It’s a book, it’s a zine…it’s a bookzine!!! OK, I’ve gone a little too artistic on this, but the truth is – it’s a truly true statement! Hm…I need to stop trying to be funny now, let’s get serious. Because this publication deserves a serious treatment.
I was stoked the moment Mike has announced releasing his own publication dedicated to the genre of spaghetti westerns, or, as some would prefer – Westerns all’Italiana. Why? Because Mike knows his stuff and is one of a few people I know to be so knowledgeable about the spaghettis who are available to give an advice or provide an info for people like me, who barely scratch the top of the genre.
I will digress a little, but I am so waiting for someone to put a similar publication about Italian action movies and especially peplums…but alas, I think I might never see any. But back to our review.
So, we’re talking spaghetti westerns. In recent years there were a few great books about the subject (I am still stuck and buried in the great genre tome “Any Gun Can Play” by Kevin Grant), but I have no doubt that lovers of exploitation/cult cinema will agree with me there are never enough publications dedicated to any particular genre. And because writing and reviewing movies is one thing, but self-publishing a thing completely different, Mike does get a lot of credit for his work on this publication.
Now, with the background in publishing (nothing massive, but it’s here), I can definitely sympathize with Mike’s efforts and I can’t be too harsh on him – but I’d like to offer this critical review as a help and advice with some stuff which, in my humble and honest opinion, could be done better. Not that it matters too much, I – for one – read genre publications for the wealth of information, not to contemplate on the headline fonts and such, so take this with a pinch of salt, OK?
That applies only on the graphic/design part of this book/zine. Content-wise, there’s nothing but a big applause from yours truly. As I’ve said, Mike knows his stuff, so there is no need to lecture him on that.
However, I prefer the use of the same font for the body text (along with bold, italics or underline variety), and the mixture of various fonts and sizes here it’s not the best here, but I am sure Mike will sort this out in the volume 2 (which is aleady out, and I need to get it asap).
Content-wise, no one can complain. Especially bringing to one’s attention more obscure (and ultra-rare) genre movies deserves all the praise one can heap on such an effort. Review of “Gunman of 100 crosses” is a really nice to see here, and I’ve just seen the movie the other day, so it’s good to see an expert’s take on it (and I am glad I actually agree with the review)
The interview section is, unfortunately, not the best one. However, it’s not Mike’s fault – whatever question you ask, it’s up to the other side to provide a nice answer. It’s true you can answer even with one-two words, but personally I consider that quite, well, unsatisfactory. Anyway, I am really interested in Robert Woods interview in the next volume, let’s see if it’s any better.
Not to drag this review for too long, I will state this: I wholeheartedly support this publication (I’ve bought my copy), and even with my critical remarks I applaud Mike’s efforts. In the end of the day, everyone needs to start somehow.
If you like spaghetti westerns, this one is your new publication to read.