Zine Reviews – July 2008

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Chiaroscuro
Issue #31 “The Bridal Issue”
According to people (geeks) who actually give a shit about zines (poorly-stapled rags read by geeks), Chiaroscuro has been littering select grimy corners of Salt Lake for years. I’ve never heard of it but, then again, I don’t have a closet full of hoodies and daddy issues, either, so there ya go. Speaking of issues, this one is billed as “The Bridal Issue,” so I half-expected it to be full of photos of those fucking idiots dressed in fucking wedding regalia all over fucking downtown, even though nobody actually fucking gets married downtown, especially not the fucking crackers these fucking photographers fucking use. Nope, just a handful of horribly laid-out (the paragraph was invented for a reason) but mostly well-written (again, the paragraph thing) stories about rape, murder, suicide, dead pets and unemploymentit’s the feel-good hit of the summer, kiddies! I’m guessing the “Gang- Bang Snuff Issue” will just be gardening tips.


Xploited Zine
Issue 002
Three digits in the issue number? Really? That’s pretty damn optimistic. Appropriately for #2, this edition of San Francisco zine Xploited is all about public restrooms. Yes, the whole damn issue, which adds up to over 50 pages of stories about pissing and fucking (none simultaneously), because what else do you do in public restrooms? Despite the subject matter, Xploited is a nicely put-together zine: Quality paper, readable type, actual grammar and punctuation, interesting writers with something to say—most of which doesn’t apply to this rag! But, for all of the mid-to-highbrow prose within, my favorite part of Xploited 002 is a simple two-line zinger: “Joke: What’s the best part of a blowjob? Answer: Five minutes of peace and quiet.” So fucking true.