Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Star & Shadow Zines (part 2)

I went for a coffee then came back to the scanner. Here are the second batch of scans from the zines that we made at the old Star & Shadow. Hopes for the new one can be seen here.

As with a lot of my ideas, this was maybe a bit wobbly and overambitious as a plan for other people to understand, but I'm sure something happened.

Not one of mine, and a scan of a photocopy of it, wonder who has originals?

This was a cut-up affair, from a participatory zine-making activity available to anyone who walked in the doors. When old S&S programmes went undelivered sometimes I used them for other purposes. On this occasion, making hybrids!

Not sure whose this was. "Most embarrassing."

This from a review of Kino Bambino from my Newcastle Zine Review of 2009(?) - again, I don't have all the issues, so would like to see the others!

This Mini Comics day was a much better-attended event than my usual affairs, positively buzzing. I think it was on the same day as a 2nd hand market in the cinema, so the families and passersby were persuaded to take part. Or just maybe it was adequately promoted! Anyway, a load of really cool, really quickly made minicomics got made and I have a folder of them : in large part this was because the new minicomics makers were helped by members of the Paper Jam Comics Collective on the day.

I'm sorry to forget the name of the lovely couple who made this minicomic (this the titlepage) but they were super regular attendees of the monthly Storytelling night by A Bit Crack and were so nice that I'm sure they wouldn't mind me including their self-portrait here.
This doodle is, I think, of Bill, Ilana and Mat, but you wouldn't guess it if you know them.

And finally, one sample page from the story zine we made. Others wrote fantasy, horror, erotic and comedy fiction in the Star & Shadow, but I realised I should ask their permission before sharing. I do think their pieces are worth rereading so hopefully I will upload them somewhere soon.

Finally, I found these from the Zine Trail I made once : the idea was you found a page hanging up somewhere in the building, read the clue and then followed it to find the next page:

Star & Shadow Zines (part 1)

For the next 2 months, the old Star & Shadow is on its big fundraising campaign to rebuild in a new premises in Warwick Street. Click here for more. This made me go into my old boxes and dig out the various quick, free, badly photocopied zines I did with people when I was there. Most of these selections are from 2008, 2009, and most of the words are not my own!

Participatorama was an article in a guide to the UK's Autonomous Social Centres, of which we were then one. I felt the words alone gave the sense of what made our place great.

I was always bothering fellow-volunteers to write reviews of the things they saw, and took part in.

Backpage artwork by Martin, Frontpage featuring the real Metal welding once on front of the building by Kev, and lego/robot image by James Johnson Perkins!

I forget if the get-together part of this happened, but the zine box was definitely a regular feature and unknown hands would add their own free zines to it, which I loved.

These little images were of just one of the many bands that played at the Star & Shadow, and the usual image of a local musician hanging outside the front of the building rolling a cig. Regular volunteers will remember the scene.

I love consensus decision making really, but boy does it make your brain grow by how hard it is to take everyone's view on board / second-guessing how the various perspectives might join to go forward, etc etc

Unreliable memory tells me this poem was by Joe?

Excerpt from Kino Bamboozler, a mini zine that was really really hated by some people at the time!

This, by contrast, was a surprisingly successful experiment, with new people coming together once-only with Anna Puhakka and myself to sit and wander through the different rooms at different times and do story exercises and create short vignettes, all based on the architecture and ambience of the old building.

Excerpts only of a longer film review, many of which used to be shared on the old wiki / internal volunteers' website.

One of many doodles from the bar, of musicians playing in the main venue.

A cut-up of some old Star & Shadow organisational principles, quite beautiful and quite impossible to read!

Cut-up adverts done for one event, which in turn then produced a 'Manual Zine', ie. one that did not involve a photocopier or computer. Everyone was challenged to produce, by any self-chosen means, 8 identical-ish pages to then share with the other producers. Potato prints, typewriters, darkroom processes and stitching were all involved.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Reviewing the Edinburgh Fringe

I spent a few days and a bit of money at the Edinburgh Fringe / Festival this year. Some things I sketched and other things I watched and then wrote up my experience. I've made a zine and an online page-turnable thing here.

More in the issuu publication.

There are more reviews, but it would take too long a blog to include them, scan the issuu version for more typos and opinion!

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Dining with the DFDS

This weekend I joined the DFDS ferry from North Shields to Ijmuiden, aka Newcastle to Amsterdam. I was part of the regular ORCA surveying effort on the North Sea ferries, and joined fellow volunteers Mary, Steve and Christina on the bridge.

There is also an ORCA wildlife hub on board, where Kerry and Weng entertain and educate hundreds of children each crossing. As the free Beano comic demonstrates, DFDS have taken the wildlife opportunities on board, as a point of interest for their passengers. 

As part of our deck rotation, we moved from port to starboard to note-taking, and also had a half hour 'rest' period every 2 hours. I used my rests to sketch things, as usual.

We really enjoyed the crossing, and were especially impressed to be treated as welcome parts of the crew. We took our meals with the stewards, engineroom folk, officers and troubadours, in the crew's mess. I ate better and more healthily than I do at home. Plus there's a no alcohol rule so I was able to detox after the two week festival boozeathon that led up to this weekend!


I've been on this route before as a passenger, and Amsterdam isn't new to me, so I thought about heading to Haarlem instead, for a change. But I'm glad I joined the coach into the city, in part because the weather was so amazing and the people so relaxed and goodlooking that it made you feel just happy and light inside. 2016 has been a pretty rubbish year in England, and it takes a trip outside the border to remind you that people are capable of being so much more together and relaxed than sometimes we manage.


 We didn't see a great variety of cetacean species on our crossing, but then I never expected to. We did see a few harbour porpoise, plus another couple of creatures that we disputed, so recorded as 'small cetacean'. However, now I've seen Kerry and Weng's educational talk, I am reassured that it was in fact bottlenose dolphins we saw. Still on my list, however, are the white beaked dolphins that love the cold North Sea, but are not to be found south of Yorkshire. They are out there somewhere, and I hope to see them soon.