Get a Grip: Travels Through My Mental Health – by Sarah Tea-Rex – half size – 42 pagesSarah writes: “I have a knack for writing about topics that I struggle to talk about openly. The really painful and hard parts of my life. I write zines likes this in the hope that people are able to learn from, relate to, find comfort in, and have some good chuckles along with it. I want this zine to be like one of those big hugs that mean something in hard times. But for some people it will cover topics that could be triggering of difficult to read. This zine includes pieces on childhood sexual abuse, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, repressed memories, anorexia, mental institutions, abuse perpetrators, consent, and communication. If you do choose to read this, please read it in mind that these topics come up and that you can always stop reading or skip over anything that you find hard.” I have wanted to get this zine stocked for a while, and I’m glad I can finally bring this to you. Important and well written, this zine should be part of your collection or one you should pass on after you read it.
Hourly Comic - by Carolyn Belefski – quarter size – 16 pages - $1Carolyn’s mini-comic is cute and well made. I don’t know if she’ll like that description, but that was the first thing I thought when I held this zine in my hands. The size is perfect for back-pocket reading, and the comics themselves are clean, fun, and humorous. I love the idea of making one comic every hour, and I think that was the intention with this – it’s like peeking into someone’s window all day. Okay, maybe that’s creepy, but you know what I mean. Definitely pick this up if you want to get inspired to make your own comic or if you just want some fun reading!
I Dreamed I Was Assertive #12 - by Celia - full size - 26 pagesIn the intro, Celia writes: “This is a zine about things seen, things found, things made, the minutiae of everyday life, footnotes, lists, nostalgia, good things, motherhood, kids and the kid-at-heart, words heard, words read, words written, hearts-on-sleeves, life.” I have been a fan of Celia’s zines for a while, and I’m happy to be distroing her writing! In this issue, she writes about her grandparents, turning 37 and a list of things to do before she turns 38, daybook entries where she documents her days, a recipe, and book reviews. There’s a lot more to this than what I listed. It’s all hand-written, but it is extremely legible. It’s one of my favorites, so I definitely recommend you pick this one up!
I Dreamed I Was Assertive #13 - by Celia - full size - 18 pagesJust when I thought I couldn’t love anything more than IDIWA #12, this issue rolls out! I am going to recommend the crap out of this to every zinester I know. Beautifully written with hand-colored accents and even a whole page of glued-on paint chips that represent the Sweet Valley High book covers! In this issue, Celia writes about taking her father’s ashes to spread at a beach in Key West (definitely the most emotional piece in this zine), being a pack rat, a list of things she did on her 39th birthday and what she saw at a museum, all of the prayer candles/religious metals/prayer cards in her collection (being a fellow Cuban, I definitely have a lot of those around the house – even though I’m an atheist!), and a list of books she has read. Superbly put together, oozing with creativity – a lovely, uplifting and inspirational zine.
Imaginary Windows #4 - by Erin Fae - quarter size - 42 pagesI don't and can't ride a bicycle, but Erin's zine was still a great read. This zine is mostly about her bicycle (which she named "Pedal"), riding through the streets of New York City, and thoughts about gender performance while riding. She also writes about an art exhibit she experienced that was only composed of sound. Here is an excerpt from this issue: "I am a bicycle cartographer. Every time I turn down a different road, I'm re-mapping this city in my mind. So, with that openness, I remap my gender. I want to draw it out, see how these shifts fit. Femme isn't just something that I am, it's something I do. I take my gender seriously, but it's playful and I am secure in being a femme." I'm really excited to be distro'ing this, finally!
Introvert #6 - by Nicole - quarter size - 30 pagesNicole lost her nephew to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Sydrome), and this zine is dedicated to and about him. She writes about the events of that day, how her family dealt with it (then and now), and her own fears about having children in the future. Also included is info on SIDS and different organizations that deal with SIDS. Could be triggering.
The La-La Theory #6- by Katie - half size - 26 pagesKatie describes her zine in the intro: “In this issue you will find an interview with a writer who has made English-language adaptations of Japanese manga. An adaptation is different from a mere translation; you’ll see. I have also written an essay about a poem I wrote a few months ago. Both of those pieces of writing are concerned with foreign words that have no direct English translation. I also wrote descriptions of some of the weirder language usage books I’ve bought recently, and I included a piece I wrote about found poetry, which has a lot to do with meaning and context – you know, semantics. And then there are those etymologies. The story of where a word came from and how it developed is like the story of a person’s life.” A zine about words - can it get any better? Not only is the writing stellar, but the artwork inside is detailed and beautiful. I wish I could frame this zine.
Life, Death, Love & “All of the Above” – by Meredith – half size – 42 pagesMeredith of False Start distro wrote this zine about falling in love with her boyfriend, his eventual diagnosis of leukemia, and where she is emotionally at today. Everything about this zine is amazing, from the heartbreakingly beautiful prose to the professional-looking layout. Here is an excerpt: “She saw me sobbing quietly and told me it would be okay. She had breast cancer 25 years ago and she’s still alive and kicking. I nodded and tried to dry up my tears and I thanked her for her kindness. She is kind. She is more than kind. But her cancer isn’t your cancer, and hers is gone but yours will never go away. You were alone in the shower and I was alone in your hospital bed and when there was a distance I broke down. The nurses always saw me cry when you went away.”
List #13 - by Ramsey - half size - 66 pagesRamsey's zines are definitely some of the best, layout-wise. Her unique style and brilliant illustrations are truly amazing. Her zines contain lists of different things, and illustrations to go with them. This issue is described as a break-up issue, and Ramsey writes about feeling lonely and depressed after losing someone so close to her. She also makes lists about moving and being in a new city, her dog, and more. There's also lists and drawings from other people! You won't be disappointed in this - it's a perfect mixture of art and text.
List #14 - by Ramsey - half size - 56 pagesThis issue of List contains illustrations and lists that mostly pertain to Ramsey herself - such as what's in her room, facts you don't know about her, what she's looking for in a place to live, things that bother her, significant music in her life, the best things she's done in Chicago so far, and more. There's also a cute postcard included to tell her why you town is awesome and why she should move there. As usual, amazing drawings, awesome text.
Love Letters to Monsters #2 - by Ciara - quarter size - 46 pagesWritten by Ciara of the sorely-missed Learning to Leave a Paper Trail distro, this zine is a nice text-heavy look into common sense meshing with radical politics, with a nice dash of snark thrown in. Basically, my kind of zine. I found myself saying, “Yes, exactly!” a lot, and was connecting with what I was reading throughout. Inside, you will find pieces about her abortion, her belief that monogamous relationships can be radical, how she left the Skillshare that she had created, growing up among a youth-centered Anarchist movement, and book talk. One of my favorite zines, with a nice old-school typewritten layout.