Introducing Our 2023 Winter Issue: Your Own Personal Joker

The Joker is the most popular fictional character of our era. Seeing through the veils of the frail society we live in, it’s hard not to laugh. What will become of this Joker-fied world? Streets rampant with hooligans and circus-themed villainy? Parade balloon related crimes? Do people really want to watch the world burn, or are there still a few clowns who’d rather throw pies?

Vera Drew has gone through many transformations in her life, no vat of acid required. The filmmaker spent her pandemic creating The People’s Joker, an autobiographical Batman movie of queer awakenings, artistic rebellions, punk sensibilities and a city that desperately needs an enema. Just one hitch: Despite the stake the public has put into the clown prince of crime, the character remains the intellectual property of a major Hollywood studio. The People’s Joker only had one public screening before Warner Bros. retaliated, putting future plans for the movie in peril.

In this issue we speak with Vera Drew about The People’s Joker and the fight to give the Joker back to the people. On top of this profile, Issue 98 includes:

  • The winners of the 2022 Broken Pencil Zine Awards!
  • Jenn Woodall reflects on her faith, comics, 40 years of Love and Rockets.
  • Why artist Vincent Trasov dressed like Mr. Peanut and ran for mayor.
  • The Etsy strike and how online artisans are banding together to demand a better deal.
  • P.E.O.W. looks back at their astonishing comics run.
  • No Toner archives the sleaziest zines of the 80s and 90s.
  • YouTube’s Kreal shows us where the magic happens.
  • Olivia Mae Sinclair adds texture to text with fabric stitched zines.




About Broken Pencil Magazine

“Broken Pencil is the entertaining, indispensable guide to zines.” – The Toronto Star

Since 1995, we have been a print magazine and online hub dedicated exclusively to exploring independent creative action. Our mandate is to raise awareness of the possibilities of independent print publishing and underground creative action, with a special emphasis on the DIY zine scene. Published four times a year in full colour, each issue of Broken Pencil features reviews of hundreds of zines and small press books, plus comics, excerpts from the best of the underground/independent press, interviews, original fiction and advice/how-tos about all aspects of the independent printed arts. From the hilarious to the perverse, Broken Pencil challenges conformity and demands attention.


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