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No Idea Records

$?, 8½” x 11”, copied, 44 pgs.

By Keith Rosson
Thursday, September 28 2006

Another issue of COB comes to us via three dudes locked up via the California Penal System. More cut and paste wackiness, collages, contributions from a few other prisoners, and interviews with Ryan of Mishap zine and a band (I think they’re a band, they never quite make it clear) called High Octane. Again, the zine’s heavily reliant on type- and handwritten stuff, coupled with a lot of text and images culled from magazines. Ryan Mishap would kill me if I bagged on a prison zine too hard, and with good reason: I’d imagine it’s not a locale that exactly nurtures and inspires creative output, especially a zine. So the fact that these cats are doing this at all, and for as long and consistently as they have, should be applauded. That said, I’ve probably read five issues of this zine and it’s never really come close to hitting the mark with me. It’s based pretty deep in a juvenile mindset, there’s not a lot of substance, and the interviews asked mostly ridiculous questions about bunnies and what the interview subject’s favorite issue of COB is. I mean, the dudes in High Octane freely talk about being Five Percenters and refer to oppressive people as “devils”: that’s interesting, but instead, the COB guys ask them questions about rabbits. For me, it was just too heavy on the inside jokes and full-page collages and lacked any kind of depth or resonance. Reminds me quite a bit, painful as it is for me to say, of the first few zines my friends and I were putting out in middle/high school. –Keith Rosson (Cedric Knowles #K-91158, FSP Box 715071, B2-B1-26, Represa, CA 95671)

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