From alien hipsters to glittery tampons, there's something for everyone in this selection of new zines, handpicked by ICA Bookshop Sales Advisor Peter Willis. All zines are available online or from our bookshop on the Mall.
Good Folks #1
If, like me, you think Studs Terkel was one of the best people to ever exist on this planet, you might find this of interest - a brand new pocket-sized journal dedicated to oral history. This first issue contains the testimony of several characters all based in London, including named butchers, opera singers, barristers and homeless people, as well as anonymous overhearings in various bookshops, department stores and golf courses. Warning: may make you start talking to people on the bus.
Have you ever had a hankering for a publication with a glittery, bloodied tampon on the back cover? Well, as always, the ICA’s got you covered. Polyester had a killer first year and issue transferring the aesthetic and politics of its tumblr feminism into a 40-page neon headache and this issue carries on with their mix of fashion, post riot-grrl and no-one over 20. If it makes you feel old it’s because you are mate.
All across London/"the cloud" are various iPhone pictures of this journal held at arms length. In the few weeks I carried it around seemingly every conversation eventually got to “I’ve been reading this new journal, do you know it?” Regardless of whether the topic is the dance-poetics of the Turf Feinz collective from Oakland, the incredible zines/flyers produced alongside the free party scene of 90s Britain, Mary J Blige’s My Life or how 924 Gilman St always seemed like the best place on earth, Howard Slater, Sean Bonney, Iain Boal, Matteo Pasquinelli, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Anne Boyer and many others manage to distill into over 200 pages of lightweight, off-white Munken enough variant insights and wit to warrant several of my acquaintances to say “Let me just take a picture of this it sounds great.”
Rag N Rock #4
Aliens descend on Hoxton and take control of a disused photocopier churning out, on a consistent bi-monthly basis, a collection of typed cosmic screeds and high-contrast toner-heavy images in order to communicate with a fractured and stagnant humankind. The editor/captain of this ship is one Hans Kern and his message is: the cosmos is closer than we think. This issue includes a burning sun poster to remind you how close that is.
The impetus for this new journal of art and writing came when one of the editors, looking for some old drawings, found them in a box also occupied by some thoroughly decayed former fruit, now covered in mould and fungus, which gave new life (literally) to the works. This neatly sums up the disparate and varied content, with a focus on the suburban, rejected, forgotten and grey. Keep calm and eat a cupcake. ■