To be honest, it feels a little bit unfair to name the Parcell Press Grab Bag as the fifth addition to the Parcell Press Special Collection. After all, there are no two grab bags alike, and each one may consist of 10 or 20 zines, comics, and pieces of print ephemera with drastically different styles and made by various creators. But, I can’t really help it: in the last two months the Grab Bag has successfully met all criteria for inclusion in the Parcell Press Special Collection. Not only is it wildly popular, but the feedback is great, and based alone on how many Grab Bags I’ve shipped since April, this item is indeed in a category unto itself. Would I recommend the Grab Bag to seasoned zine readers? To be honest, I would not. The Grab Bag is the best way for enthusiastic newcomers to the zine world to find their favorite dish by trying a sampler of mixed appetizers first.
Alex Wrekk’s original Stolen Sharpie Revolution was a little, red, quarter-sized zine all about how to make a zine. At the time, Alex had been writing her zine Brainscan, among many other one-shots, for years, and was working at Microcosm Publishing. So, when the zine sold out it was reprinted as a paperback. When that sold out, it was reprinted again. Simply, SSR has smashed any normal small-press publishing record in terms of popularity, lasting relevance, and distribution. After being out of print for two years, Alex has self-published the latest edition of Stolen Sharpie Revolution, and has compiled many voices on vast and varied topics in zine creation, creating such a drastically updated version of the original zine that she titled the reprint Stolen Sharpie Revolution 2. And, guess what? It’s a knockout.
Arguably the most popular DIY guide for zine creation, Stolen Sharpie Revolution is practical, sincere, and highly validating to the zine community as a form of creative expression, without being limited by excessive navel-gazing. Impossible not to include in the Parcell Press Special Collection.