Karen Eng can’t ignore the “grumble grumble” in her tummy. So when this zine-lover decided to start her own publication two years ago, she thought, why not have it be about her favorite subject — food? Soon after, she stir-fried and whipped up the food zine PekoPeko (the Japanese onomatopoeia for the hungry grumble in one’s stomach).
Brimming with cartoons, recipes, and delicious trivia, PekoPeko offers unique, humorous and contemplative anecdotes about food. Within its beautifully embossed covers, readers can delve into the plight of Japanese cartoon character Kogepan, the burnt-bread boy, then travel to Orange County, CA, to learn about what’s Kosher. The scrumptious zine has even taken readers to dinner with Eng’s own family in their favorite Chinese hangout, Sam Woo Restaurant.
Eng comes armed with a load of experience as a freelance writer and editor for zines and magazines, including Bitch, Ben is Is Dead, PC Games and Wired. PekoPeko has the spunk of Bitch laced with the literary influences of archetypal food writer M.K. Fisher, and was recently up for a 2002 Utne award.
With its popularity spreading by word of mouth, the zine is now available in many Bay Area magazine and record stores, and at Tower Records stores across the country. For more information about PekoPeko and where you can find it (priced at $4 an issue), visit www.zukazuka.com/pekopeko/.