Friday, 19 June 2015
Two Zine Reviews for the Price of None
In this post I will be offering you a brief summary of not one but two zines.
Why two zines?
Primarily because both deal with the same subject - veganism (or vegan tourism) - in the same way, by creating what are both witty and informative little guides for vegans trying to find places to eat in two very different UK cities. Also because I'm quite lazy and its easier than writing two different posts.
The first of them, A Vegan Guide to Newcastle, which has been put out by newcastlenerdpunx.wordpress.com, I found in the great, zine-friendly, independent comic shop Travelling Man (its actually an expanding chain, but still a very small one at the present time), during a recent trip to that city in the north-east of England. The zine is comprised of mostly descriptive passages of text, but is greatly helped by the many simple yet realistic pen drawings of the places featured. Sadly, I only had time to check out two of the places mentioned in the zine, but I was not disappointed. Both the Settle Down Cafe and Tea Sutra had great service and a chilled out vibe, while the food in the first was amazing, the choice of herbal teas in the second was quite frankly overwhelming. You would need to live in Newcastle to be able to sample everything!
I am going to overlook the terrible pun in the title of the second vegan guide: TimeSprout: A Vegan Tourist's Guide to London, because while the artwork is not as polished, it is written in a far more entertaining style, is attempting to cover a far larger city (except the west end, which the authors admit they don't know as much about), is lovingly bound with beautiful soft string which gives it a handmade quality which reminds me of my wife's aesthetic tastes, and if that weren't enough is being produced with the help of the folks at Footprinters and Active Distro as a benefit comic for the Green and Black Cross. GBC is a 100% volunteer grassroots group who have been around for five years, and who provide legal support to activists working on liberatory social change (the combination of factors is so right-on it hurts!)
If you are looking to connect with a more ethical life through the prism of a lively, grassroots DIY culture what more could you ask for than these two amusing and informative little zines?