Zine Review: Rut Zine #78 by Toby Buckley

8 pages, A6.



This is a very lovely little zine that I own entirely by accident. I ordered one zine from Sticky Institute and they sent me that zine along with maybe 30 other free zines which took me quite some time to read through (to my great joy!)

This one has a helpful description on the back:

Rut Zine is a free weekly zine made at Sticky Institute in Melbourne, Australia by Bianca Martin.


For other great free zines:

These are some links that I haven't used yet because I am a massive procrastinator when it comes to things that will make me happy, but I’ll be darned if I’m not going to check them out as soon as I’ve finished writing this.

The contents of the zine are just the writer’s daily and weekly to-do lists and some discussion of the benefits of having that sort of routine. It’s written in a stream-of-consciousness type of way. And I don’t know why I find it so enjoyable – I have read this tiny zine multiple times. It makes me want to pin down my own to-do list, and take up Duolingo and start playing guitar again. I probably won’t do these things, but I probably would if I put them on a list. Most importantly, it makes clear how important it is to make sure you do all the little self-maintenance things that seem obvious but can easily fall by the wayside if you get out of the habit – things like updating your calendar, writing in a journal or brushing the cat.

I feel like I’d get along with the writer if I knew them personally, and ideally if I lived in Melbourne, Australia. I feel like everyone needs to come up with their own list, and like reading someone else’s list (like I got to when I read Rut Zine #78) makes it easier to see what items you need to add to your list and what items you’re already doing well with. It’s the sort of itemised life I can get behind, and the sort that goobers already tease me for having but here’s a writer that does it even better than me and gosh darn! I’m not alone!

It’s a really satisfying read. It makes it all so good and clear:

It kind of seems like a lot, but they’re all pretty easy things to do that don’t take a lot of time unless I feel like taking extra time on them. So I draw up this checklist into a graph every week and tick off my tasks as I do them every day and at the end of the week revise it and see if there’s anything I haven’t been doing regularly and if it has impacted on mu much, and if I find it’s a thing I’m consistently not doing I drop it from my daily list to my weekly list (more on that later).

Rut Zine is available from Small Zine Volcano (, but their system is that you select a price to pay and they cram as many zines as they can into the envelope so that it’ll cost that amount to post it. It’s a cool system, but means you can’t guarantee which issues you’ll get! Maybe if you email them and specifically request Rut Zine #78, they’ll be able to help you out. It’s worth the email.

Bombinate #1: bees by Toby Buckley

For a reason I can't quite articulate a section of Fionn O’Shea's'helo this doesn’t have a title'has set up home in my brain:

"there was a post I saw a while ago how you can see in google stats that in every single language that google supports, someone has searched 'where do the birds go when it rains'. The post was about how it's nice that everyone everywhere hopes that the birds are ok when it rains. I hope the bees are ok when it rains." 

The wonderful Nathan Penlington over at Syndicated Zine Reviews has written a lovely review of Bombinate Issue #1: Bees! Read his piece in full here: 

Zine Review: Vanishing Nature by Jacek Matysiak by Toby Buckley

Thursday, 5th July 2018


It's Day 5 of International Zine Month, and today's task is to Review a zine online or write a review to share. So without further ado... 

VANISHING NATURE by Jacek Matysiak



Depicted in a series of landscape illustrations, this book plays a homage to the region I grew up in and serves as a serious reminder to how quickly our beautiful nature is disappearing.

Item Description

Produced on good quality paper with texture. 210x148mm. €12.


Sometimes we all need a bit of a rude awakening. Vanishing Nature provides just that through its tranquil landscape illustrations interspersed with warnings about what’s happening to nature as a result of our own actions. The realities of climate change can be a bitter pill to swallow, but it’s a necessary one.

The beauty of Jacek Matysiak’s writing is that it doesn’t get caught up too much in the statistics, and the spooky hypotheticals about things that will happen long after this generation is dead. The writer knows that as much as we all care about the world and the future, we care about ourselves more. The illustrations of the impact we’re having on the environment are more solid than that. These are things that are happening right now, changes that have occurred within our lifetimes.

This book doesn’t deal with what will happen if the oil runs out or what will happen if the ozone layer disappears or what the world will look like in 100 years if we don’t stop this. It deals with something easier to picture: a summer with too many flies, less snow in the winter, a lake that’s been poisoned and dredged to destruction in the last 20 years.

And then you have the backgrounds, illustrations and designs. Each double-page spread is another beautiful scene of a meadow, a forest, a marsh or a lake. The animals in the images are just going about their business, as they should be able to do. And there’s the odd house, church and fence here and there, because the message isn’t that people are bad and evil and the world will never be good with us here. The message is that we can do better, that we must do better. The booklet acts as an advertisement for being a decent, environmentally conscious human being.

Vanishing Nature is a gorgeous little book, easily one of the loveliest items at the Belfast Zine Market. The contents are attractive and informative, but the book as an object is just as pleasurable as the book as a reading experience. It’s printed in rich, eye-catching colours and on strong textured paper. It’s the sort of book I’d give my mam.

You can get a copy of Vanishing Nature from Jacek Matysiak through their Etsy store, TheOrangeNestShop.

Review by T.J. Buckley 🐝x