Indie Buys for January + Thoughts On My First Zines

I went a little overboard on the 1AM Promise this month; instead of only buying one thing from an indie shop, I ended up buying a total of 6 from three different indie writers, and backing two Kickstarter projects….sorry about that, bank account, but it was totally worth it!

First off, since it will be shorter, I’ll talk about the Kickstarters I backed.

#1. Abbadon by Jimmy Palmiotti

Whoo, new graphic novel! It’s funny, I really dislike watching westerns, even what are widely regarded as ‘good’ westerns…I just can not get into them. The only one I’ve really enjoyed was Blazing Saddles…and that has waaaaay more to do with Mel Brooks than anything else. I digress. Despite not enjoying western films, I discovered that I really like reading westerns! I have no idea why, but the setting, style, and mood works so much better for me in book form than movie form. Abbadon looks excellent, I love the art, boom. Backed.

#2. Precious Stone Polyhedral Dice Set

I have to give some massive thanks to Diedre from Geek Pilgrimage for this one! She had a post for this Kickstarter on her blog, and I was immediately intrigued. Now that I have re-fallen in love with D&D after starting my first new campaign in ten years, I’ve been wanting a set of my own dice. Once I saw that they had sets available in Blue Sandstone, it was pretty much an insta-back. They are going to be soooooo damn pretty!! I probably won’t get my set until the end of April, and I am already so excited for it!

Alrighty, now let’s talk zines.

Firstly, I had to order zines from Sonya Cheney. Her blog is where I first heard the word zine, learned about what they are, and decided yup, I need to start reading them. I love her blog, so I figured I’d love her zines too! And I did.

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I think the main thing I love about them is how open and honest they are. Sonya talks about a range of topics in these zines, and while each piece may not be connected to the next, the whole zine flows seamlessly. Her writing is wonderful, and I can’t wait to snag the rest she has available! Wonderlust was great as well; a beautiful collection of works from many talented people.

From Pioneers Press I ordered three zines, from two separate writers. I couldn’t help but snap a pic of everything packaged up all cute!

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Better Days: Stuff That Helps With All This Anxiety was a little different than I was expecting. It lists tips and tricks to deal with anxiety, but overall it was less personal that I thought it would be. Definitely not bad, but I was a bit disappointed simply as it’s not what I was expecting.

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All The Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues by Julia Eff was fucking extraordinary. While it doesn’t quite describe it perfectly, this zine covers events from her childhood and how they’ve affected her as an adult. The subject matter is very heavy, and raw, but it’s the writing that makes it shine. I love her style. She managed to make me feel the emotions she felt at the time (with some really horrible stuff happening), and yet I never pitied her. There is never an ounce of ‘oh poor me’ despite some horrific things happening. Her strength shines through, and while it was very heavy reading, emotionally, it was also beautiful.

The two other zines were also by Julia Eff (it was a two-zine set called Pulling Teeth) and they were excellent as well. I loved that while these were both very short, the layout and design was fantastic. These were much more cut-&-paste than Cowboys, and it really added to the flow of the writing. Also, I loved that these were folded together, and when you unfolded it there is a whole flat sheet of paper full of tidbits to browse.

So after reading my first ever zines, my thoughts are that they are wonderful. As someone who loves memoirs, and personal blogs, these are like dessert forms of that kind of writing. I can already see this becoming a big addiction…I can’t wait until February to order more!

 

I’m Just Going To Veto The Last Two Weeks. Oh, and Zines.

Seriously, I’m pretending the new year just started this past weekend. Why? I’ve been sick nearly straight through since the weekend after Christmas. In all honesty, I was due – I very rarely get sick, I’ve been under a lot of mental stress, and once the holidays ended my body just went, “THAT’S IT. WE’RE SHUTTING DOWN.”, and BAM! Bring on the plague.

However, I am finally feeling pretty much 100% again and can’t wait to dive into my goals for January (which I am epically behind on)! Despite being sick, it was actually really nice to spend nights just vegging out with Netflix on the couch, and forcing myself to just RELAX. Yeah, the sickness part sucked, but I am so happy with myself for using all my free time to chill and recover, and not try and be working on projects and goals through the whole thing. It was a much needed break.

Today I want to talk about zines! As I mentioned in my yearly goals post, I really want to start reading zines. Why? Simply put, I feel they are right up my alley. I love memoirs, and personal blogs, and zines just seems like a fabulous mini-version of that. Plus, with every purchase I am supporting an indie business/artist/writer, which is yet another thing I love to do. So all around, it just seems like something I’m going to love.

I have to thank the wonderful Sonya Cheney for introducing me to the term ‘zine’ last year. As a zine writer herself, she had a few posts about them when I first started following her and I was instantly intrigued. Recently, she put together this post highlighting her favorite zine distributors. It’s an amazing jumping off point. There are pages and pages of zines to browse through! Here are my top picks for my first order:

Via Pioneers Press:

Anything by Julia Eff. I was drawn in by the titles, and after reading the descriptions, they sound amazing.

Better Days: Stuff That Helps With All This Anxiety by Sarah Rose. Given my anxiety struggles as of late, this sounds perfect.

Via Stranger Danger:

Always and Forever: A Zine About Friendship

Dig Deep, any of them.

 

I still need to decide what to order, but you can be sure they’ll be a post on my January picks! Do you read zines? What are some of your faves that I should check out?

Blogger Portrait #8: Meet Sonya!

This week, I’d like you to meet Sonya Cheney! Her blog is self titled, so just click the link to visit!

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I really love this portrait. I love the serious expression, and those pink headphones of course! Originally I had planned on adding color to the headband as well, but the black and pink contrast was so great that I just left it as is.

Onto her blog! I love Sonya’s blog for the personal nature. I know I say that a lot, but that’s because it’s so true! Feeling like there is an actual person behind a blog is so important to me. Sonya blogs about her life, her writing, books, and other fabulous nerdy things I enjoy. From reading her blog, it seems like we’d get along really well in ‘real life’ and that connection is always something I find really special in a blog.

I also love Sonya’s honesty within her posts. She isn’t afraid to talk about times when she’s down, or just not happy about something. I find it inspiring, especially as I’m still too shy to talk about my own issues to an extent on my blog!

Almost every Friday she does a gratitude post called It’s Friday; I’m In Love summing up the little things she’s loved about the week. I think that is so great – to take the time to notice the good things, no matter how small, no matter how crappy the rest of the week has been is wonderful, and I think it’s something more people should do!

I think it’s so rad that Sonya writes a zine! Her blog is actually the first place I ever encountered the word zine, which of course led to the question What is a zine? They are actually pretty sweet – one of my goals this year is to purchase some and start a collection! She sells her in her shop – check it out for yourself, and pick up a copy!

Make sure you stop by Sonya’s blog and shop, say hi, and leave some love! See you next Monday with another portrait!

– Kayly