Getting personal: perzines from the collection

To continue the exhibition move to the final room: The LCC Zine Collection 10th Anniversary exhibition

A Blaze of Candles on my Cake: growing old when you’re bisexual, black and disabled by Jacq Applebee

Image is the cover of the zine on a wooden table with a black ballpoint pen placed alongside.  The cover has black typed text on white background with title and author name.  The word 'bisexual' is handwritten and placed at an angle to the rest of the text.  Cover has an image of a birthday cake with lit candles on the top and around the side.

I chose this zine, in part because I love this image of a birthday cake ablaze with a multitude of candles, squished in all around the edge: a fire hazard but who cares?!
In their own words, poet, zine artist and activist Jacq Applebee describes it: ‘Does getting older fill you with dread? For many lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people, this fear may be justified. But our future doesn’t have to be full of fear. I explore some of the realities of being Black, bisexual and disabled in a world that can be rough. I hope to spark hope for anyone reading this.’ The zine is printed in black type on standard white paper.

Old age is such a taboo subject and the directness and personal content of this zine; mixing poetry, raunchy story, and commentary, punches you straight in the face: makes you squirm, makes you cry, makes you laugh. I am not queer, am not black and have no physical disability – I am as nervous of old age as any middle-aged person might be (the closer it gets…) but reading Applebee’s zine makes me aware of how much more fearful a proposition it can be to a marginalised individual. These enlightening personal reflections force a confrontation of the reality that is absolutely a part of being human.

For a brief overview of Jacq Applebee this Stonewall poster is a good starting point.
You can find Jacq’s blog: Written in Shadows.
And this is a fascinating interview with Jacq Applebee, stand-up comedian Juliana Heng, and MSunnia taking about the process of art making and the quest for healing and justice through their practices.

Our copy of the zine is kept in Folder 81: Library catalogue


I watched a documentary on John McEnroe.

Why am I lying?

Cover image of Parfait issue 1 $5.  Cover is mint green with a red square on the left hand side.  Inside the square is an outline of a small unicorn also in mint green.

I read some reviews online of L’empire de la perfection, a documentary on the 84 French open. Enjoy tennis, no cultish devotion to it or anything. I’d read into this one some as I’d heard Serge Daney featured heavily. Daney (d.1992) was a film critic, French, and a tennis fan. Tennis, he said, in so many words, is the most cinematic sport, because, like cinema, it’s about the creation of time. Create of that what you will; I think it’s stirring, lovely.

That quote, which I’d read paraphrased, in a review online of a John McEnroe documentary, came to mind as I read issues 1 to 3 of parfait (mint green, mint green and winter in colour, respectively)

You can feel the time, handling handmade objects like these. Look, see there, the stitches were done by someone like you, kitchen table. Emily k Larned, their name. Some time between the 2003s and 7s. ‘You negotiate value everyday’, Emily writes. ‘What is it worth? Is what worth it?’ what did you value in 2003? Out of print books in secondhand shops, cooking for yourself (for you, it was for the first time, leaving home, how did that go?), the things you’d lost moving, the autofill on (some pre-Google) search engine (Lycos, maybe? Remember the teacher who told you ‘Google: accept no substitutes’? Why does it make you sad to think of him saying it?) the results that autofill in as you typed ‘is there…’, museum corridors, ‘dry vs wet monsters’, pre-60s music.

A lot like Emily Larned then. Maybe you’ve been drifting in the time they made, all this time.

See more of her work on Emily’s website. Issues 1 and 2 of this zine are kept in Folder 1, Issue 3 is in Folder 49: Library catalogue

Ghosts of Japan : anonymous zine maker

Ghosts of Japan is an interesting modern view of Japanese mythology and folklore that uses Japanese craftsmanship. This zine is a blend of culture and craftsmanship.

First the physical item is just a few pages with images printed onto delicate rice paper and hand stitched together. The whole zine itself has a traditional feel as it uses methods of production. The zine maker is unknown but they did leave a “hanko” a stamp on the last pages maybe of the maker?

The zine maker used traditional methods print the images onto rice paper and uses Yotsume Toji: Japanese four-hole binding method.

The choices of images for the content is chosen well, the cover of the zine is cleverly crafted around the  Japanese 1000 yen note which the real currency has the image of Hideyo Noguchi (bacteriologist ) on the cover and the images inside are of ghosts of Japan. The traditional type of ghost that is from Ukiyo-e print.

Everything about this zine has the hand-crafted. The images which reminds of the traditional Japanese woodblock printing method Ukiyo-e. Images are of from Japanese folklore and mythology from the lady with the stretching neck to the more familiar ghost umbrella “Kasa-Obake”.

An interesting zine that makes one consider how mythology and folklore are part of our lives from films, animations, story-telling traditions.

Our collection has a copy of Ghosts of Japan : Library Catalogue

To continue the exhibition move to the final room: The LCC Zine Collection 10th Anniversary exhibition

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