Last year at Canzine 2015, Broken Pencil assistant editor Jonathan Valelly assembled a panel of writers, artists, activists and zinemakers to discuss witchcraft, magick and the occult in their own practices and in zine culture as a whole. The panel was a big success, so much so that it inspired its own zine! We recently grabbed the finished product, Occultures: Magick in the Independent Arts, at the Toronto Art Book Fair. Edited by James Gunn, the zine features a lovely tidy black-and-white layout and features interviews from our smart and erudite magick panelists: Nico Mara-McKay, Jenna Danchuk, Amrit Brar, Lynx Sainte-Marie and Clementine Morrigan. The interviews focus heavily on the practices and beliefs of each artist, but the discussions also veer towards the occult’s role in race, gender, politics, sobriety and art practice. Want to learn about Chaos Magick? The queering of Witchcraft? Or what witchcraft looks like in Punjabi culture? You’ll looooove this zine.
Gunn is a thoughtful interviewer who clearly knows his shit when it comes to occult but also possesses a natural curiosity and humility that comes through amply in these pages. This is a beautiful artifact that extends the discussion of indie art and the occult and is a great primer for curious readers and budding occultists. (Alison Lang)