Article 002 "From A to Zine".

DogFight featuring: Rebo.

Published Monday 5th November 2018.

All rights reserved Toasted Posters 2018.

 


We were lucky enough to score a stack of issue 1 of the ADL GRF ZINE to send out free with the purchase of our “Block Rockers” screen print.

 

The magazine is black and white, A4 in size, packed to the rafters with Adelaide based panels, walls & throw-ups.

 

The ADL GRF ZINE is the next instalment brought to you by the folks behind “Unsung Heroes” magazine.

 

The layout is reminiscent of early Vapors magazine, where the images are collaged in an almost dizzying array of line work, shade and style.

 

The fact that it is a ZINE, handmade and rough around the edges, has a real charm and is a refreshing change from viewing graff online or in the glossy pages of modern magazines, of course nothing compares to viewing these pieces in person but that's not what we’re talking about here.

 

Personally I’m a huge fan of Zine’s, over the years I have collected all sorts and even published a handful of my own, there is something freeing about self-publishing on a small scale in this way, not having to answer to an editor or censor your content, just the freedom to showcase the content you want, the way you want, no matter how obscure or deranged they can sometimes seem.

 

Following the guy behind the ADL GRF ZINE on social media, you will find a similar love and passion for this style of guerrilla publishing, with perhaps never to be printed mock-ups of what would be incredible publications such as “Xeroxed - Graffiti magazines from the 80’s till today” and “Sydney Graffiti 1980’s - from Tracer to whatheheck” a real passion for self-publishing and the graffiti culture as a whole is there.

 

I met him once a few years ago when painting the KOC wall in Redfern, I don’t remember getting to talk to him all that much as everyone was busy rocking their respective pieces at the time but we did get to talk a lil about what he was doing at the time with unsung heroes and the fact that both of us were preparing for an interstate move, 2-3 years later I’m still trynna make that move but he did it successfully and we have stayed in touch via social media sporadically since.

 

hype hypemagazine magazine bboy exit seiz koc collector graffiti graffitimagazine broke bboybroke hypetwins
Hype Magazine

How long have you been interested in the world of Zines?

 

I’ve been collecting graff mags since 1990 when I first got a copy of Hype number five with the yellow cover and that front page with the Damp, Neon Scum, Satan’s Legion and Dmote panels in it.

I’d seen a blurb about Hype magazine a few months earlier and had hunted high and low for it but never found it. I also got a copy of Vapors number 5 that day with the proceeds of begging all my friends for a dollar or two each.

 

Before that I collected comics and skate mags but nothing major - my focus has always been graffiti related.

 

vapors vaporsmagazine graffmag graffiti oldschool
Vapors Magazine

 

There have been some fantastic publications over the years, which one was a turning point for you, that pushed you over the line as a collector and ultimately made you want to publish yourself?

 

There were two publications that influenced me greatly. The first is Damn Kids put out by Cheat TFV and a friend of his. That mag was the shit! Cool flicks and good writing and it was Sydney focussed! Plus, you could only get it in limited quantities by hand at the lounge room or in person off the makers and this gave it load of swagger – at least in my eyes.

damnkidsmagazine damnkids graffmag graffiti fresh collection toastedposters hype
Damn Kids

The cover of Vapors number 7 inspired the collages partly but also Lifesucksdie with its collages of graff, signs, gore, boobs, other random shit that made the pages such an adventure to look at.

 

Bringing out UH wasn’t spurred on by a publication but more a situation. In mid 2011 I was unemployed, and my painting partner Saph/Mono died quite suddenly. In the wake of that turmoil I started to find myself a bit jaded on graff. Did I really just want to be another layer of paint on the Casula tanks? What was the point of it? I still wanted to be involved in the graff scene even if only in a minor way and this was my way to continue.

 

Around this time I started to notice that there was a whole generation of younger writers coming up. These younger writers were not just painting a lot - they were having a fucking blast doing it, But they weren’t visible in magazines etc yet and this was the reasoning behind the title Unsung Heroes.

 

Funnily enough in the process of making unsung heroes I think my looking at graff time increased dramatically!

lifesucksdiemagazine graffmag lsd msk djswamp americasfavouritemagazine
Life Sucks Die

What are some of the more appealing attributes of a zine to you?

 

You can choose your focus and make it as quality as you want or don’t want.

I always wanted my zines to be free to enable more of them to reach the kids that I wanted to reach – that 16 year old still buzzing off his first piece is far more appealing to reach than the jaded 40 year old legal writer. 

 

I wanted mine to be low-key, but I also know Adobe programs, so I wanted it low key but clean. In a perfect world I’d be printing photos and cutting them up and gluing them down but who’s got the time anymore?

 

I like zines that are more impartial – that panel might be toy, but the kid also risked as much as the next person, so it’s got a place. Beyond a certain level of quality of course. 

 

And you can’t forget the thrill when somebody says to me “hey your mag is awesome can’t wait for next issue”. The flipside is occasionally people hate it which is a shame but there’s no way to please everybody and if you’re sourcing content by yourself you're going to miss things no matter how hard you try.

 

What are some great zines you have collected over the years?

I really loved the UK zines I had where it was probably some random kid photocopying pictures at his mum’s work! Projects that were a real labour of love without any real expected financial gain. Zines like Rockers foundation, CKS, Financial Crimes, RCC, In The First from Baltimore, Move magazine from New York and their equivalents in Australia, Damn kids, Damage etc.

 

Bigger publications like Underground productions, overkill, Bomber etc. all the names that are rightly famous. Full Effect was another great magazine that deserves a mention as its cover was pretty thorough from memory – no dicking about just wall to wall graff.

Rockersfoundation oldschool graffmag graffiti collection toastedposters
Rockers Foundation

Are there any graff magazines you are reading at the moment?

Strangely enough there aren’t any.

From time to time I see something interesting and buy it but I don’t go looking like I used to. I have a stack of old mags so generally I’m looking through those. To be honest there’s been loads of good books on various graff related subjects out so they’ve been more of my recent purchases.

 

Who do you think went above and beyond with graffiti magazine publishing and really did something special? why?

It has to be a tossup between the Hype guys and Vapors mag.

 

These two mags schooled a whole generation of Aussie writers. They acted as huge conduits between Australia and the rest of the world. Hype also distributed so many magazines, so their influence is bigger than people think.

 

Vapors because the graff was on point and then the music reviews were always great. The little cartoons and words in the margins were awesome! Plus he used a spell check, ha ha.

 

Dirty Deeds magazine probably did more for Aussies inter-railing than any other medium pre-Instagram.

 

issue8 vaporsmagazine oldschool legend historic graffiti vapors magazine graffhistory
Vapors

What publications are you working on at the moment?

Eventually I’ll get around to the next ADLGRFZNE and I think I think I’d like to work on a freight themed issue of something since I have so many flicks of freights.

Would love to continue Unsung heroes indefinitely but I don’t live in Sydney anymore so it’s pretty hard to keep up and make the magazine as great as I want it to be. I always say “nope that’s the last one” then the gents in Sydney send some pics and it’s like “oh shit here we go again”

 

I’ve built up a couple of ideas for books that I detailed on my Instagram that if others shared the vision I’d love to collaborate and make a reality.

 

How can people get a hold of your publications?

 

That’s a toughie- you’ve kind of got to be there when they drop really. That or hook up a print from the good people at Toasted posters!

 

Do you have any last words to share?

 

Yeah, I just want to thank WIRE & EBZKE for their incredible belief and help with the creation of Unsung Heroes.

There are obviously a heap more mags we could have touched on, a few honourable mentions go out to: Blitz Krieg, Damage, Financial crimes, Scribblerz, Huffer, Rabid Coconut Children, HardCore.... damn so many deserve to be named. 

 

Thank you for taking part in this article, every one stay tuned as we will be creating more content with Rebo, hopefully we can go even more in depth on the mags that made us in future articles.

 

Peace!

 

-DF

*All images used in article come from Rebo's extensive collection and were taken by him, The magazines showcased in this article remain copyright of the respective owners and images were purely used for review purpose and their historical significance.

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