Tag Archives: Behind the Wheel

Zines About Travel and Place

We here at Next Exit Travel have several other projects in addition to this blog. Among them is Xerography Debt, a zine review zine. (If you’re not sure what a zine is, go here). In the last two issues I’ve reviewed several zines that focuse on travel and/or place and thought perhaps readers of our blog might enjoy learning about these zines.

Watch the Closing Doors #64

Fred Argoff
Penthouse L, 1170 Ocean Pkwy., Brooklyn, NY 11230
Price: $10 for a 4 issue subscription
Size: 5.5” x 8.5”
Page count: 24

WtCD #64 primarily focuses on Chicago’s CTA system. I think we all know that people are more distracted than ever before and Fred shows how that plays out within NYC’s subway system with an increase in missed stops (although I once missed a school bus because I was too busy reading). Did you know that the city of Paris gifted an Art Nouveau style station to Chicago? I didn’t and now I want to see it! The final photo of Chicago’s Blue Line O’Hare station was especially timely given the recent accident and word that the station’s future is uncertain.

Quote: describing a photo “Above, take off your pants and head for the subway! The No Pants Subway Ride becomes a tradition in Chicago, too. Inaugurated a decade ago in New York by the comedy group Improv Everywhere, it seems that people in cities with subways the world over have embraced the idea – and participate enthusiastically.”

Brooklyn! #83

Fred Argoff
Penthouse L, 1170 Ocean Pkwy., Brooklyn, NY 11230
Price: $10 for a 4 issue subscription
Size: 5.5” x 8.5”
Page count: 24

As with all issues of BROOKLYN!, Fred shows the depth of his knowledge and love for the diverse borough. You want to know the difference between Ocean Parkway and Ocean Avenue? Ask Fred. This issue runs the gamut from urban wildlife to repurposed boardwalk planks to the finest tree-lines streets in Victorian Flatbush.

Quote:kapeesh? – You understand? Okay, so maybe you spell it ‘capisci’ in Italian. But we’re not in Italy here, and besides, you hardly ever see it in writing. It is usually only spoken, Kapeesh?

Chorrada and Chorrada #1

Kris Mininger
Calvo Sotelo 13b, 4b, Plasencia 10600, Cáceres, Spain
Email: kmininger@gmail.com
Price: trade, donation, mix tape, the usual
Size: 3.5” x 4.75”; 8.5” x 11”
Page count: 8

Kris returns with a mini zine, explaining the name Chorrada, and then a travelogue zine, also titled Chorrada#1. “Chorrada” translates to a little, insignificant thing. This mini rambles as much as an 8-page mini-zine can, and I mean that in a good way.

#1 is essentially a travel zine, instigated by Kris’s parents visit to Spain. The focus is their trip to Ciudad Rodrigo and discovery of a museum devoted to chamber pots. As a lover of off-the-beaten-path spots and museums, I was suddenly inspired to go to Spain. An enjoyable read.

Quote: “There were posters on the walls informing us of the various important moments in chamber pot history: ‘¡Agua va!’ used to be a common warning in Spanish streets when someone was getting ready to empty the contents of a chamber pot out a window.”

Bookstores and Baseball, 6th Inning

David LaBounty
P.O. Box 250382, Plano, TX 75025-0382
$4-5? US
trades: unknown
size: 8” x 8”
page count: 52

Initially I questioned if I should be the person to review this zine. I have never actually seen a sporting event. The closest I’ve come was half-watching a basketball game at a bar in San Antonio with my boss. That said, I was charmed by this zine and David and his son Gabe explained their devotion to baseball in a way that gave me more insight into why people love the game. David is a publisher of both books and zines and this series of zines highlights his family’s travels around the US as they visit, well, bookstores and baseball. Gabe, his son, is on a quest to visit all the state capitols and he also contributes to the zine. In this issue they visit Kaboom Books, Domy, Houston Indie Book Festival, Steve’s Books and Magazines, Left Bank Books, Boxcar Books, The Book Loft, Amazing Books, Atomic Books, Kramerbooks, One Stop News, and Burke’s Books. He remarks on the health (or unhealth) of the stores and in that the state of bookselling these days. He also takes in games with The Frisco Roughriders (AA), The Houston Astros, The Springfield Cardinals (AA), The Pittsburgh Pirates, The Baltimore Orioles, The Memphis Redbirds (AAA), and The Texas Rangers. If it charmed someone who basically hates sports, imagine how much someone who likes baseball will enjoy this!

Chorrada, #2, #3

Kris & Lola
Calvo Sotelo 13B, 4B, Plasencia, 10600 Caceres Spain
$ Donation, letter, mix tape
trades: yes
size: 8.25” × 11.75”
page count: 8

I’ve always been partial to per-zines that offer a glimpse into lives outside of my experience. Kris is an ex-pat living in Spain with his wife Lola. In #2, Kris writes an essay about shoes that is really about his various jobs, life in Spain, and his very large feet. This was a great article. In #3, Kris meets an eccentric ex-pat who lives in a cave. He also has a weekend away in a terrible hotel. As an avid traveler, I loved the descriptions.

Piltdownlad: Behind the Wheel, #10

Kelly Dessaint
PO BOX 22974, Oakland, California 94609
$3 US
trades: maybe
size: 8.5 “ x 11”
page count: 60

Behind the Wheel is very different from Kelly’s other zines, this one taking place present-day, in a time and place that is undergoing economic and technological changes. In most of Kelly’s other zines he is what is changing; in Behind the Wheel, San Francisco is what is changing. Kelly moves from LA to the Bay area and quickly finds that the SF he knew has disappeared. He begins working for Lyft, a social media ride sharing business. He documents his life as a modern day cab driver and those he shuttles around the city he can’t afford to live in. Tech companies are one of the reasons SF has changed and yet Lyft is one of those companies. Kelly recognizes the inherent conflict and the potential for being part of the problem. I noticed similar issues when I went to Seattle this summer. This zine very much captures a time and place and shows changes technology and social media have created.