Burn Collector 1-9 by Al Burian book cover

Burn Collector #1-9 Book

by Al Burian Author

The first nine issues of Al Burian’s sporadically published and widely acclaimed personal zine. Beginning in the mid-nineties, Burian distributed his work through the tight-knit network of the DIY punk scene. Burn Collector caught on because of its unusual content—the writing blueprinted a persona that was smart, strange, political, attached to sub-culture but striving for a connection to the world at large. Timeless stories and reflections on suburban boredom, cross-country travel, living without luxury, existential dread, and Black Sabbath, among other salient topics. The book first appeared in early 2000; it went through six printings, along the way garnering acclaim from readers, and inspiring more than a few to write and self-publish. Another generation of kids can now be moved by its message of hope, laughter in the face of adversity, and the beauty of stolen office supplies. Read our interview with Al on our blog.

Comments & Reviews


This book offers a look back on the very best that the DIY punk movement of the '90s had to offer. But it's no history lesson, written more than a decade ago, each one of these stories transcends confines of eras and becomes something better: writing that lasts. Al would probably deny it but reading these stories again it's quite clear that he was the voice of a generation.


Burn Collector is best read aloud, alone, line by line as each piece's train wreck unfolds. Al's shrugging, self-deprecating tales camouflage a truly hopeful and humanizing perspective, and are as biting and relevant as they are unassuming. Al Burian writes for the naked hundred-watt bulbs dangling in everyone's busted bedrooms.


Al Burian's Burn Collector is a literary kick in the shins. Wake up and read this. From the turbulence of personal relationships to the hazards of travel to the search for something resembling meaning in this bad-looking twenty-first century, Mr. Burian's work is fierce, insightful, and uncompromisingly wise.


The. Smartest. Man. Ever.


I can't even descibe how much of an impact Burn Collector had on me when I first picked it up. (Re)reading it gives me that same kind of depressed, yet content feeling you get at the end of tragic movies. It's both emotionally charged, and emotionally satisfying. it's one of my favorite zines ever.


I love this book so much. Al Burian is a fantastic writer.