Basic Paper Airplane contains many pieces that could be useful — and relatable — to other zinemakers. My favourite part of Joshua James’ zine is a section titled “A Brief History of the US Postal System.” It’s informative and sprinkled with amusing commentary that will get a chuckle out of you every now and then.
One piece that will definitely interest those who create zines describes the nomination and subsequent trip to an award’s ceremony for James and his friend after his friend’s zine is nominated for Zine of the Year by the Utne Reader. James describes the bewildering experience of seeing the differences between the small press and the even-smaller-press splayed out in front of him at the awards ceremony. There, they encounter other people in the alternative press and from indie publications, and they find stark differences in everything from publication topics to the philosophical approach one can have towards these forms of media in general. While the whole zine is a fun read, this piece is especially thoughtful and poignant. (Terry Harjanto)
Zine, #3, Joshua James, [email protected], $3 (postage paid in U.S., add $1 outside U.S., trades welcome, free to prisoners)