Our Romanian Photoshop intern is super into gay fanzines. As for ourselves, we've always enjoyed reading about cocks, but our knowledge of DIY dong publications is relatively limited, so we asked him to compile a list of the juiciest homo zines ever made. He was more than willing to oblige, and took some time off from touching up ads to put together these reviews of the most hilarious, disgusting, and ridiculous zines that have ever come out of a printer. Personally, we have a hard spot for Teen Meat.
DINGUS & PISSZINE
Dingus is a fanzine that specializes in the vast continuum of dick: porn star dick, super hero dick, editor dick, adolescent dick, etc. It celebrates the variety of penis in the world with a variety of art forms: poems, novellas, comics, fan fiction... any way you can think of to draw or write about a dick, Dingus has beat you to it.
In the same genre is the impossible to ignore Pisszine. It's infuriating but amazing, and really, really funny. It deals in some of the foulest and most poignant stuff orbiting gay sex: piss, the urogenital system, and golden showers. Appropriately, Pisszine is printed on pee-pee hued yellow paper.
STRAIGHT TO HELL
This is the world's oldest gay fanzine still in existence. Straight to Hell was first published in 1971, at a time when your parents had yet to define their own sexual orientations. Originally it didn't even have a cover, just a scrap of paper hand stapled to the rest of the magazine and "formatted" with a typewriter. This changed with the 12th issue and since then STH has gradually become the best radical gay fanzine in the universe. The magazine's specialty lies with the reader-written stories that describe—in detail—their most spectacular sexual exploits. About half of the contributors are straight, which is sort of strange considering the articles they write are called things like, "Baptist Boys Do It, As It Were, In Church" or "The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name: Armpit Sniffing."
Teen Meat is the best magazine in the world for guys who fantasize about guys fantasizing about Big Macs. There's a huge Beverly Hills potential with this publication, meaning we could still accurately place it in history even 50 years from now—it's 90s pop digested and thrown up by gay WASPs amused by anything and everything, meat in particular. They combine junk food and erectile dysfunction into the same article—and somehow it fits. It makes us horny and hungry at the same time, which is a strange but fantastic combination.
KUTT & HYSTERIA
KUTT is the lesbian spin-off of BUTT. It's got the same page setting, font, and format, but it's printed on fancy lilac paper. Inside this issue is an interview with Chloé Sevigny about masturbation and illustrations extolling the virtues of sex sans dicks.
Hysteria, on the other hand, is a true lesbian fanzine, both lesser known and less hairy. It's mainly for louder voices and feminists and it's fucking cool.
THE DAILY PLAGUE
Unfortunately, I couldn't find an image of this one, but it was an Australian fanzine that wrote about AIDS and how to live with it. It was a direct competitor to DPN, and was published around the same time—yes, the dark years. I don't really feel like adding any commentary to their manifesto, which was "To badly go where no publication has gone before in providing/stealing information, humor, and humanity about the Great Adventure, aka HIV," because I think it speaks for itself. But if I had to pick an article that sums up the content, it would be the one about making a homemade HIV self-contamination kit. It's amusing, fun, and French gays have never had this kind of auto-derision on the illness.
SCUM BAG FAG MAG
Here's another one that can be shelved in the "post modern perversion" section of your heterosexual brain. Scum Bag specializes in such eccentricities as fisting, daddies, backrooms, and glory-holes. I have a special affection for this magazine because it was the first gay zine that I ever read. The magazine's graphics are based off of stupid collages and illustrations, and are really well done.
The name of this one is fairly self explanatory. Fag School is about the gay community, or "school," itself. It is (was?) published and written by Brontez, one of the San Francisco gay scene's most influential members. Brontez interviewed queer and lesbian bands and told of his "sexcapades" to a totally smitten readership. The background images were all printed on a broken photocopier and the overlaid texts were written in the tone of the very best 80s queer punk magazines. This mag went so far in its role of school master that it once taught its readership "How to Become a Go-Go Boi step-by-step."
This was the fanzine inspired by Wobensmith's Outpunk Records, a label specializing in queer punk bands. It pushes the gay punk aesthetic to the extreme and, on flipping through, it really seems as though every member of this entire secret scene was inspired by both Suicidal Tendencies and the Smiths, musically and shredded-denim-jacket-wise. The editors wrote about any mainstream publications they abhorred, the worst straight bands on planet Earth, and the difference between queercore and heavy metal. The mag folded in '97, probably so it could avoid the 2000s.
Little Ceasar was a fanzine launched by Dennis Cooper in 1976 and described by its creator as a "punk rock literary journal." Inside Cooper compiled poetry, portfolios, fiction, and fiction of fiction. It was mainly a compilation of arty intellectualizing and reflexive thought—along the lines of Cooper's later work. Little Ceasar cut ties with any stupid lo-fi aggressive zine ideology, but held on to the "total freedom to speak your mind without reprehension" part. This could be the reason that Cooper spoke only of himself and his life. That might sound self-absorbed, but it worked—Cooper is the sort of Uber-Mensch entirely capable of giving his readers mental boners just by talking about his grandparents and why he prefers chorizo pizzas.
Fanzini, with its lovely Latin name, was a major influence on gay 70s culture. The magazine was produced with three pieces of string by John Jack Baylin and made up the tip of the avant-garde before punk came along and knocked the underground embryonic structure of the mid to late 70s. Inside were drawings and collages by John Dowd, who salvaged the images of Disney cartoons and combined them with obscene photos—most of the time resulting in guys recognizable only by their thick mustaches and leather jumpsuits. The guys from Butt count Fanzini among their editorial influences, especially in tone and passion for ridiculous fabrics.
Bimbox exemplified "the politicized homosexual avant-garde" at the end of the 80s and beginning of the 90s. Bimbox brought the population's attention to the existence of a lesser known community that fucked people of their own sex and were against everything most people considered normal. To show their aversion to all middle class bourgeois heterosexual norms, the guys behind the mag spent most of their time showing gigantic erect penises. Nevertheless, their extreme ideologies and Manichean attitude toward the world (us = nice, them = wankers) often drove them to intriguing and unpopular positions: they were in favor of total separation between gays and straights, and sought a homosexual socialist utopia. It's a shame that these dreams of a Promised Land were prematurely laid to rest by the sharp reality of US Customs, who confiscated their second issue for pornographic content.