Tetragrammaton Fragments #263 | Steve Keeter
A 64 page black and white digest zine for members of the United Fanzine Organization (UFO). Steve Keeter is the current chairman and compiler of this publication. The contents are from members of the UFO who are obligated to contribute articles, art, and reviews. They review zines from each other as well as zines from non members. They report on how their own zines are coming along. Sometimes they’ll write articles about a subject that interests them. There is a comic by Jason Bullock called “Mister Mrrdn!” in which a magician from the turn of the 19’th/20’th century uses a muse from the audience to perform a potentially devious trick (we won’t know until the next issue, presumably). There is a checklist at the back of the book of zines published by UFO members. Tetragrammaton Fragments reads like a blog with multiple contributors all providing commentary and feedback on each other’s work. I imagine this is rewarding for members of the UFO to receive earnest feedback in order to make use of it for the benefit of their hobbies of making zines and comics. For outsiders looking in, the critiques can be a bit of content overload, but the checklists and basic descriptions of small press publications will be helpful for folks who want to get ahold of these other zines by UFO members.
Mantra #12 | Steve Keeter
While Tetragrammaton Fragments was more of a newsletter, this is more of a mixed media creative content zine with prose, comics, and poetry. Being a UFO member, Steve is obliged to include a checklist in the back of his publication of current publications by other UFO members, which is handy. The cover of Mantra is misleading. You would think this is a primarily super-hero fan art zine, but there isn’t much of that at all. There is a 17 page anthropomorphic comic by Larned Justin that parodies the political climate of Missouri. A 7 page comic illustrated by Verl Holt Bond called “Love for a Fox” is a newly illustrated work by Mark Proskey, who wrote the script in the 1970’s. A 6 page hero and villain fight scene called “Emergence of the Cannibal Beast” starring Human Byrd and The Eye by Steve Shipley and Steve Keeter is the one super-hero moment of the zine. Also included: a 1 page comic by Kel Crum, poetry by Jim Main and Will Dockery, and prose by Joseph M. Shea and Mike Tuz. I particularly liked the piece by Mike Tuz about his ability to recycle the same wall calendar he’s had since 1964.
You can get a copy of each by sending 3 bucks for TF and 5 bucks for Mantra via PayPal to stevekeeter at gmail dot com.
Collectors Link Fanzine #2 | Alan Sissom
This is a 52 page zine with comics from various contributors, an interview, and review section (called “the ZINEology Report”). The cover is a painting by Susan Dorne. Comics are by myself, Micah Liesenfeld (Babies Behind Bars), Alan Sissom (The Saga of the Link), Larry Tisch (Cartoon Chuckles: A Tisch View of Comics and Collecting), and Steve Keeter (Galaxy Comics No. 1). The last mentioned is a reproduction of a penciled comic Steve did when he was 14 years old. I enjoy young people’s comics, and particularly enjoyed this artifact since it had some cold war-era undertones to it. It gave me insight into the psyche of American collective anxiety about things during that time, even though the story is mainly about a super-hero’s origin. The 4 page interview with examples of work is with Verl Holt Bond (interviewed by Jim Main). The Zineology Report follows with examples of the comics that Alan reviews. And finally, there is a letters section, acknowledgements, and some advertisements in the back. The inside back cover is by Steve Shipley. The all black and white contents are wrapped in a color cover, which enhances the inside covers as well.
You can get this by sending 6 bucks to Alan Sissom, PO Box 842, Greenwood, IN 46142. You can inquire about Alan’s other work by emailing comicslink at yahoo dot com.