UBBO ZINE - issues

Monday, June 29, 2009

Issue No. 3.5 - April 2008

After issue three I decided to really try and plan out an issue in its entirety before proceeding to the publishing stage. My goal is to give a reader a complete experience within eight tiny pages, including the cover. The result of my trying to encompass a total experience in one tiny issue was UbboZine Issue # 3.5.
For this issue, my first ideas came about from watching the Discovery Chanel. They were airing shows on undersea exploration, and the
old sepia tone photos they showed depicting the diving apparatus worn by undersea explorers fascinated me. I mean come on... those helmets are awesome. They remind of of Mike Mignola's designs for Johann Krauss's ectoplasm containment suit. Or more appropriately, vice versa. Well Issue #3.5 began as a sketch of a diving helmet, and evolved from there. To be really honest, it was originally going to be sky blue with birds flying overhead and one pooping on the Ubbo logo, so change is good. After that image, I sought out new patterns or designed pages to use as backgrounds. I wound up using the striped yellow cardboard from inside a McDonald's French fries container. Yes, I'm ashamed that my punk rock creativity relied upon corporate heart disease inducers, but it didn't even photocopy well, so back off.

I learn something new with each issue I make, and in this issue's case I learned that construction paper is NOT 8.5 inches x 11 inches. It's actually a tad bigger, just big e
nough to throw off my photocopies for this issue. If you hold one and read it, it's skewed to the right a bit, and the text is cut off by the folds I made after folding it. This is what I got for trying to skip inking in each panel with black Sharpie and ink pens. One cool result of doing it in all black though was being able to use whiteout to create bubbles and flimsy and blotted looking effects for artwork. Those came out to my liking.

While at work one day, I had doodled a fish-thing with a lot of needle-like teeth, and so I dug out that sketch and tried to work it into an inside cover design. This was my first attempt at incorporating artwork that actually had something to do with the story or information contained within my zine issue. I think it worked out decently though in retrospect I should have made this issue that nice sky blue color.

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The inside cover featured a fish-thing leering with its needle-like teeth, and swimming in from the letters page.

The Letter Page:
April 2008
Dear Reader,
It's April, and that means that spring is officially here! Get on out there with your bad self and be inspired. Enjoy the GREEN! <3>
Page 4-6:

Humankind is made more admirable when it admits its fears - rather than deny or hide from them.

Into the water he tumbled, but it was not the odd temperature, rather the lack of any buoyancy which disturbed him the most. He sank like an anchor, downward, and what he noticed immediately as his precious supply of oxygen trickled upward forever away from him, was the Stygian opacity of the water into which he had plummeted.

He was drowning.

He had been far below the catacombs of the Ward estate when he fell, but this impenetrable darkness was the final hole in the reserve of fortitude he had built in his mind, and fear burst from its confines and inundated his person. He felt the shameful warmth of urine passing out of his system and was horrified even more as quickly the warmth of that liquid floated away from him on his submerged descent.

His mouth, eyes, and nose stung as the foul liquid wore at him. He slowly tried to calm his frantic mind into a prayer, for he surely knew this would be his demise. Suddenly, a new sensation made its presence felt upon his skin, and a deeper, more pri
mal terror surged in him far greater than the fear of a watery death.

He suddenly became agonizingly aware that he was not alone in the depths. Even as his brain shot spots before his eyes, demanding oxygen, he felt the water moving about him, churned by some unseen force in motion. Through no flailing of his limbs could he elevate his position in the water, and again he felt shame pass through him as he wet himself in response to the shock of a sliding bulk brushing against him.

It was solid, absolutely there, in the water with him, and of a size of greater immensity than his own. As his mind reeled from a lack of air and a desire to pray for salvation, the final thoughts that raced through his mind were of the atrocious pain
from having foot-long teeth plunged through him, penetrating his torso.

He did finally gasp a final breath. It tasted stale and acrid, the air that entered his lungs as he gasped in pain under the water. The air stank of rancid meat and of death; the air from the beast's throat, and he was swallowed down whole in the swirling blackness of the water-filled pit beneath the catacombs. Where the beast dwelt, and a man had no business investigating.

Back Cover:
When was the last time you wrote something? I don't mean a text typed with your thumbs or a typo-filled e-mail. REALLY WROTE? You're a human right? Go express it...
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There it is. When I was little, I would read a lot of books on monsters, and I recall reading one about the Loch Ness Monster. It had a picture of the infamous "Surgeon's Photo" on the cover, and was a book all about the history of
the monster, dating back hundreds of years, and the scientific research that went into investigating it. Naturally, no conclusive evide
nce was presented, and the book ended without ever giving any concrete proof for the animal's existence. What fascinated and terrified me however was that divers voluntarily went into the Loch in hopes of finding this creature. I've never liked deep water, something about not being able to see the bottom always frightened me. The notion that water could be so black and opaque that even a flashlight couldn't penetrate it save for a yard in front of me, like they described Loch Ness in this book, scared the hell out of me.

I woke up from a nightmare one evening after reading this book. It involved me diving through the water of the Loch, shining my flashlight to and fro, swimming with my mask and air tank on. I swept the light to the left, nothing. Swept to the right, nothing. Then, three feet from me, so I could feel the water rushing by me. Something. Big. The last thing I remember from that dream was shining the light and just seeing an eye glaring at me, and then a mouth with teeth.

This story came about as a result of that dream still haunting me, and that listless summer spent working on campus as I entered my senior year of college.


kornalicious said...

Hey, I saw your panel at the Ocean County Library on 1/10/09, just wanted to give you a round of applause on it, it was great!

Issue No. 3 - February/ March 2008

Welcome and hello reader. Long time no blog right? I'll spare you the boring details, and throw you right back into the past year.

Because February was such a short month, it came and went before I could get myself in gear to spit out a second issue. Therefore, issue No.2 actually came out at the very end of February, going into March. I was disappointed in myself because after just one lousy issue I was already behind the schedule I made up for myself of one issue per month. To accommodate for this I threw together issue No. 3.

Right off the bat you can tell this issue was a thrown-together, one-night's work effort. I literally came home on a Thursday night, laid out a sheet to generate a master copy, threw down a cover, whose design I shall re-use one of these days for an issue meritorious of its clever design, and then sat for ten minutes dumbstruck as to what I should include within its few pages.

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Dear Reader,
I feel badly skipping out on you, so here is a double issue of Ubbo for you this month! Collect them all! I've gotta be honest, I'm not married to the robot to the left over here, OR the layout, but a work in progress still takes work. Thanks for reading. - Z.A.

Fortune: A pleasant experience is ahead: don't pass it by.
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Boy was I wrong about that fortune...

Then an idea occurred... or I should be specific, RE-occurred.

When I was little I read comic books. I read mostly X-Men and Wolverine, with some Batman thrown in on occasion, especially after Bane snapped his back in the Knightfall arc. Yes, Azrael always sucked... Anyway, as a result of this reading I determined I would write a comic of my own. I recall all of my works back then (and in a lot of cases, even now) being extremely derivative. I made a Mortal Kombat comic, which I still think was better than the Malibu ones... I made Power Rangers comics, and of enough drawings and a few words to publish my own line of Uncanny X-Men. As confidence in my drawing ability waned however I abandoned these ideas.

Later on, in college I worked on campus during the summer entering my senior year, and spent
a lot of down time in a house sans Internet or TV. I tried to write and doodle as much as possible just for the sake of getting ideas down on paper. Some of the stories you'll read in my zines come from this time period.

What absolutely came from this period was my first REAL attempt at creating some type of self-published comic strip.

I had since become a fan of Gothic and Victorian era horror, and wanted to attempt to combine those characters and other horror staples into a type of comedic story arc revolving around Great Old Ones, werewolves and vampires, freakish experiments, strange hauntings,etc., but all with an ironic twist
and touch of dry humor.

My end result was dubbed Penny Dreadful (though I debated naming it Blood Book). If you're not at all aware of where I got the name, do yourself a little reading here.

I designed the characters, came up with a mildly humorous back story, and drew out a square frame panel. I then went into my job, and because it was dead there all summer, scanned the drawings and digitally edited them
in photoshop in grey scale to give the colors a smoother finish for when I photocopied them.

I intended to publish a new page each month, and then gather them all as a final booklet once the story ended.

Then my idea went to right back to the drawing board...

My idea had been done before, twice.

Right down to my character designs, it had already been created.

One version was named Gloomcookie, and though it is now defunct, my main character looked like a cheap impression of theirs.

I even had her hair curling up beneath her chin and everything. Very annoying to say the least.

Though Gloomcookie was similar in its design, at least theme-wise I thought my comic was still original.

Then I did a little research and stumbled across this kick to the nuts: Little Gloomy.

Now to be fair at least MY idea didn't have gloom anywhere in the title. However, thematically this comic basically took everything I wanted to write about and made it its own, first.

Since then, I hadn't given much thought to good old Penny, until that night, stumped as I was for an idea, I thought it would be acceptable to chop up my one page strip, and toss it onto the pages of UBBO just for fun. I toyed with the idea of actually doing a spin-off zine just of the comic.

I can't emphasize how much I disliked the result however. It looks out of place alongside the other zines. The lack of any text in the opening scenes of the comic makes for absolutely NO story, whatsoever. In fact, all penny says is "Yog..." while another unseen character yells "PENNY!" from off panel. The goal was to establish her character as a brooding dark witch, young-ish looking, but prone to become a crone. Yes, I was planning on actually using those words in the comic. When she would get pissed or charged up with energy, her old badass self would wrinkle its way through. Like I said, not really the same ideas as theirs, but visually and thematically, too close for my creative comfort.

Eventually, I think I might give this a third try, and maybe do it right, despite its similarities to those aforementioned comics already in existence. I still have my own story to tell, and it isn't as if I'm trying to make a dime off of these characters.

The important result of this failed attempt at an interesting zine however was my beginning to focus on doing multiple issues per month, and because of their tiny lengths, numbering them as half issues, hence my 3.5 and so forth.

Happy reading if you have an UBBOZINE Issue No.3 in front of you. Please forgive the rushed approach.

Issue No. 2 - February/ March 2008

Though I had originally planned on producing a zine issue every month, I immediately fell into a creative lapse and the entire month of February (though in my defense, it is a short month) passed me by without so much as a cover design. By early March I became determined to put out a sequel issue, that would not only improve upon the content of the first issue of Ubbo, but provide an overall better product for a reader.
For starters, I remembered to allow myself a quarter-inch margin to compensate for the copier. I also attempted to provide better cover and inside page artwork. I lost the book reviews and instead chose to add in some political commentary and a second page to the short fiction section. The end result lacks that whiny teenager rebellion feel to it I think, and that's not a bad thing, though am guilty of waxing political a little, as this issue was produced around the name time that the Governor Spitzer scandal was breaking news everywhere.

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UBBO Zine Issue No. 2 February/ March 2008

Inside Cover: The inside cover artwork this time featured a mummy reaching over its sarcophagus lid, and to be honest, is just a better attempt at the zombie from the first issue.

Letter Page: Oh heeey reader...

Dear Reader, 3/2008
Who says global warming is real? ONE day of snowfall
the entire winter is not a sign of anything, right?
Enjoy this issue, sorry for the delay. We're
all doomed. - Z.A.

Fortune: Don't expect romantic attachments to be strictly logical or rational!

Page Three: Here we see some political ranting occurring...

What kind of a world spends
more time reporting on prostitutes
than on a war that has killed 4,000
people? Our culture is fucked. Resist
the bullshit. Demand answers, truth,
and NOT distractions.

Page Four: Music review...

You should listen to...
Captain Bringdown and the Buzzkillers

Tearing up the Southwest U.S. this energetic band mixes loud horns and fast tempos with gravely sung lyrics a la Rancid. Check them out on Sock Hop Records.

Page Five: This story excerpt is more reminiscent of a hard-boiled crime drama, or Frank Miller's Sin City. I like it very much. Below you can read the entry just as it appears in the zine.

Page Seven: This final page returns to the D.I.Y. projects presented in the first issue. In this case, the shift is to homemade weaponry.

D.I.Y. Shuriken
Be a ninja!
  • Scrap Metal
  • Pliers/ Tin snips
  • Hammer & Nail
  1. Any flat, even material will do. Trace your design with a pencil.
  2. Use pliers or tin snips to cut it out. keep the edges clean and pointed.
  3. Punch a hole through the middle for balance.
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That's it for issue two. I enjoyed it because I felt the story section really stood out as a finely tuned feature of the zine. While the music review was a bit lax, and the political rant was a bit... stupid, I still enjoyed the layout and components of this issue, and felt that it was a vast improvement over my first attempt.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


This zine project has been brewing in the back of my mind where all my thoughts percolate down and away from mundane everyday concerns and gather into deep cesspools of ideas. Actually, I wanted to do something in my senior year of college, but never got around to working up the enthusiasm to create anything. In retrospect it would've benefited me immensely to still have that job in the college's copy center on account of my unsupervised late night access to all the paper and photocopies I could want. This eight cents a copy business is for the birds...

Eventually I plan on writing an entire issue dedicated to just why it is that I bother copying and folding and cutting and distributing these little idiosyncratic pamphlets of mine, but leave it to be that in my occupation I find a rather large dearth of creative juices flowing and waves of sameness overtaking the populace. I swear if I hear one more person talk about a television show they watched... Thus, in order to combat my surroundings, I've taken to writing down my musings and doodling away my time. And maybe, just maybe, someone at some point has picked up one of this zines and thought I can do better than this! Perhaps I'll stumble across their little quaint peculiarities one day... and I shall read them and raise my eyebrows in tandem.
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UBBO ZINE issue No. 1 January 2008

Inside cover: The illustration features a zombie clawing its way over a tombstone. I like to think I've gotten better at my doodles.

Letter Page: This was my first attempt at creating a zine, so you'll notice that the letters page is crammed full of a fortune cookie insides, a letter to the reader, and even a bookshelf with book reviews. You may also notice right away, that I never allotted a border on my master copy, so the writing cuts out on some pages where the copier scanned the image and left its 1/4 inch margin.

Fortune: You believe in the goodness of mankind.

Dear Reader, 1/2008
Do you know why you're reading this? Because I
was bored, and more importantly because something
caught your eye or struck a chord with you. Either
way, thanks for reading and keep an eye open for
more "Ubbo". - Z.A.

The Bookshelf - A little literature for the
bibliophile in us all.
The Killer Vol. 1 - Matz
I Am Legend - Matheson
World War Z - Brooks

All top-notch lit. if you're a zombie/ vampire fan or love -
remaining text cut off by copier.

Page Three: I wanted to incorporate music reviews and band interviews in the zine, and I've been able to maintain a featured band in almost every issue. With so many concerts this past summer, three issues of the zine were music exclusive.

"I can't believe you listen to that crap..."

Hailing from Philly,PA Last Martyrs of a Lost Cause rage on the stage with a rampant ska sound that punches contemporary emo bands square in the balls. With songs like "Don't take it Personal" and "Throwing January Away" this band expresses a sound well beyond ordinary "ska". "Go ahead and feel fucked over!" You'll be so glad that you did.

Page Four: Many of the stories featured in the zine come from authors of short fiction. While there is no set style, they tend to be on the more sinister side, often depicting dark science fiction, horror, or seedy crime dramas. This first one is a nod to Logan's Run, with a little 1984 and Brave New World tossed in for kicks. I hope you at least recognize the title reference...

When I'm Sixty-Four

William Williamson was used to the city. He enjoyed being in the city. In fact, anyone who stood up and openly expressed any desire to live outside the city - outside of the boundaries, was immediately escorted to CP, Citizen's Processing, for evaluation. Nevertheless, as William Williamson stood in the lift as it rose eighty-stories to his apartment he could not calm his queasy stomach. Whether it was the rapidly rising express elevator opening a vertigo-inducing view of the city sprawled before him, or the clotted blood and brain matter from John Johnson's retirement party tonight splattered on his shirt causing it, he wasn't sure.

Page Five: In addition to the music and stories, I wanted to add a D.I.Y. touch to the zine.
Sticker Art
How - -You can grab these FREE labels (Priority Mail Label #228) in most post offices. Some you have to ask for them because they're "hip to you". Get some, white em' out or rock it old school with the 228 visible!

Page Six: Page six is where I it a wall. I wanted the zine to emphasize artistry and creativity... and yet I had nothing to offer. I settled for some musings and a poem written by a friend. Admittedly, they're pretty awful, but at this point I was just impressed I'd made it to this many pages.


Seek salvation
Outside of
Stone statues

Holy Pong!

and Buddha
would kick
the crap
out of
and Moses
beer pong.

Page Seven: On the back cover I wanted to put something attention-grabbing in the event that my zines should land face down where I dropped them. Deciding to appeal to the fifteen year old rebel in all of us, I am ashamed to admit that the following is the "inspired" call-to-arms ( or pens?) I wrote down.

allow the
world to define
who or what you are!
exist, think, destroy, create, dream, etc.

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Well there you have it. One bold attempt at creativity. While I assumed I'd be inspired and creative enough to spit out an issue every thirty days, or monthly, I was sorely mistaken. As it turned out, it would not be until mid March that I returned to Ubbo.