The DIY graphic design/publishing revolution of Letraset

The Pulp Librarian tweeted a fun history of Letraset's rub-on lettering sheets. Launched in 1959, the dry transfer letters transformed DIY design and publishing, from 'zines to record albums! Below are a few of the tweets. Click here for the whole thread!

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Review: What Do You Call That Noise? An XTC Discovery Book

Two years ago, I reviewed Andy Partridge and Todd Bernhardt's highly-recommended Complicated Game: Inside the Songs of XTC, a collection of deep-nerding conversations between these two musicians about beloved XTC tracks. While that book was a wonder, it understandably focused on Andy and his contributions to the band. While deepening my admiration and appreciation for the band, it left me hungry for more.

Enter What Do You Call That Noise? An XTC Discovery Book. I didn't think I could love an XTC book more than Complicated Game, but this book just keeps inspiring and surprising me every time I poke my nose into it. This is a delightful and dizzying collection of XTC exploration, analysis, and devotion that should stoke the soul coal of any hardcore fan of the band.

Put together by Mark Fisher, editor of Limelight, the 80s XTC zine, this book is a collected conversation between dozens of musicians deconstructing XTC songs, interviews with ALL of the band members (including their Spinal Tap-worthy causality list of drummers), kids and young music students reacting to XTC music, home studio recording tips from Andy Partridge, Andy on music theory (or lack thereof) and songwriting. Contributors include Rick Buckler (The Jam), Chris Difford (Squeeze), Debbi Peterson (The Bangles), Steven Page (Barenaked Ladies), Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa), Peter Gabriel, and many more.

Also included are a piece on drummers breaking down some of Terry Chambers more brilliant moments, members of XTC tribute bands around the world talking about their music, a cultural studies professor on the genius of Colin Moulding's lyrics, a piece about a German YouTuber who's covering his way through the XTC catalog, and the (apparently) obligatory photo tour of Swindon, England (the band's beloved home town). Read the rest

Kickstarter Challenge: make an RPG-themed zine!

Inspired by the success of Judges' Guild, Kickstarter has launched Zine Quest, a challenge to crowdfund an RPG-themed zine ("must either contain an RPG or feature RPG-related content like maps, adventures, monsters, comics, articles, interviews, etc."); there's an impressive array of entrants already. Read the rest

Kickstarting a monthly zine that celebrates 1923 works that entered the public domain this year

This month, for the first time in a generation, America's public domain grew, as the 20-year freeze created by the 1998 changes to copyright law finally thawed. Read the rest

Pioneering punk print 'zine Maximum Rocknroll is ceasing publication after nearly 40 years

Maximum Rocknroll, the seminal punk print 'zine launched in 1982, is ceasing publication of its paper edition. This truly marks the end of an era in punk culture and underground media. According to today's announcement, MRR will continue its weekly radio show, post record reviews online, continue its archiving effort, and launch other new projects that will keep the unbreakable Maximum Rocknroll spirit alive. From MRR:

Maximum Rocknroll began as a radio show in 1977. For the founders of Maximum Rocknroll, the driving impulse behind the radio show was simple: an unabashed, uncompromising love of punk rock. In 1982, buoyed by burgeoning DIY punk and hardcore scenes all over the world, the founders of the show — Tim Yohannan & the gang — launched Maximum Rocknroll as a print fanzine. That first issue drew a line in the sand between the so-called punks who mimicked society’s worst attributes — the “apolitical, anti-historical, and anti-intellectual,” the ignorant, racist, and violent — and MRR’s principled dedication to promoting a true alternative to the doldrums of the mainstream. That dedication included anti-corporate ideals, avowedly leftist politics, and relentless enthusiasm for DIY punk and hardcore bands and scenes from every inhabited continent of the globe. Over the next several decades, what started as a do-it-yourself labor of love among a handful of friends and fellow travelers has extended to include literally thousands of volunteers and hundreds of thousands of readers. Today, forty-two years after that first radio show, there have been well over 1600 episodes of MRR radio and 400 issues of Maximum Rocknroll fanzine — not to mention some show spaces, record stores, and distros started along the way — all capturing the mood and sound of international DIY punk rock: wild, ebullient, irreverent, and oppositional.

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Liartown, USA leaves Tumblr over NSFW-ban; announces new 544-page Crap Hound book "devoted to images notable for their lack of positivity"

Liartown, USA is Sean Tejaratchi's (previously) incredible, longrunning visual surreal satire site, and it is the latest casualty of parent company Verizon's decision to purge the site of all NSFW content effective Dec 17. Read the rest

New issue of Faesthetic, the lavish and mindbending art 'zine

Boing Boing pal Dustin "UPSO" Hostetler has published the fifteenth issue of his long-running print 'zine Faesthetic, the exquisitely-produced visual wunderkammer of art/illustration/design. Faesthetic #15 is themed "Convergent Visions" and I was delighted to contribute an essay about the Voyager Golden Record as an iconic artifact of futures thinking. The issue features work by all of these incredible creators: Christan Mendoza, Jon Contino, Adam Griffiths, Adrian Cox, Alex Barrett, Caitlin Russell, Chris Nickels, Dang Olsen, Elaine Miller, Gabrielle Rosenstein, Janne Iivonen, Prate™, Jeremyville, Jim O’Boyle, John Szot, Josh Row, Julian Glander, Justin Harris, Karen Ingram & Nicola Patron, Kyle Knapp, Leanna Perry, Loc Huynh, Maggie Chiang, Marta Piaseczynska, Max Löffler, Okell Lee, Pedro Nekoi, Tara McPherson, Thayer Bray, Bryan C. Lee Jr, and Alison Conway.

Buy Faesthetic for just $10. Here's the story behind this edition:

The idea for “Convergent Visions” took root in the halls of South By South West in 2017. After a mind-boggling keynote delivered by biochemist Jennifer Doudna, Faesthetic publisher Dustin Hostetler and creative director Karen Ingram bumped into Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer of SXSW. This chance meeting sparked a conversation between Karen and Dustin that became a collaborative effort with the 2018 SXSW Art Program.

“Convergent Visions” probes various areas in science and technology through an artistic lens. Overarching themes include Design, Health and Wellness, Social Impact and the Intelligent Future become realized through the creativity vibrating and flowing from the minds and fingers of 30 international artists and designers.

With a nod to Donna Haraway’s characterization of the emerging and many-tentacled epoch of the Chthulucene, “Convergent Visions” showcases the visions of these talented creatives.

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Oh please let zines be the future of media!

In Nieman Labs's "predictions for journalism in 2018" roundup, there's Kawandeep Virdee’s "Zines Had It Right All Along": which celebrates the low-fi, experimental, handcrafted diversity of the golden age of zines (which was the environment that birthed Boing Boing, as it happens). Read the rest

Skies, a zine of landscapes shot from airplane windows

Dean Putney, software engineer, editor of his grandfather Walter Koessler's wartime photojournal and former Generalissimo of Development at Boing Boing, published a lovely zine of photos he's taken over the years from airplane window seats.

Individually, each is just a well-framed shot of the ground from the sky. Collectively, a striking view of the world that puts other things in perspective.

It came in a curious linotyped envelope featuring one of the landscapes. Perhaps Dean'll pop into the comments to explain how he made the stamp!

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Pepe as a universal symbol for love, peace and acceptance

Matt Furie is the creator of Pepe the Frog, a "peaceful and chilled out" character that appeared in his 2006 zine, Boy's Club. Matt wants to reverse the "negative" branding Pepe's received of late and has launched a Kickstarter for a new zine "reclaiming Pepe's status as a universal symbol for peace, love, and acceptance."

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Kickstarting Bikequity, a feminist bicycle zine about class and social justice

Elly Blue (previously) writes, "Bikequity is the 14th issue of my long-running (since 2010) feminist bike zine, Taking the Lane." Read the rest

A university librarian explains why her zine collection's catalog is open access

Marta Chudolinska is Learning Zone Librarian at the Ontario College of Art and Design University, which hosts a huge zine collection founded in 2007 Alicia Nauta, then a student. Read the rest

Indie feminist technology magazine "The Recompiler" needs $3000 to get to year three

Sumana writes, "The Recompiler is a feminist technology magazine launched in 2015. Their goal is to help people learn about technology in a fun, playful way, and highlight a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. They're running a fundraiser right now, asking for $3,000 in subscriptions, book orders, contributions and ads, to publish the seventh issue on time and sail into its third year, and they've made $2236 so far. And for every $500 raised, podcast host Christie Koehler will record a dramatic reading of a tongue-twister." Read the rest

"I read zines to escape surveillance and clickbait."

Zine publisher Jonno Revanche says he likes zines because they are not connected to a network infected with crap: clickbait, tracking, trolls, etc.

From his piece in The Guardian:

There’s a liberty to creating, or witnessing subversive material knowing that it won’t be monitored, that the information is contained only within the pages of the zine. The trustworthiness of a physical object in our current age is strangely compelling. Links shared via Facebook or messenger apps can be intercepted, logged, or dispersed otherwise into the ether. Especially for teenagers, zines counter the anxiety and subsequent frantic deletion of browser history so that your family can’t see it. Hide it under your bed instead, or in a zipped inner sanctum within your school bag.

(Thanks, Kathi!) Read the rest

Creative Computing: the amazing, countercultural look-and-feel of homebrew computing zines

John Park writes, "Check out what Tony D just posted at Adafruit after he visited the Living Computers Museum + Lab." Read the rest

Call for submissions for Disobedient Electronics

"'Disobedient Electronics' is a zine-oriented publishing project that seeks submissions from industrial designers, electronic artists, hackers and makers that disobey conventions, especially work that is used to highlight injustices, discrimination or abuses of power." Read the rest

Zine goddess Chloe Eudaly is running for Portland City Council

Chloe Eudaly, whose zine emporium Reading Frenzy (previously) and publishing makerspace the Independent Publishing Resource Center are PDX institutions, is running for Portland City Council, campaigning on affordable housing for all in a city whose longterm residents are being left behind by runaway rents and spiraling housing prices. Read the rest

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