Have you downloaded your free e-zine yet?
Many years ago (longer than I care to admit), I created zines to nourish my love of writing and popular culture. I wrote about Star Trek and science-fiction, video games, music, art, and the ups and downs of daily life. They were created on simple desktop publishing software, word processors, and an assortment of clip art and marker pens. It was very low-tech, but highly enjoyable. I even managed to score some freelance writing work at GamePro, which was tremendous fun
Ever since then, I wanted to return to zines. I even had recurring dreams about finding an old computer with long-forgotten websites that were still active, and communicating with old friends. 21 years later, while working on my multiple book projects, I thought it would be fun to finally take the plunge again and create a zine that I could share with my readers and fans. And so Bocanada Issue 1 was born.
Bocanada: A Journal of Pop Culture and the Arts. That long-winded title means, simply, that I get to write about whatever the heck I want, but mostly aimed in the same direction as my writings on Ghibli Blog and the new books: Zen Arcade, Pop Life and Greatest Hits.
For Ghibli Freaks, this issue includes essays on Kiki's Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke and My Neighbors the Yamada. For classic and retro video game fans, there are reviews of Altered Beast (Genesis), Sonic the Hedgehog (Genesis), Bonk's Adventure (TG-16), Mega Man (NES), and Street Fighter 2 Turbo (Super NES). For music lovers, we have articles on Miles Davis' 1974 jazz-fusion album Get Up With It and Sony's PS-X75 Biotracer Turntable. Finally, we have an art gallery of zine-worthy graffiti works created by me back in 2002.
The cover image is another one of my artworks, a 2005 digital painting created entirely on computer. The title is an homage to Gustavo Cerati's 1999 album, a glorious mashup of trip-hop (remember that?), Radiohead's Kid-A and The Beatles. The pages are "half-size," meaning that they are standard 8.5" x 11" pages folded in half. The zine is 48 pages in total, which matches the output of my old zines perfectly (they were 245 pages at standard size).
Bocanada was created for both physical and digital formats. I find the half-size format works perfectly for tablets and even smartphones. The pages are very readable and neatly designed without becoming too cluttered or dense. I created everything on Scribus, a freeware tool, which I suppose would disqualify me in the eyes of many zine publishers -- it's not a "real zine" unless everything is created on a typewriter, scissors and markers. Whatever.
Bocanada is available as a "perma-free" download, meaning the digital version will always be free. All you have to do is join my mailing list. In addition to receiving the zine, you will also receive regular email newsletters that feature the latest news and developments from DT Media (my indie publishing label) and Ghibli Blog, including the new books!
When is Bocanada Issue 2 coming? Soon. I'm still very busy with releasing the books, assembling the new DT Media website, and doing the usual promotional work (translation: hassling everyone with review copies and appearance requests). If we can assemble and publish the second issue in time for Thanksgiving, I'd be thrilled.
As always, thank you very much for your continued support of Ghibli Blog.
P.S. I keep mentioning the new books: Zen Arcade, Pop Life and Greatest Hits. Well, the books are finished and ready to roll out! As for release date, availability and price...join my mailing list and I'll share all the answers in my next newsletter.