Book and Zine reviews

Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism: The Collective Autobiography of the RNC 8

Edited by Leslie James Pickering

Published Oct 2011

Arissa Media Group

In the days leading up the 2008 Republican National Convention, police raided homes, rallies, and public parks, arresting the eight young activists who organized the RNC Welcoming Committee. While there were many groups facilitating protests of the convention, the Welcoming Committee was explicitly anarchist/anti-authoritarian, and operated on a leaderless model. After their arrest, the organizers were charged under the Minnesota Patriot Act with “conspiracy to riot in the second degree furtherance of terrorism.” Since then, many of us have rallied in support of the RNC 8. But who are these eight extraordinary revolutionaries? And what can they teach us?

This book chronicles the lives of RNC 8 members in their own words. They tell their stories, recounting formative childhood moments, the development of radical ideals as young adults, and the organization of the Welcoming Committee. They also discuss their experiences of other actions, adventures traveling the country, and dealing with informants. An great book for anyone involved with activism, providing inspiration and useful internal critique. (samara)

Node Padjomo – Summer 2011

Po Box 2623

Bellingham WA. 98227-2632

This year was declared “The Revenge of Print” by some and if you want to catch a whiff of it you can check this shit out. Though this one doesn’t focus on zines entirely so much as it covers Tape Trades, Mail Art and other resources. So really it might be construed as a splinter group out to get you to use the post office before it goes the way of video stores. I especially appreciate how it is hand made with trippy layouts, and how it comes out methodically three times a year. Next deadline is November 15th. And if you want to further investigate zines check out your local library, or find Zine World, Xeography Debt or Maximum Rock & Roll. (egg)


When a porning oogle spills beer on his laptop, the computer morphs into an evil overlord that blows up half the world and enslaves most survivors. Out from the rubble marches a lone hero by the name of No Limitz: a katana-totting gutterpunk with a badass dog and his name tattooed to his forehead. No Limitz doesn’t give a shit about saving the world–just about filling his belly–and perhaps it is his very lack of ideology that makes him immune to the evil computer’s powers of enslavement. As No Limitz wanders the disseminated landscape in search of grub, he is forced to fight his way through roving bands of bloodthirsty cops, mutant scarbo ‘rough bears, and various minions of the digital overlord. Created by the illustrator of the Raging Pelican, every page of this comic is statured with traveler jokes and hilarious details, inviting the reader to slow down and take it all in. I laughed my ass off at least five times while reading the fifteen pages–and I rarely laugh when I read. If you liked Brandon Graham’s Multiple Warheads, you’ll royally dig DAYGLOAYHOLE. (samara)

Patriot Acts: Narratives of Post-9/11 Injustice

Compiled & Edited by Alia Malek

Published Sept 2011

McSweeney’s, Voice of Witness Series

Meet Adama, a sixteen-year-old Muslim American who was seized from her home by the FBI on suspicion of being a suicide bomber. And Nick, a senior at Ponoma College who was arrested when he tried to board a plane with English–Arabic flashcards in his pocket. And Rana, a Sikh man whose brother was gunned down outside a gas station in the first reported hate murder after 9/11.

Released on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Patriot Acts is the latest installment of McSweeney’s Voice of Witness series. It contains the first-person accounts of eighteen people who have been subject to human and civil rights abuses in the wake of 9/11, from discrimination to torture to FBI surveillance.

Written simply and clearly, this book is highly accessible and deeply moving. Don’t be put off by the heavy subject matter: in spite of so much abuse and injustice, the narrators are brimming with hope. If you are having trouble explaining why you are radical to your liberal friends and family members, hand them this book. (samara)

VEGAN: Ethics and Nutrition

Strike up the band! The movement now has another tract of front line animal rights ideas to join the small army of propaganda that already exists. This recent document though seems to directly respond to the spate of anti-vegan backlash—mostly from such books as the Omnivore’s Dilemma and The Vegetarian Myth. The arguments seem clear-headed and at times joyfully snotty. I mean really why take such assholes as Michael Pollan seriously?—unless he’s in conversation with an uptight vegan purist. Thankfully this zine isn’t a put off. Though much of the knowledge is from books and internet factoids there is an underlying love for animals motivating this one. There are lots of pictures to warm you up with. The facts are stated and people can join the revolution and are not made to feel less if they don’t. (egg)


Seattle zinester Aidan Koch splays the gentle fraying of the human spirit in a dreamlike collage of words and line drawings. Faces fade into horrific scribbles, empty word-bubbles erupt from parted lips, chronology unwinds. Unnamed characters sit on porches guzzling two-buck Chuck, stretch out on beaches, and search for warmth in the spaces between gestures and words. An inverted hand motif seems to imply that every action manifests inwardly, as if, perhaps, the real narrator of the zine is some unconscious mind reveling in the lingering imprints of human experience. Fragments of oblique dialogue propel the reader along on this journey: “Some things will never be the same. Bones. And lungs…” This zine spawns more questions than answers as it motions towards those deeper truths for which we have no symbols or pictures. (samara)