Zine, Robert Gauvinov, Issue 10, 7 Larch Street, Suite 2, Ottawa, ON, K1R 6W4, free
If you’re an old person like me, you can remember a time when there was no internet connecting you to zine culture. Reviews in mags like Factsheet Five, Maximumrocknroll, and Broken Pencil were the only place you could find out what was going on out there. The tenth issue of Les Carnets de Rastapopoulos marks the 20th anniversary of Robert Gauvinov’s zine. Like a lot of zinesters who predate web 2.0, he has stubbornly adhered to the classic format the whole time: cut and paste, typewriter font, and distribution based not on online social networks, but by reading zine reviews in the back pages of magazines like this one and sending someone a copy and a letter requesting a trade.
I got such a letter and from Rob a few years ago and I found his zine to be an inspired compilation of trivia assembled by a smart weirdo. This installment is a greatest-hits collection of content from past zines, with topics including the discovery of Czech Pop Music on shortwave radio, unusual nautical formations off the coast of Europe, immoral acts committed by popes and some other topics I cannot discern because they are in French (Carnets is a bilingual zine). My favourite moment is when Rob describes zine reviews and the magic of receiving a tangible thing in the mail: “Everyone’s handwriting/typewriter font, layout style, (and) choice of images used all speak to our individuality.” Man, I miss making zines. (Chris Landry)