Loaded Magazines

New titles in Utne's mailbox feature small towns, big ideas

| November / December 2005


Unfolding from a small town in Iowa is FISHWRAP, an eclectic and interesting new quarterly journal, small in format but large in spirit. It's published by the nonprofit Institute for Small Town Studies, and the first six issues cover topics ranging from movable dwellings, basketball aesthetics, and shortline railroads to tiny towns, effects of celebrities on small towns, and Walt Whitman's influence on Yiddish poets. (Available by donation from Box 13, Fairfield, IA 52556; www.ists.org.)

Representing larger communities, H Magazine, a new zine about urban landscapes, examines faded signs, old buildings, architectural ornament, lost and found items, apartments with names, and other things that often go overlooked or unquestioned. Despite its local focus on Hamilton, Ontario, H ought to inspire urban readers anywhere to look at their cities with fresh eyes. ($15 [$20 Canadian]/6 issues, payable to HTD Media c/o Dave Kuruc, Box 89023, 991 King Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4R5, Canada; htdmedia.ca.)

Far broader in scope is World Pulse ('Women & Children Transforming Our World'), a significant new magazine covering women's efforts for peace and justice around the globe, with articles on such topics as midwifery, indigenous grandmothers' organizing, and AIDS work in Africa. ($23/6 issues from Box 55127, Portland, OR 97238; www.worldpulsemagazine.com.)

From England, reminding us of Clamor magazine, Bulb ('Bright Ideas from Underground') is a new magazine by and for young people challenging the status quo. The July/September 2005 issue (#5) includes profiles of political resisters around the globe, point-counterpoint on immigration policy, international views on truth, and five pages of reviews. (?38 British from 55 Rectory Rd., Oxford, OX4 1BW England; www.bulbmag.com.)



Speaking of views, if you share my tastes, The Review of Everything I've Ever Encountered, a zine of personal writings by London-based Craig Taylor, may compel you to devour it in one sitting. In the April 9 issue (vol. 2 #2), Taylor writes with dry humor and appropriate detail about singing in a nightclub in Ho Chi Minh City, engaging in a surreal phone conversation with a solicitor calling from Calcutta, and watching homemade videos in the window of an Indian restaurant. ($2/sample from 25-A Landor Rd., London, SW9 9RT, England.)

Known for its how-to-make-a-zine handbook Stolen Sharpie Revolution, Microcosm Publishing has recently issued Cindy Crabb's Doris: An Anthology of Doris Zines from 1991-2001 and Making Stuff & Doing Things: A Collection of DIY Guides to Doing Just About Everything. (5307 N. Minnesota Ave., Portland, OR 97293; www.microcosmpublishing.com.)