Thursday 14 May 2015

Zine review: Morgenmuffel

I cannot believe I have not mentioned Morgenmuffel, which for more than a decade between the 1990s and very recently, has chronicled the life of its creator Isy, a German-born anarchist, and her experience of life, love, friendship, political activism and DIY culture in the UK.

There is a humanity to Isy's work which is as beautifully honest as it is by turns angry, impassioned, funny and, at times, heartbreaking. In 2009 many of the main stories from Isy's early zines were collected in book form by Last Hours as Diary of a Miscreant. The collection runs the gamut from anti-G8 protests and climate camps to mini-rants about things that annoy her (everything from periods to the gentrification of Brighton, England, a place which long-term followers will know I'm very familiar with). I found the most personal identification in shorter pieces of hers like "My First Big Demo" and "Bovine Encounter," as well as the title itself, which is apparently derived from a German word for a person who do does not like waking up early.

If you're lucky you might find a few copies via Active Distribution of London. Age, life events and a downshift to a rural co-op means that Isy will be producing Morgenmuffel far less than previously, but I hope more will follow soon, together with a fresh print-run of Diary of a Miscreant.

Thursday 7 May 2015

Zine Review: animalus

I recently discovered a copy of another zine by Carrie MacKinnon, which was lucky because her website appears to be down, and Active Distribution appear to have sold out of copies (I can only hope there will be more soon as this is a brilliant little zine).

Unlike the heart-rending tales of migrants in Aminullah, another zine by MacKinnon that I reviewed here last year, the focus of animalus is animal rights, and the end result is a zine packed with stories that use the logic of science fiction to make us think about things in a completely fresh way.

The zine is also packed with useful information for veggies, vegans, raw foodists or anyone concerned about the sources of our food or the ingrained assumptions that often go with it. It is angry, impassioned and thoughtful.

From a creative perspective, by far the strongest story in animalus is the title story "when we were cows."

It is my hope that by creating a record online through this review I will in some small way help to foster demand and a new print-run will be out soon. For the time being, if you want to find a copy yourself you could get in touch with Freedom Bookshop in London (where I found my copy), Active Distribution or Footprint Worker's Co-operative who printed it.

Update: Her website's new URL is