The first in a series of posts detailing what I am currently finding inspiring.
Zines were a big part of my early 90s high school experience, so it has been interesting to watch them make a comeback in recent years. If you're currently in the grips of Zine Mania--whether through nostalgia or first-blush contact with small press insanity--you NEED to check out the zines put out by Heretical Sexts.
Heretical Sexts is a small-press imprint dedicated to producing "weird words on dead trees" and "publications for discerning creeps." Full disclosure: I've contributed writing or editing to the various Heretical Sexts projects, but believe me when I tell you that these things are the real deal. The writing is out there; the voices in these zines are unique; the art and production values are all top-notch. Thus far there are three stand-alone issues you might want to grab:
My Dream Date with a Villain: 14 contributors describe their romantic encounters with infamous characters from history and fiction. Always humorous, sometimes horrific and occasionally erotic, this fully-illustrated volume includes a range of subjects including Elizabeth Bathory, Doctor Doom, Ilsa She-Wolf of the S.S., the Hamburglar, Madame Defarge, and many, many more. (Include my tale of longing for Bellatrix Lestrange.)
Forever Doomed: 28 pages of essays and comics by Tenebrous Kate taking a tongue-in-cheek look at all things doom: The Metal Mid-life Crisis of "Black Roses"; Adventures at Maryland Deathfest; Erotic Rites of the Nazgûl; Dennis Wheatley: Unlikely Icon; Style Lessons from "Curse of the Crimson Altar"; "Let Sleeping Corpses Lie."
Witch Women: Witch Women is an exploration of the many facets of the relationship between femininity and the occult. The zine features original art and essays ranging from the esoteric to the light-hearted: “Hag Couture,” cheeky advice on fashion and ritual realness by S. Elizabeth; “Ace of Worlds,” an encounter with the tarot by Tom Blunt; “The Scarlet Women,” an illustrated history of erotic magic written by Heather Drain and illustrated by Tenebrous Kate; “Darkening the Coven,” an RPG supplement by Jack W. Shear; Art by Dana Glover, Becky Munich, and Carisa Swenson. (I actually think "Darkening the Coven" is the best RPG thing I've written.)
At $5 a pop, these are a steal. The BigCartel shop is here. You know what to do. You know what to do.
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Speaking of zines, I just got these in the mail from Thuban Press:
If you like the idea of kinky post-scripts to Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" and "The Fall of the House of Usher," definitely do yourself a pervy favor and check out "In Pace Requescat" and "The Hideous Dropping Off of the Veil." For a more traditional and lovely take on a Victorian fairy tale, Julia Gfrorer's illustrated version of Oscar Wilde's "The Star Child" cannot be beat.