Zine Reviews: Volume 14 (Parson Zine Collective)
Please note, some of these I loved. Others not as much. But I would still rather read a zine than what magazines offer on the newsstand. It’s profoundly more personal and I feel lucky to have been one of the 30 to have gotten my hands on these.
Tiago Mena Abrantes, an artist who recently move to New York City from Angola for art school, brought me this collection of fanzines from the Parsons Zine Collective. The school provides funding for up to 30 copies of zines for the students. Parsons, for those of you who don’t know, is an art school in downtown Manhattan. These zines are art, and are a smart delivery system for students to get their work seen. I know that I wouldn’t have heard of any of these students if I didn’t have the zines in hand.
Some of the visual work I found compelling but if I had to guess I would say the students who produced these are not from the fine arts, illustration, or photography departments. Maybe creative writing since that was the strongest element. Layout seemed sloppy as if this were their first attempt at making fanzines. Artwork and text being cut off in the margins by the copy machine is not acceptable. You would get an “F” on that from me if I was your zine teacher. “F*ck off,” I can imagine them saying to me. I am good with that. My suggestion: If you are only making 30 copies, print them on better paper, cardstock maybe. Forget staples! There are so many better ways to bind your zines. That would have helped make these zines collectable.
One of the zines is not pictured or discussed here, as it was confiscated by my 5-year-old daughter because of the lovely unicorns on the cover. Unfortunately the inside cover had a photo of a college rapist who was being outed. She can’t read so I think it’s okay. I never did get that one back. The photo shows one zine not listed below. It was full of images. I really had nothing to say about it but I didn’t want to leave it out of the photo.
Cum Here Often? A Tinder Experiment
In this short zine the creator asked men, via text on Tinder, the same question, getting directly to the point: “How would you like to fuck me?” The responses are hilarious and a bit sad. The last one states: “With a condom on. Actually 2” It also shows photos from their profiles with the eyes blacked out.
Loved the writing. It held my interest and I could have read plenty more. Style, form original content were all there. This was my favorite though the layout wasn’t that great. It had many of the issues I wrote about above but the writing was fantastic. I hope there is a number 2. However, the artwork is somewhat boring and not very innovative.
Bathtub Joint #3
As you can guess, this zine is about smoking weed in the bathtub, which, as a subject, I am not interested in, so I withhold my judgment for those better suited to the task.
The Parsons Challenge ’D Zine
The text is too small and the artwork was scanned in and the specs slipped in the layout so everything looks squished. I would like to ask the maker this question: “Did you want anyone to look at this? Read this? Why would you not fix that?” I had a hard time caring about reading it since you seemed not to care how it was printed. Is this something were the Millennials are trying to be ironic? Am I too old to get the joke?
The Antagonists attend zine shows in the Pacific Northwest, and the greater New York City area. Our next appearance will be at the Portland Zine Symposium on July 9th. Please make sure to look for us and drop off your zine for review! Support independent art!
Ethan H. Minsker is a writer, artist and independent filmmaker. Minsker has written screenplays and produced and directed eight independent films. He is the founder of the Antagonist Movement, Inc., a consortium of artists, writers and musicians based in New York's East Village. Mr. Minsker was also the creator and editor-in-chief of Psycho Moto Zine, in publication from 1988-present. Mr. Minsker received his B.F.A. in Film with honors from the School of Visual Arts and his masters in Media from the New School. He lives in New York City.