What a lovely day for a zine fair!

May 30, 2009

I’m not usually this prevalent with two posts in a week, but with something as newsworthy as the Sydney Writer’s Festival Zine Fair, I had to get off my sorry arse and report in for KooK. I manned a stall down at the Museum of Contemporary Art with my peeps Tim Hilton and Rebecca Doubledecka, and I must say I had a lovely day indeed!

This was the first zine fair where I had branched out from only offering KooK and it was definitely the most fun zine fair I have participated in. The highlight of the day would easily have been the guy who came and picked up my Hangin’ On Cleveland Street zine, looked at every page, laughed like a crazed loony, put it down and walked off in hysterics! Strangely enough I also managed to flog a few old KooK #1’s for a buck even after I later realised I had put really old copies on the table that had ‘FREE’ on the front. If you took one for free I’m glad hahaha!

The only unfortunate incident on the day was my extreme case of caffeine intoxication jitters after I virtually inhaled two strong coffees and a bottle of Coke in quick succession. This rendered me unable to hold a decent conversation for the first few hours. Luckily after years of attending meetings in corporate offices, I have perfected the act of nod and smile… It also made it virtually impossible to hold a camera still enough to take a picture, but here’s a photograph one of my wares on the table. Look I did my best… 😉

mca stand

As you may be able to see in the picture, I was also flogging my new zine Trash Talk about celebrity trash mags. Thanks to the site http://girlwithasatchel.blogspot.com for their great write up of the zine!

Anyway enough shameless self promotion Zina! Here’s some of my zine highlights from the day:

mca zines
Tim Hilton: His smokin’ hot zine I Require Your Full Attention sold out in the blink of an eye. I didn’t even get my mitts on one dammit!

Rebecca Doubledecka: If the number of people who bought Beard #3 or had a good laugh at it is any indication, people really love beards! Issue three even has a cameo from KooK’s own Troy McLure under another name…

Teeth: Teeth #6 rocks the house and all the cool kids had “Hi My Name is Annie Ly” badges on at the fair…

Just Like Candy: A crackin’ second issue with a great cover. There’s even an article by yours truly!

The Blue Rinse Society: Another busy table with an intriguing lucky dip. The third ‘I Am Russia’ themed issue also has an article from me. Look out for Issue 4 soon!

Tiny Paper Hearts: The lovely ladies were in fine form once again with great zines and a kick ass table filled with handmade treats.

Miss Helen: I picked up her new zine Fly Away Bird #8 and it’s definitely one of my favourite finds of the day. Zine fairs fill me with anxiety too Miss Helen. It doesn’t help when you’ve got the jitters like I did either… 😉

Vanessa Berry: Everytime I approached Vanessa’s table it was virtually impossible to get near it. I did manage to squeeze in and get my hands on an older issue of I Am A Camera that I didn’t have. Very inspiring!

Ordinary Magazine: Someone from this new online magazine thrust their card in my hand and I’m glad they did! Check out their great site at www.ordinarymagazine.org

Bird In The Hand: The Sydney based zine distributor had dozens of great zines available on the day. Noice work Suzy!

Finally, a big hello to all the other zinesters who I didn’t get a chance to meet but who made it such a kickass event. Next time I promise to drink less caffeine and come and say hello… 😉

Z. KooK


A surprise in the mail…

May 25, 2009

A very strange object arrived on my desk at KooK headquarters recently and I must say am very excited to share this advance in fruit enhancement technology with you all. It came in the mail from my Tokyo based correspondent Troy McLure and the customs declaration said ‘Toy’… When you see it, I think you’ll understand why my housemate who received the package thought I was feelin’ a little lonely…

banana guard

This ladies and gentlemen is a banana guard, a device designed to protect your banana from getting squashed and bruised. Look I don’t know about you but I know I’m personally sick to death of bruised and squashed bananas in my bag and I want a solution now goddammit! According to http://www.bananaguard.com you can even get it in an assortment of colours including Mellow Yellow, Passionate Purple and Pretty in Pink. Check out the banana guard in action below if you still don’t believe I’m not a lonely size queen…

banana open

Whilst I was gazing at the banana guard on my book shelf one night, a thought suddenly occurred to me. Surely if you reached into your bag at work and pulled out your trusty banana guard, you’d do so with a slight feeling of intrepidation? An object that at first glance looks like a huge phallic shaped dildo is bound to cause quite a stir in your cubicle is it not? Would people think you’re feelin’ a little lonely, that you’re a freak banana lover, or just a freak  fullstop? To help me find out, my housemate has agreed to take the banana guard undercover into her workplace for a day. Stay tuned because the banana guard is on the prowl people. Look out!

Zina x


Blue Rinse Society Issue 3… have you got a copy yet comrades?

April 17, 2009

The lovely folk over at the Blue Rinse Society have released their third issue and this time the theme is Russia. Think messy vodka challenges, Kosak dancing, Boney M’s Rasputin and Babushkas. You’ll also find an interview with Sydney band Chaingang and yet another smokin’ hot fashion spread.

There’s also an article from yours truly about Misha the Bear, the mascot from the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Check this hilarious footage out…

So what are you waiting for?! To find out how to get your hands on a copy of The Blue Rinse Society Issue 3, check out their MySpace page now!


Smells like teen spirit… circa 1994

April 6, 2009

When Kurt Cobain committed suicide back in April 1994, I had just graduated from high school. I was a tom boy grunge kid with Jesus hair, One Star Converse, a band t-shirt, ripped jeans and nooo idea… However, the one thing I did know was that Nirvana were the bomb!

To this day one of my biggest regrets is not seeing Nirvana live. I unfortunately didn’t get a ticket to any of their 1992 Sydney shows and sadly they never came to Australia again… In desperation all I could do was collect MP3s of their live recordings, my favourites being those from their pre mega-fame days. And look before you say anything, yes I do realise this hobby may been seen to be on a par with stamp collecting…

April 5th 2009 marked the 15th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death and I’m sure this means yet another biography is in the pipeline. No doubt Courtney Love and Dave Grohl will be interviewed and surely some magazine will publish a special 15th anniversary edition right? But for a huge fan like me this particular anniversary is not about commemoration or sadness, it’s more about reflecting on the legacy that Kurt left with me.

In 2006 I went on a pilgrimage to the house where Kurt Cobain took his life in Seattle, Washington. This is beautiful picture of Viretta Park, a small area of land located right next to the house.


People from all over the world have visited this spot, scrawled or carved their tributes on the park’s two wooden benches, hoping to share a moment with Kurt. It’s a serene spot and I have to say this was one place I remember feeling completely calm. I also remember the euphoria I felt as I headed back to catch a bus to Seattle, walking along Lake Washington Boulevard with Nirvana’s “All Apologies” blaring in my ears. I felt strong, empowered and free. R.I.P. Kurt…

Zina x

PS: Check out this great live footage of my favourite Nirvana song Aneurysm. I love the petticoat that Kurt’s wearing in the second clip. Bless!


Zina goes for gold!

March 27, 2009

Phew… after a hectic pre and post Mardi Gras season, I am finally sitting down to update this poor neglected blog!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I made my Mardi Gras Parade debut this year but not on the Hoopaholics float as I had planned. At the last minute I was asked to be on the float for Olympic diver and gold-medalist Matt Mitcham as part of his ‘Go for Gold’ troupe.

Anyone who knows me well will tell you what an absolute coup it is getting me in a dress, let alone wearing it in front of thousands of people while hooping down the street. But alas, after a major attack of nerves and a ‘OMG I look ridiculous’ pre-parade tanty, I amazingly managed to make it to the end of the parade without a wardrobe malfunction.

I have to say it was an absolute hoot and a real honor to be part of Matt’s ‘Chief of Parade’ float. And yes boys he is simply gorgeous in real life and a dead set sweetheart to boot! Here’s me practicing some moves with my hoop pre-parade… 😉

Photo © John McRae 2009

Photo © John McRae 2009

Anyway now that my parade duties have been fulfilled, thankfully things are starting to settle down and I’ve already started work on two new zines! I had better get my finger out so they’re ready for the Sydney Writer’s Festival Zine Fair in May… Ciao for now peeps!


Come and hang out on Cleveland Street!

February 26, 2009

After many hours of snapping, typing, cutting, pasting, folding and stapling I’m very proud to announce that my new zine ‘Hangin’ On Cleveland Street’ is finally finished!


For those of you that don’t know, Cleveland Street is a busy road that runs through the suburbs of Chippendale, Darlington, Redfern, Surry Hills and Moore Park in Sydney. I recently moved into a house on Cleveland Street and was inspired to make this zine after seeing so many fascinating, hilarious and just plain random things on what I think is a one of Sydney’s most underrated streets!

Hangin’ on Cleveland Street is also my first collaboration with the lovely Ms AM and most of her absolutely fantastic photos were snapped in her travels on a mobile phone. My trusty old school typewriter and secret stash of trashy celeb mags also came to good use too!

If you’d like to get your hands on a copy, please e-mail me at kookzine [at] hotmail.com. Trades welcome!

Zina x

PS: A big shout out to Brad (our hunky centrefold from KooK issue 2) for his stapling prowess 😉


Pink Lady – not just a type of apple after all

January 18, 2009

This week I was kindly invited to take part in the 2009 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade with the fabulous Sydney-based hooping collective Hoopaholics! The dilemma now is what to wear? At the moment, all I know is that it has to be predominantly silver and that my ensemble will have to withstand about three hours of solid hooping. Phew!

Thankfully my friend Nori, a Hoopaholic veteran and one of my outfit advisers for the night, sent me this video for inspiration and it’s a gem. Not only has it made me a brand new and dedicated fan of late 70’s Japanese pop duo Pink Lady, it’s also given me great ideas for my outfit.

I’ve only started to hoop this week but surely the kick-ass Wonder Woman-esque armbands the ladies are sporting in this clip could help my arm hooping abilities? And I was thinking about pulling out the ‘ol fro wig I donned in KooK Issue 2 for the night. I reckon it would go perfectly with the girl’s disco hula skirts don’t you think? A skirt might be a bit tricky for me to hoop in though! 😉

Enough about my outfit… make sure you check out the the hilarious backup dancers in this clip… and the dancing, well it’s all a bit Solid Gold dancers on crack – just perfect for hooping really. Ha!

Anyway, I’ll keep you updated on my hooping practice and my outfit. In the meantime, if you’ve never seen the Hoopaholics in action, check out their great web site at www.hoopaholic.org

Zina x

PS: My friend Brad tells me that besides being a type of apple and a Japanese pop group, Pink Lady is also the name of a drug cocktail nurses use to treat gastroesophageal reflux. Let’s hope I never need that kind of Pink Lady!