-interesting. It mostly consists of a few journal pages by a writer called Laken. They are entertainingly written and (I think unwittingly) kept making me wonder if Laken was a girl, or a gay guy, or a straight guy who was a bit more confused than normal. I quite enjoyed this guessing game so I won't tell you which s/he is just in case you decide to read it too.

'Read Too Much Wrote Too Little' came from the same stall (Brazilian Nuts). It's very gentle erotica. I couldn't understand why, when there were really sexy pics (of shoes! and a navel!) inside, the author went for such an unattractive cover. Anyway it made me feel a little bit like I was reading something meant for someone else...

Moontower #0 is a prelude to what hopefully will be a series of zines by Cally Highfield. She's a very good cartoonist and could definitely carry off a regular zine based around her illustrations. The tone of the writing inside is a bit confessional and talks more about intentions rather than actually doing anything, but if you're allowed to do that anywhere, it's in an issue zero.

A silly freesheet I got given. On the back, a bit of anti-Bush collage. Inside, a whimsical conversation and some odd news cuttings (fat policemen in Arab News, how to tell if your neighbour's a Satanist from Weekly World News - there's a one-in-ten chance in Birmingham they allege...)

This is a zine David Birchall gave me in exchange for Attack!!!! 9, which I gave him hoping he'd play the CD on his radio show. Very good of him! It consists of 3 comics, the first a truly bizarre kind of trip which I'm not sure how even to explain (the best bit is where the black bird wanders around with a sign saying "Yr shapes! Yr structures!"), the second a retelling of the genesis of Athene in Greek Mythology, and the last one a smoking cat telling us about an ranting Irishman who appears when he's drunk. The illustrations are perhaps a bit crude for some tastes - at the same time reminiscent of Chagall in places - but even so Extricate is nice to spend time with. Finally this:

Is the best thing I got all day at the zinefest, a collection of short short stories by Nicholas Ainsworth called 'Jason and Richard' with illustrations by Lucy Jones. My favourite, also the shortest:

'Robots' by Nicholas Ainsworth

"I feel like a robot"
"You are a robot!" zoinked Zim-Zam

More of this please!


twinklestah said...

thanks so much for the review of Moontower :) i'm glad you enjoyed it!

i got quite a few of the same zines, too. i've still(!) not had a chance to read or listen to Attack! but i want to. and shall.

Wes White said...

You're welcome! Hey what else did you get? I would've spent more, but the cash taken on stall vs. trainfare ratio was already looking bad...