Issue #99.5

Fun & Games!

Features

Dr. Bug and Mr. Game Freak: The Fanzine Origins of Pokémon

In 1983, 17-year-old Satoshi Tajiri created Game Freak, a handmade tips-and-tricks guide for his favourite arcade games. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Tajiri also happens to be the creator of the highest-grossing video game of all time.

Journeys, on Paper: Jeeyon Shim and the Personal Resonance of Tabletop RPGs

“You can’t force the grain. If you can’t work with your own currents, you’re just fighting yourself.” Amid illness, foraging and introspection, Shim has become one of the most prolific creators in an indie tabletop gaming boom.

Review: Bones

Bones is a joyful, seafoam coloured zine covered in skulls, 70s orange flowers, beautiful brown vines, and white specks of dust.

Review: Artist

Amusing as it is honest, Artist achieves what few can in creating a cultural product about artists that doesn’t fall prey to the temptation to navel gaze or air sour grapes.

Review: If It Gets Quiet Later On, I Will Make a Display

Nick Thran’s book-fueled memoir revolves around Thran’s move from New York City to Fredericton, New Brunswick — in itself a shocking enough contrast that is layered on top of a change in lifestyle (home-ownership) and career (moving to full-time childcare).

Review: On Sneaking

Jon Iñaki's comic outlines their philosophy and tips to avoid detection. You must avoid lures that lead you into traps. You must unmesh yourself from the distortions that have so far distracted you from your path.

Review: Ritual: Reflections On The Things We Do

From describing full moon rituals to intricate political art projects and daily habits, many kinds of rituals are on display in this anthology. Though this theme should unify the content, it was difficult for me to really get into the writing.

Review: Together We Make the Dream Real

An earnest and unfiltered travelogue of the early 2010s, Travis Egedy parses half-thoughts about isolation, extinction, loss and art among a frenzied scene.

Art Holes: Amiga 600

Illustrator Stephen Maurice Graham shows us his transitory, functional space, their gaming gear, and how much his workspace looks like the things he draws.

TOOLKIT: Make Your Own Tabletop RPG

If you want help making your scrappy little art game full of weird characters and personal opinions and you think nerding out about systems to help enable your dream kind of play sounds like fun, let’s roll.

Review: Spa

Dealing with themes of power and class differences, follow mistreated employees, oblivious guests and a debt-ridden director in this wonderfully creepy graphic novel by Erik Svetoft. I haven’t been to a spa for many years. I’m in no hurry to go back.

Folio: Lonesome Bill Walker on Puppetry and Pee-wee

Folio asks artists and curators to gather works made with unexpected materials and adapt them for the printed page. In this issue we speak with Lonesome Bill Walker, whose woodwork and puppetry explore queerness and its rich strings throughout pop culture.

Working the Nightshift

“A board game is something that can reach people well beyond my existing community, who are already mostly very accepting of this line of work.” Australian artist and former dancer Exotic Cancer talks to us about her strip club roleplaying game.

Be Glad for SAD: Zine Fest Puts Accessibility Up Front

One of the biggest appeals of zines and their scenes is the low barrier of access. What good is self-publishing if it is too prohibitive for most people to participate?