It’s like the Zine Fairy landed. Today I received a zine I totally forgot I ordered (short term memory – bad) and one I wasn’t expecting for a while. Since my PO Box has been pretty cobwebby, I decided to make myself feel better and ordered Photomill 2: Tales From the Cadaver Lab (June 2012). One of my best friends works in Histology and I always loved the stories that she would set aside in her brain for retelling – you know, over dinner. STIFF by Mary Roach is one of my all time favorite books (Let’s not use the word “maggot.” Let’s use a pretty word. Let’s use “hacienda.”). The idea of The Body Farm, despite the fact that it would quease me greatly IRL, is fascinating hardcore nerdy awesome. So I was really looking forward to reading it. Post-read, I can totally say it was worth the wait.
Aesthetically, the zine is clean and makes nice use of white space with easy to read text blocks, public-domain Gray’s Anatomy art, rubber stamp headings, and hand written details. Essentially, it’s one of my favorite kind of zines. I was also impressed that the intro was written with sensitivity to readers in that it included a general trigger warning and mention of a later discussion about fatphobia. Sometimes I feel like this kind of consideration is really a crap shoot in the medical field, so I like it when I see it. Kent takes us through their experiences as a student and TA for both Anatomy and Anatomical Drawing courses, recalling student reactions, the differences between textbooks and real specimens, the joy of nerding out, and the political landmines in rhetorical choices when teaching anatomy. I really enjoyed this zine and look forward to the sequel Kent alluded to in the note that came with the zine. I plan on getting at least two or three more copies and giving them out to friends.
SO…on with today’s planned activity:
TOP 10 REASONS WHY I LOVE ZINES!
10. The renewed sense that I am free to make things without the approval of a publisher and without a pre-established following.
9. Mail art!
8. Continually being surprised at the magical things that go on inside people’s heads and how much I can relate to them.
7. Seeing all the different kinds of handwriting in the zines and the letters that come with them.
6. Nostalgia mixed with future-y creativeness.
5. Drama, Social Justice Warriors TM, and the sanctity of TWUE zines! (I jest).
4. Julia Eff.
3. Most are shorter than “books” and thus I finish them (sense of accomplishment).
2. Sweet notes and personalized interactions with distros and zine creators.
1. They line the path of the road back to the place inside of me where creativity and fearlessness live.
So, anyway, I also received my backup copy of Julia Eff’s Broiling for Columbine. I can’t overstate how much I love their zines. Like, Julia Eff is to zines for me what Buffy the Vampire Slayer is to television. I can enjoy other zines and other shows, and even really get into some of them, but none resonate to completely or so deeply. Given the ephemeral nature of zines, I get kind of panicky when I think about Julia Eff’s zines not being in my life. It’s not like there’s 20 million of them printed. It’s not like they couldn’t just decide to stop making them (out of absolute cruelty and selfishness!). There could be a Zombie Apocalypse and NO MAIL SERVICE! So, I always get at least one backup copy of all of their zines, either as a replacement should something happen, or in case I JUST NEEEED to have someone else read them without worrying about losing my only copy. Now I just need to place my order for their other 2 recent zines through Pioneers Press (support the distro!) and I’ll be set.
In other news, I was thinking that this Thursday would be a good day to do my 24 Hour Zine Challenge, what with it being a holiday and all and me not working that day. So, that’s the plan, Stan. Hope y’all are enjoying your second day of IZM!
P.S. Just ordered a handful of zines from Etsy shops as well as from Pioneers Press. Guess I’ve got Day 3 taken care of. 🙂