Yeti IS LESS A ZINE than an immaculately curated collection of art and ideas that walk the line between marginal and universal. Between the interviews, comics, and short stories that appear on its pages—and the included CD of wide-ranging music—Yeti functions as a string of exhibits that display a single constant: the interests of Portland-based editor Mike McGonigal. Thumbing through the newest issue, Yeti Nine, feels like circling around an artistic encampment inhabited by practitioners of weird, wild, and woolly ideas. Some entries are welcoming, some are confusing or dangerous, but all are worthwhile.
The centerpiece of Yeti Nine is a never-published 1973 interview with visual artist and filmmaker Bruce Conner, whose sense of mischief and rejection of the establishment embodies the Yeti ethos. Another interview with Indian record collector V.A.K. Ranga Rao flits from its subject's musical geekery to transcendence, sex, lunacy, and beyond. Meanwhile, remarkably dense line drawings from Alisha Wessler and a collection of excerpts from former Fug Tuli Kupferberg's Birth magazine provide visual highlights.
Perhaps it's McGonigal's primary, if unspoken, goal to preserve—for a little while, at least—some of the unique artistic oddities and triumphs he's discovered, before they get swallowed back into the earth as forgotten memories. If that's the case, then Yeti Nine is not just a hugely convenient digest of ideas that're otherwise difficult to tackle—it's a road map pointing the way to strange and far-off treasures.