Zine review – Ashcan #1

Ashcan #1

Edited by Sean Castillo
Published in SF in October 2008

I scored my copy of Ashcan #1 at the Urban Craft Center in Santa Monica. Their collection of zines is kinda sparse, at least compared to the likes of Powell’s and Reading Frenzy, but it holds a wealth of classics for those willing to sift through its disorganized stacks. Ashcan wasn’t the oldest there, but it caught my eye.

The zine is half interviews with bands and the progenitor of a skateboard company, half short stories, comix, and zine reviews. Really interesting to read the interviews, both for the snapshots of their subject’s respective scenes and the funny anecdotes that always surface when you talk to a band. The two short pieces, A Few Thoughts on Pornography by Dustin Heron and illustrated by Amos Goldbaum, and White Powder by Justin Allen with illustrations by Kevin McCarthy, aren’t particulary ground breaking in their subject matter. Porn and blue collar labor have both been covered by innumerable authors, but that’s because they’re both ubiquitous and most everyone can relate. A fresh perspective on either is always interesting and both author/illustrator pairs kept me reading. How We Manage, written by Alexander Zeddemore and illustrated by Daniel Kaufeldt, accurately distills the agony of trying to find gainful employment post graduation, and the schadenfreude laden experience of going back to a maligned former employer to see what has changed, and what hasn’t.

Ashcan doesn’t seem to be particularly active any more, issue #3 came out in August of 2010 and not much looks to have happened since. There’s still an online presence at if you’re interested though.

660 4th St. #420
San Francisco, CA 94107