News: Support our 'Zines Day
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Oct 1st is Support Our 'Zines Day! GUD Magazine could use your support--you know that, we know that.
But I wanted to take the time to talk from the perspective of a reader about a few other magazines that could use your support. I'll get back to pleading for us at the end ;)
The best thing you can do to support a magazine, outside of buying it (and especially in addition to buying it) is talking it up to your friends. And not just the magazine--specific things. Things that will excite. Things that excited you. (and apologies for the ramble--I'm behind on a project and doing this with a bit of sleep-dep).
So what are some of the things that excited me, outside of GUD's slush pile, recently?
First on the list is Shock Totem. A stellar first issue; their tagline is "CURIOUS TALES of the MACABRE and TWISTED", and they're angled as a horror mag, but don't let that shake you if you're "not excited about horror". They've got strong literary sensibilities, while keeping true to stories with full and proper arcs so you're not left going, "So what?" at the end. Great writing, great presentation, great production values--they're on my hit list, and I expect I'll be reading them for some time to come, presuming the readership is there to keep them going.
I said you have to be more specific, though. Generic excitement doesn't translate so well. (GUD Contributor) T.L. Morganfield's "The Music Box" is a delight of a childhood-toy-gone-wrong--but it's a much deeper and more human wrong than Chucky. The toys are adorable and it's hard to believe how far things will go, except the writing and the characters take you there without any doubts.
"Murder for Beginners" by Mercedes M. Yardley is a cheerful, quirky piece, that reached somewhere inside me I haven't quite figured out yet. I would have sworn I've read it before--not in a sense of it being trite or common (the characters are all the in the details), but in a sense of "coming home" to it, somehow. I hope that doesn't make my wife start looking over her shoulder. ;)
And even though it's only 100 pages, there's plenty more there, but I need to move on--
Weird Tales Magazine--the unique, fantastic, & bizarre. A highly professional magazine with gorgeous, quirky layout, and one I'm sure most of you would love, though some of the stories recently have had less impact, less of an ending, than I care for, lately. But one story I read recently jumped out head and shoulders, and so this is a perfect opportunity to share it.
Spring 2009 brought a number of very cool things ("The Garbacologist" (headlined: "Suicide Bunnies and Garbage Eaters") by Jeff Johnson), "Headstone in your Pocket" by Paul Tremblay, ... but most of all, most satisfyingly, "Selected Views of Mt. Fuji, With Dinosaurs" by Hunter Eden.
Just, dude. Okay, it's the end of an era. Japan has closed itself to the outside world, and the samurai are a dying breed. The Shogunate has ordered the "Mad Artist" to render views of Mt. Fuji from all over the island. Two samurai are to escort him and protect him. The kicker: dinosaurs. Lovingly described, a part of their world, done up in a rather magic-realism sort of way. What gets me is that the world is so fully realized; the characters so fully realized; the action swift, solid, yet meditative; and the arc is perfect. It made my day that it didn't leave you guessing at the end. Okay, I might be a tad jealous this wasn't submitted to GUD. ;) You really should read it. :)
BUST DOWN THE DOOR AND EAT ALL THE CHICKENS
The absurdist journal--I owed them a review of Issue 8, but things have really fallen behind schedule with our reviews lately, and they're actually sold out of that issue. Hopefully you'll be able to find a copy, because it's totally worth it. Some of the absurdist schtick goes a little too far into crazy-land (not enough of a framework for to support real meaning for me), but a lot of it hits home.
"Castle Cesare" is a tale of an orrery, realer-than-real; almost a Gulliver's Travels of the solar system, or a bit of The Little Prince, but very much its own thing. The details and invention are lovely, clock-punk-esque, and is almost a meditation on scale and perspective. :)
I'm running out of time, and I never did get that review written (Issue 9 is now on my list), but two other stories I'd call out in Issue 8 are "We Witnessed the Advent of a New Apocalypse During an Episode of Friends", by Blake Butler--wherein a strange apocalypse is indeed visited upon the world; and we see it as it happens on an episode of friends, which, well, really says so much. It's absurd, and disturbing, and lovely. And secondly, "Caramello Candy bars and Yoohoo Chocolate Drinks" by Darby Larson, which is an odd wish-fulfillment piece, regarding a man who can always pull from his pants however much money he needs. It goes to the logical extreme, and back, as you might expect, but it's worth the ride. :)
And now it comes back to GUD. I don't have to tell you which stories I loved, right? They're right there. They're what we've published. The question is--there's over 1300 of you signed up for our "spam" list. 1000 followers on Twitter. An ungodly number of MySpace friends. What can we do to bridge the gap between "sale" and "no sale" with you? Let us know, and maybe we can make a deal. :)
And now--what are some of your favorite 'Zines? What's the best (published) story you've read recently? What's rocked your world? Let us know here, or just tell us where. :)
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