Zine Reviews by Abbie Foxton

MC Sunflower Jones

Ain’t Misbehavin’ – A Billie Holiday Pocket Reader

by MC Sunflower Jones

These teeny zines thrill me. Such a neat fit, perfect for inside a dolls hands or fob pocket. I used to make zines like this, way back when I used to run with scissors. So its size I feel immediately taken with. Subject. Ain’t Misbehavin. Jazz siren, Billie Holiday gracing its cover. Big magnolia bursts like a bullet hole, black and white, pages stapled and unaligned so charming. You feel other things being done while this was made, it is relaxing to hold. A little bit of magic for the eyes to get lost in and the ears to remember the honey dripping. “Her haunting voice drifted through the small nightclub” Miss Holiday starts up, “Southern trees bear strange fruit” I can hear the protest, fear and tears. Dierdree Prudence & Steven Hughes Purkey popped this one out. The small snippet they have chosen from her life says so much via lyrics weaved through the minds of the punters watching, reveling in her magic blues, contemplating why she spoke to them. But something else is revealed, an observation of what happens to the artist who becomes our heroine. “Her voice was hampered by her excess but without one there was not the other” A wonderful zine of a minute reflections, strange fruit indeed.  More can be found at MC Sunflower’s Etsy shop.

The Wage System

Alexander Berkman – The Wage System And Law And Government     

Published by Thoughtcrime Ink

Having grown up in St Petersburg during the time of uprising and revolution, Anarchist Alexander Berkman was intrigued with the nihilism that permeated through the city. A sort of romanticism ensued, culminating in a misadventure that led to a lengthy prison stay in which he wrote a few books and contemplated on the relationship between law, government and the exploitation of the working class. Long winters, and ill health led to his suicide in 1936. But he left a legacy of work to discuss and anarchic publishers Thoughtcrime Ink have chosen two chapters from his book What Is Communist Anarchism? published in 1929, to highlight the content inside What Is Anarchism,  in one of their editions of classic anarchists. There is a real gentleness to his approach to informing. He doesn’t talk down to his readers, he seems to want to make sure you understand with a straightforward, condensed and centered approach. He talks of ‘our life of chance.’ So this is an explanation of our fate. The traps of the workingman, the death of the artisan and how we all have lost control of our lives through a capitalist system. We sell our labour, we manage on the wages while our employers reap the profits. We become possessions of the rich, a kind of stolen property and we give society the thumbs up to let this happen. Berkman harks back to the time when everyone worked for themselves. My copy is full of lines and notes from previous eyes and as an ex librarian I’ve seen my share of nutters and visionaries, rebels giving their two bobs worth, defacing text or mouth breathers drawing cocks on lips. Fortunately the comments in this zine add to the original. One gets the feeling that this has been shared by many like minds and a little further reading to be discovered.

Arik's Dream

Ariks Dream by Liz Worth

A continuation of sorts from previous chap books Manifestations and Eleven:Eleven.  This is a book of wishes and dreams manifested. So sensuous and unsettling. Enchanted or possessed, it is about intuition and hypersenses aroused. Their reality lives inside the animate and inanimate, they feel everything where “rain against the roof is “tapping fingers, falling pennies”. T and Ariks fate is on the path to the darkest heart of the forest. Life is breathed in and out of reality. Orgasms relieve the pain. Nightmarish vignettes overtake. This book makes you giddy, such beautiful prose and imagination. http://www.lizworth.com/books/ Sold Out, this one I’m keeping.

Abbie Foxton is an original cut and paste mistress and old school paper sniffer. Fluent in kitchen French, if she’s not playing with knives, you will find her down the pub, tearing up the felt, sabotaging jukeboxes while discussing the eleventh dimension.If all else fails, you’ll find her reviews and photography here and there. Her love for zines has never waned, she just forgot they existed.

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