Zine Reviews – 20.1

It’s a beautiful thing what someone with a lot of ideas but not a lot of money can do when trying to put together something for public consumption, because everyone knows that ideas minus money equals creativity. That’s sort of what you’ve got when you pick up one of these ‘zines. The people who put their time and effort (and when unavoidable, money) into getting these to the public at large do so without the carrot-in-the-face mind-set that drives most of society. These ‘zines are meant to be enjoyed, and since they’re usually quite limited in numbers, if you get your hands on one, be happy you didn’t pay for it. These are a few of the underground morsels you may be lucky enough to see.

Mr. Nice Guy

Issue #16-The focus is a little off-center for a skate ‘zine with articles about breakfast cereal, how to steal, and what your favorite candy’s made from, but this is definitely for skaters. Staying true to the underground movement, you can find the author’s suggestions about what other ‘zines to check out, a hand-drawn review of past covers (all sixteen!), and a ten-parks-in-one-day guide for the SF area. If this sounds good to you, send ten dollars to 461 43rd Street Oakland, California 94609, and you’ll be set up for life.

Swellbow

The name alone says it all-this is easily an underground skateboard magazine. According to the intro, the author is living out of an ’82 Civic after losing his job due to skate-related/being-drunk-related incidents. The ‘zine itself is centered around the Colorado scene (or the Denver scene, more specifically) and gives you a pretty thorough glimpse of what life’s like for kids in the Rocky region. From check outs (you might have heard of this month’s star Eric Shelley) and band reviews (Planes Mistaken For Stars) to poetry, this ‘zine is as close as you can get to the real thing. The only thing that’s missing is a price and an address where you can contact them.

Burnside

If you haven’t been to what is now one of the best-known skater-made parks in all of the world, it’s high time you got your ass to Burnside. Having not been there myself, I had no idea what it’s all about. Thanks to this little ‘zine that shares the same name, I now have a burning desire to roll through it at least once. The first couple pages of this ‘zine are filled with a very clear, descriptive build-up into how Burnside came to be. The rest of the ‘zine is a picture-perfect tribute to the whole show, from the clean-up to the break-down.

I don’t know how you can come across one of these, but if you see a ‘zine with a white cover and a black-and-white photo bearing the name BURNSIDE, grab it and don’t let go. It’s as close as you can get to being there (I think!).

This Is The Flow

This is the most professional of the bunch. I don’t know the exact nature of why it is what it is, but it appears to be a Girl Skateboard Company publication that delves into the inner-workings of the company itself. They have interviews with Rick Howard and some of the designers, as well some obscure facts about all things connected to the world’s leading superpower of skateboarding. But more importantly, they have a page you can tear out that has the shape of a skateboard cut out of it-all you need to do is hold it in front of your face and everything in the world becomes a skateboard graphic. It’s magic.

So get on the phone, call up Girl, and demand that you be sent one of these ‘zines. They may deny its existence, or they may say they gave them all away, but one thing to remember is that until you’ve seen it with your own eyes you’ll never know as much as I do. Ha!