Badger's Dozen is a quarterly humour zine being published in Melbourne, Australia, by Tim Train.
Nine issues have been published so far. The first was published just after Christmas 2009, and the most recent just before Christmas 2011.
Each issue begins with a 'Badgertorial' written by 'Badger', who is a gruff, tweed-wearing, pipe-smoking European badger. Badger is presented as the editor of the zine. Many covers feature an image of Badger in various poses. The zine publishes poetry, opinion columns, cartoons, parodic news stories, parodic advertisements, artwork, and fiction. It draws on material from Melbourne's live poetry scene and blogs.
Each issue contains a cast of contributors; some names are pseudonyms. They include Tim Train, St. John Nottlesby, Baron von Harlot, Emily Manger, Eddy Burger, Bronwen Manger, Elizabeth Tan, Robert Conlon, Komninos Zervos, Tim Howard, Bilby Bramble, Gavin Sanderson, Mel Pearce, Michael Reynolds, and Ben Pobjie.
Form and history
Issues are made from folded, stapled sheets of A4 paper. All but one of them have been A5 sized.
Notable issues include:
Published late December, 2009, this issue included many aspects that were later to become regular features of the zine.
- The 'Badgertorial', written in third person by Badger.
- Poems by Baron von Harlot and Tim Train, including a piece parodying T S Eliot: 'The Love Song of J Alfred Badger'.
- A back-page column by Badger listing 'Rhymes without poems'.
- A picture of Badger, holding his pipe, appeared on the third page, but was visible through a picture frame on the front page. This picture was later used to trace out the figure of a 'newsprint' Badger for the cover of issue #2.
- A liftout of six accountancy swapcards, containing pictures of fictional accountants on them.
Published mid-September, this issue is taller and thinner than other issues. It was made out of A4 paper folded lengthways. It featured a picture of a giraffe, standing sideways on the page, with its neck stretching out onto the back cover. Notable works in this issue included
- A poem by Ben Pobjie.
- The first issue of the cartoon 'The Amazing Adventures of Chester Drawers', featuring a chest of drawers as the main character. This would become a regular feature of the magazine.
- A cartoon by regular contributor Emily Manger.
- A column about language by Felicia Ferret, 'Felicia Ferret's Grammar Nook'.
This was the Christmas 2010 issue and featured a colour cover. A small, unstapled extra zine entitled 'Badger's Amazing Christmas Supplement' (subtitled 'Issue 5a'), featuring very short stories and poems, was fixed in Christmas wrapping on the cover. Articles included:
- The inaugural column by St. John Nottlesby, describing his encounter with an eccentric member of the clergy. This was to become a regular feature of the zine.
- The first cooking column, featuring a recipe for Christmas pudding from 19th century cook Isabella Beeton.
- A Christmas carol (a parody of 'Oh Christmas Tree'), with a written music score for piano and voice.
This issue, displaying a pirate Badger on the cover, was launched at the Dan O'Connell hotel in September, as part of the Overload Poetry Festival. It featured:
- A parody newspaper article about the world's first flatulence transplant.
- The first in a two-part story by Nottlesby, 'Nottlesby and the Great Boat Race'. The final part of the story would be featured in issue #9, the Christmas 2011 issue.
- A cartoon by Elizabeth Tan, part of an ongoing series entitled 'The sombre case histories of Dr Ogpin'.
- A love poem about an office laminator, by Bilby Bramble.
- An interview with a 'pirate', which was performed as part of the launch at the Dan O'Connell.
Train has performed several interviews about Badger's Dozen on North West FM community radio. Issue #8 was reviewed in the October 2011 edition of the Sticky Institute's newsletter, 'Sporadic Electronic Correspondence from the Institute'. Reviewer 'Stratu' was impressed by the St. John Nottlesby story, and 'written in a kind of League of Extraordinary Gentleman meets Steampunk style', and 'enjoyed the 'Slightly Altered Poems' [for the person who said Romantic poetry was not interesting and relevant for modern times].' but was less impressed by the rest of the zine. Melbourne poet Maxine Clarke posted a review of the zine on her blog, saying it was an 'oddball zine', and noting that it doesn't have enough poetry 'for it to warrant sneaking into the Overload Poetry Festival program to be launched at the Dan O’Connell Hotel tomorrow afternoon', but going on to note that this is 'very apt, in a Badgers Dozen kind of way'. She goes on to describe the zine as 'consistently bizarre, though there are some departures from the general absurdity'.
- Tim Train's blog
- St. John Nottlesby's blog
- Baron von Harlot's blog
- Elizabeth Tan's blog
- Tim Howard's blog
- Mel Pearce's website
- Robert Conlon's YouTube channel
- North West FM community radio website
- Sticky Institute's website
- Sporadic Correspondence from the Institute October 2011
- Review of Badger's Dozen on Maxine Clarke's blog