Burn Collector: Fourteen
by Al Burian Author
In Burn Collector #14 zine superstar Al Burian lays down 156 pages of truth, trouble, and everyman blues. Whether battling the cops in Chicago, essaying the frenetic nervous breakdown of city life, spilling the secret truth of all religions, or talkin' comix and punk shows, Burian does so with class, humor, and a timeless feel for language. Heavily illustrated, dense with stories, and ripped right from the headlines of Burian's hard, hilarious, rowdy life.
Read an interview with Al on our blog.
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Comments & Reviews
" ... powerful stuff, a sobering call to arms for the creators who will rise up and usher in tomorrow." (Named one of the BEST MINI-COMICS & SMALL PRESS TITLES OF 2010)
"This pocket-sized edition comes bearing full scale ideas that I read as a call to the Brave New Artists who will push the medium forward in the years to come. This is powerful and essential reading. Grade A+."
"If you have read Burn Collector before, then you already know that Al is a really talented writer and artist. I love his strange visuals and ambiguous comic panels that sometimes follow the story and sometimes just make you wonder. In this issue he writes about Chicago public transportation versus biking, and all the shortcomings, pitfalls, and insanity of big city travel, life, and music. He also writes about the often hypocritical forces of gentrification. My favorite part of this zine is Al’s analysis of Daniel Clowes’, Modern Cartoonist and his take on the history of cartooning. He makes it personal and I could totally relate to the stories about reading comics as a kid and trying to mimic the art, coming up short and feeling defeated as an artist. And then you discover punk rock and take the reins of your own artistic journey. This issue of Burn Collector is particularly heavy with comics and art, hallelujah!"
"While Burian’s near-poetic true life tales have long been the selling point of his sporadic publication, there’s a clear joy in the seeming abandon with which the author culled together the rather dissonant approaches into a single volume. The issue begins in a fairly standard manner, with musings on the Chicago Transit Authority (not the band) and the happy resurgence of house shows in the area. All the while, however, the pieces are supplemented with Burian’s own crudely-drawn strips, sometimes complimenting the text, and other times simply playing out as their own contextual tangents."
"Al's worked up about public transit and eternal damnation. And while I disagree with him about Chicago being a car town (the public transit system, as imperfect as it is, is way more functional than the one in Los Angeles, and you can get most places 24 hours, not the case is most cities) but everything he says about relifgion, Jack Chick tracts, Jack Kirby tracts, the fruit of knowlegde, and Mel Gibson is right on. Best issue ever, the epic comix will expand your cortex."
"Many of you either know Al Burian from his columns in the now deceased Punk Planet or his great band Milemarker. You should also know him for Burn Collector. This is the 14th edition. A personal zine often gets too personal and doesn't offer insight. Al Burian shows you how to do it right giving great insight to the things that matter most to him."
"Al Burian’s Burn Collector zine has been one of my favorite reads since I first came across it several years ago. It doesn’t come out often and each issue is a surprise. I find it so entertaining because Al is able to write about the most mundane of subjects with such an illuminated insight that is both profound and humorous at the same time. Maybe that paints things with the ‘amazing brush’ a little too thick. OK, let’s try again. Generally, Burn Collector reflects on a myriad of topics that are fairly blasé’ by everyday standards. But there’s a stream-of-conscious sort of way they are written about that asks much broader questions, looks at things from a skewed angle, and comes up with some really clever insights."
"This small tome bounces back and forth between comics and narratives, allowing individuals to see the different approaches that Burian can take. Where the discussion of the Chicago bus lines seems to go on for a little long of a period, Burian’s deconstruction of the Dan Clowes track about the future of comic books is spot-on and seems to me to be more an update of the tract rather than flying against it. The comic break-down that takes place after the mid-point of the issue is similarly lengthy, but Burian seems to be much more at home with this art form. The story (I believe) takes place after Jack Chick passes on, and is front of St. Peter. A few bites of the apple of knowledge later, and Chick is given a number of different tripping experiences all in the course of a few pages. The house shows piece that precedes the comic may just be the strongest of anything to be found here, as Burian shows exactly how amazing transient house shows are, and how special it is to be part of history being made. Pick up this zine from Microcosm Publishing whenever you get a few bucks."
"Burn Collector #14 is a pocket-sized zine containing the further adventures of writer/artist and musician Al Burian. Al spent a few years in Chicago wandering the city, playing in bands, writing, drawing and just trying to survive on the fringe. This issue has Burian confronting such day-to-day struggles as dealing with the Chicago Transit Authority—talk about a character builder. There are ruminations on cycling in a bike-hostile city and the appeal of street musicians and house shows over concerts in more traditional venues (bars, clubs, etc.). There’s also a treatise of sorts in the form of rebuttal to "The Future of Comics", a 1997 article by artist Dan Clowes that appeared in his Eightball #8 comic.
Comics are a theme in BC#14, in fact. Burian's drawings appear throughout the issue. There are assorted sketches and one panel strips as well as a parody of a Jack Chick religious tract that just gets flat-out weird by the end. A good read for riding the CTA, which is about to get a whole lot suckier with their new service cuts this February. Fuckin' CTA."
" ... one of the more rewarding reads I’ve had lately, being a somehow fiercely focused yet free flowing meditation and manifesto on genre subversion (how the ghettos of thought often have the deepest fortunes of talent), the superiority of minimalism as a motivating aesthetic (as in Pick It Up And Play It Yourself), DIY culture, and riding the damned bus. Burian has been in bands Milemarker and Challenger (among others) and has also been around in some very worthwhile music cultures, such as Ann Arbor, Chapel Hill, and most recently Chicago. A longtime punk writing veteran who did a regular column for Punk Planet, this is his long-running personal zine and though it may look raw (though charming), it is stylishly printed and the quality of writing is Harper’s Magazine level."
"Al Burian is my favourite zinester, hands down. If you haven’t read his previous Burn Collector books then get on that now. If you’ve ever been unemployed, played in a band, traveled around sleeping on people’s floors or lived in a ridiculous rented house or worked with mentalists, then you’ll love it. If you haven’t done any of those things then Al Burian will make living in a hellhole and working in a copy shop with imbeciles sound the the most awesome thing ever. This little mini book zine is mostly about the amazing world of public transport, yet another aspect of life I can empathise with. SRSLY AWESOME."