BLOG ZINE! American Zine Star

Kari TervoBooks, ReviewsLeave a Comment

by Kari Tervo

Hi zine peeps.

::insert Ryan Seacrest here::

THIS. . .is BLOG ZINE! ::exciting theme song, flashy graphics::

Readers, tonight is a very important results show. Three contenders. Only two will remain standing. And of those two, neither will win anything except my respect for their awesome zines. It’s an intense night with barely anything at stake.

Is everyone ready? K-Zine, how you feeling tonight? Behind the Wheel, great performance last night; are you ready for the results? YOU, how do you feel about last night’s zine? Well, we’re about to see how Kari Tervo voted on all your zines.  Get ready for the elimination.

::the zines huddle and hold hands; one is seen whispering a prayer, eyes skyward::

The contestants on hedge--er, stage. Tonight, one of 'em hits the bricks.

The contestants on hedge–er, stage. Tonight, one of ’em hits the bricks.

Kieran, dim the lights.

::heartbeat sound plays under bassy ambient music::

K-Zine, you presented writing about bullying and empathy. YOU., you wrote a letter about some chick’s art. And Behind the Wheel (Part One), you let us in on what it’s like to drive for Lyft. Two of you wrote awesome zines about issues many Americans think about; one of you is. . .less preferred.

And the contestant who will not be staying in Kari’s permanent zine collection is. . .


::sad trumpet version of exciting theme music::

Let’s talk about the results.

Here’s my Rating System:

Recommended: !
It’s Aiight: .
Maybe If You’re Into That Sort of Thing: ?


Rating: ??
Price: not listed

YOU. is a photocopied, handwritten two-page letter, written to “you.” Except “you” will definitely not care about this letter, because it’s essentially Luke’s fifth period free-write about “Emma’s new paintings.” Who is Emma? What is her art like? We never know, except that it makes him happy for some unspecified reason. We also don’t who the hell Ella and Tilda are, though he perceives they will also be into Emma’s new paintings. He also brings up the high-falutin’ topic of the commodification of art, but barely scratches the surface. Poorly-considered, meandering, and badly scrawled, this zine represents the height of self-indulgence. And that’s saying a lot when you’re talking about zines. It comes in this little sealed paper bag, which, if you’re going to go through all that effort presenting the zine in a neat way, you might as well put something worthwhile inside. This zine made me kind of mad. I think it’s the the time I wasted waiting for the thing to become at all interesting or appreciative of its reader. Screw “YOU.”

Behind the Wheel: A Lyft Driver’s Log, Part One
Rating: !!!
Price: not listed
Kelly Dessaint

I love insider information! Like, anything that starts with “Confessions of. . .” I’m probably going to read. Behind the Wheel is a taxi-cab confessional of sorts, from the driver’s perspective. Kelly goes behind the pink mustache and shares the highlights and woes of being a Lyft driver. Whether he’s talking about how he learned the streets of San Francisco instead of relying on GPS, or griping about the stench of alcohol and cigarettes some passengers leave wafting through his car, Kelly’s laid-back style is engaging and readable. Best of all, he recounts passengers’ thoughts about the influx of “brogrammers” and other techy people into San Francisco. This makes Behind the Wheel a slice-of-life snapshot at the height of Tech Boom 2.0. Plus, he weaves in stories about his own life, letting us get to know our narrator better. When his soundtrack (like Bad Brains and Iggy Pop) plays in your head, it helps to beat down that dread you feel when he gets pulled over. At 54 pages, this zine is rich in detail and well-worth reading. Let Kelly give you a Lyft!

K-Zine: The Urgency of Empathy and Equality Issue
Rating: !!!
Price: not listed
Kris Hartley

In this installment of the always well-designed K-Zine, Kris and her contributors take on their bullies and the demons they’ve created within them. Kris lays out what discrimination and bullying are, and makes an impassioned plea for us to be compassionate towards one another. And when you read the contributions, you’ll see why. Bullying can have long-lasting effects, and you’ll feel it in the anger, sadness, and helplessness expressed in most of the poems. For instance, Annora Nin recounts the lasting shame, 40 years later, of being targeted by bullies on the school bus. Kendy Paxia discusses how people judge her because the brain she was born with doesn’t always operate like most people’s. Heather Anne Steiger shares her raw fury and desire for revenge against her tormentor. Ginny Low fights back in a different way–by learning how to love herself. Kris rounds out this issue of K-Zine with some speech communication tips to help make getting along that much easier. In its authentic reactions and timely topic, K-Zine: The Urgency of Empathy and Equality Issue is an important zine.

Next, your local news. Tervo-Seacrest out!


Send ‘em to me at:

Kari Tervo
Blog Zine
PO Box 7831
Beverly Hills, CA 90212















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Kari TervoBLOG ZINE! American Zine Star