The First Status Update

This article is a part of Issue #2: Breath. You can get your own physical copy of the zine through our store, or see the full page spread for free at our Patreon!

When technology augments the natural limits of human communication, there are often unexpected side effects. When Sharp first decided to bundle together a phone and a camera into the same device, they didn’t know they’d laid the foundation for Instagram, or the rich visual ecosystem of mobile content. At the time, uploading images to the internet in a community of users was 10 years away. Similarly, when Casio created the first commercially successful answering machine capable of playing an outgoing message in 1971, they didn’t realize that they had effectively given a broadcasting platform to the answering machine owners.…   [continue reading]

Almost Normal: Why I Love Lowbrow Art

This piece was written by Warren “WEE” Elliott for Issue #2: Breath. You can purchase a physical copy through our store or Patreon.

Lowbrow art is a raw, frequently unpolished graphic style that grew out of the underground comix, punk music, and hot-rod scenes. Often it focuses on sex, drugs, and anything that might be considered taboo. Its aim is to violate social norms and slap polite society in the face with the dirty and calloused hand of reality. It’s rough, it’s real, and I love it!

I grew up in a working class family, in a working class neighborhood, in a very conservative Christian community — Lynchburg, Virginia to be exact. …   [continue reading]

Issue #2: Breath: FINAL ANNOUNCEMENT

Issue #2: Breath is available to order through our store or, alternatively, as a reward to Patreon supporters.

We’re now preparing to post out copies of Issue #2: Breath! If you haven’t yet ordered a copy, you can do so by visiting our store or brand new Patreon page. We’ve worked hard to make this zine worth the money, by filling it with as much writing, art and photography as we could source. In the end, we’ve more than doubled the page count of our debut issue.

We’re immensely proud of the contributors who have given this project life.…   [continue reading]

Issue #2: Breath: General Updates and News #3

You can pre-order a physical copy of Issue #2: Breath here!

The next three weeks represent our final push before we publish Issue #2: Breath. Benjamin and I have been doing all we can in the background to make this zine special. We’ve worked hard to give our excellent submissions the formats they deserve, and we couldn’t be happier with the results.

However, we originally planned for a 2nd of April release date. Due to a number of circumstances, there will likely be a fortnight’s delay. The issue will still print in April, but we need the extra days in order to perfect the product. …   [continue reading]

Issue #2: Breath: General Updates and News #2

You can find some more background on Issue #2: Breath here!

Since posts have definitely been slower here this year, I feel it’s only fair that we show why. We stated our heavier concentration on Issue #2: Breath in this previous post. But, with so much going on in the background, it’s about time we gave an update.

Several contributions have already come in, and received full page formats from Benjamin and I. Neither of us can believe the quality of submissions this time around, and we’ve tried to live up to that with our designs. Last week, we worked on a three-page spread exploring the art of Katrine Claassens.…   [continue reading]

Issue #2: Breath: General Updates and News

This year at Secret Cave, we’re changing our pace somewhat. Following the release of our first zine last year, we’ve already started work on a second issue. It’s important to us that Issue #2: Breath is an improvement in every possible way on our original venture. As such, certain elements of our output are likely to slow down until our estimated release date in April.

In no way does that mean our domain content will stop. In fact, Benjamin and I already have numerous drafts that we’re working on. However, we have made our next zine a conscious priority. Unfortunately, this is likely to have an impact on the amount of posts here.…   [continue reading]

Poor Messrs. Fish

This piece is an extract from our first print zine, Issue #1: BirthClick here for more information.

I can’t bear to harm a smiling face. A smiling face conceals a soul. A smiling face’s feelings are hurt when you mangle it. Eating it is bad enough, but throwing it away is reprehensible, and if I eat the smiling face it has at least served its life purpose.

That’s why I’m sitting, edge-of-my-seat, eye-on-the-clock, flicking through a plate of goldfish crackers to find the ones with faces so I can eat them and rescue them from the garbage. It is very horrible of the makers of goldfish crackers to put faces on some but not all of the goldfish.…   [continue reading]

The Work of Art in the Age of Microsoft Paint

This article is a re-formatted extract from Issue #1: Birth, which you can read more about here.

As Microsoft throws Paint into the digital wasteland with the rest of the internet’s abandonware, it’s hard not to get nostalgic about the simple graphical editor that influenced the “shit is good” aesthetic of the early 2000s internet. Its influence on internet culture is huge, with obvious examples being rage comics, stoner comics, and any image macro with awkwardly superimposed text and graphics.

Digital art that looked like shit started out as a necessity, yet slowly became a preference. Even today’s memes hark back to the days where the best material was thrown together on Paint in a matter of minutes.…   [continue reading]

Issue #1: Birth – The Frame

After the launch of Secret Cave’s online store, where slavering millennials and web-based creatives can, at last, feel the material presence of their favourite online “zine”, I, Lee‘s dad, thought it would be fitting to add to this existential element of the website.

It’s one thing to clatter around on a keyboard and instruct someone to switch on their machines and program them to churn out consumer goods, like magazines and cassette tapes. It is entirely another thing to take materials from your surrounding environment, produce objects to arbitrary dimensions, pre-determined physical requirement limitations and personal aesthetics using one’s own imagination, understanding, logic, practical skills and enough calorific intake to produce the energy required to shape and reform.…   [continue reading]

Issue #1: Birth: A Final Announcement and Update

Several months ago, we announced our first physical zine. Since that announcement, Benjamin and I have been working hard to make Issue #1: Birth a reality. On the same day as this post’s publication, we’ve made our final order for the complete batch of debut issues. Once we’ve received them, we’ll send out individual copies to our subscribers. With its release just a few days away, this post will take a look at each of the zine’s talented contributors. In addition, I’ll detail a few of the difficulties we’ve encountered in the process, and how they’ve helped us to develop.…   [continue reading]