Quick Hits: Vym Magazine and Drug Dogs Zine

Quick Hits are back, leading off with a new project from creator Sasha Steinberg and his partner, Johnny Velour...

Vym #1
The Drag Magazine (Available here)

Successfully funded through Kickstarter last winter, Vym #1, “The Drag Magazine,” is the brainchild of Artistic Director Sasha Velour (aka Sasha Steinberg, the cartoonist) and his partner and Editorial Director, Johnny Velour. This gorgeous first issue asks, “What is Drag?” and examines and celebrates drag’s many social-cultural, political, and personal meanings. Among the highlights are “Genderosity,” a personal essay by performer Donald C. Shorter, Jr.; “Defining Drag”, a vigorous “Vymifesto” by cartoonist Laurel Lynn Leake; poems by Wo Chan; a funny interview with drag artist Veronica Bleaus by Ben Bascom; and a lively, colorful photo essay by Masha Bogushevsky, featuring drag king K. James and Sasha Velour. Above all, there are lots of great comics and illustrations throughout. With Ms. Sasha Velour at the helm you wouldn’t expect anything less, now would you?

Eric Kostiuk Williams, who has been doing really great work for recent anthologies like Steve MacIsaac’s Shirtlifter (and my own upcoming astrology-themed What’s Your Sign, Girl?) contributes “The Body Without Organs” a fabulously trippy three pages inspired by the writings of Antonin Artaud, Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari. “Tonight I’m making myself a new face,” the protagonist proclaims, “so I can tear the world to shreds.” There’s also “Rude Girls,” a gallery of some of Jennifer Camper’s funniest (and at times quite transgressive) comics from the early 1990’s, and the delightful “The Golden Rules” by Center for Cartoon Studies alum, Jon Chad. All this and more is wrapped up in Brooklyn illustrator John Lisle’s absolutely eye-popping covers and endpapers. All in all, it’s a striking, fiercely fabulous debut to dress yourself up in, while anticipating the emergence of the already-in-the-works second issue. (Review by Rob Kirby)

Drug Dogs Zine: The Visual Companion Vol. 1 
Written and Illustrated by Dylan Chadwick (Available here)

This 5.5” x 8.5” sized zine is 20 pages comprised exclusively of collages: four of which combine illustration and assorted “found” imagery and the rest are wholly illustrated.  The only text is a few paragraphs of introduction that frame the rest of the zine as direct tap into Mr. Chadwick’s “cranial casserole.”  The pages are filled with burly dudes and monsters, wild animals, and specific punk and wrestling references.  Overall the feeling is a DIY version of the visual clutter familiar from “Where’s Wally/Waldo” picture books but if Martin Handford bugged out over R. Crumb, Sean Taggart, and professional wrestling instead of Pieter Bruegel. (Review by AJ McGuire)