Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fight Boredom with Lists, Typewriters and Yet Another Bike Ride!

List #13
The title pretty much gives this one away. Yes, it's a zine of lists. But it's so much more than that! Each issue is divided into three sections: Ramsey's lists pertaining to her daily life, found lists, and guestlists (lists submitted by readers). The found lists were omitted from this issue due to lack of space, though this zine certainly doesn't feel like it's missing anything, clocking in at over sixty pages. It's subtitled "moving on" and revolves mostly around Ramsey's move from Baltimore to Chicago and her recent breakup. As she says, every zine is allowed at least one breakup issue, right? Although she is obviously heartbroken and feeling somewhat out of place in her new city, this zine contains so much hope and positivity. Lists include People I've Lived With, Little Things I Miss About Baltimore, Living With Daniel vs. Living With Harpswell and Ava, Why I Like Being A Nanny and Weird Things About Public Transit. There is a comic that goes with every list and readers who submit guestlists are asked to include corresponding drawings as well. It's funny because sometimes when I see lists in zines, it seems like a bit of a copout, just filler, but Ramsey manages to capture so many thoughts and emotions into her lists (and artwork as well), it's a very engaging read, the kind you can go back to over and over again. I'd read several issues in the past, though this one really struck me, perhaps because I also broke up with a bearded Daniel recently. Uncanny! Shameless self-promotion: My list, Things I Wanna Do During My First Year In Beautiful Montréal is also included. You can email Ramsey at the address above or check out her Etsy shop.

Imaginary Windows #4
I cannot say enough good things about this zine. This is a text-heavy quarter-size perzine featuring good stories, Victorian clipart and bicycle Polaroids. Erin begins by writing about the beauty of her neighbourhood in the springtime and her bicycle, aptly named Petal. But this isn't your typical bike zine. She writes much about her identity as queer high-femme, and the difficulties her manner of dress (bloomers, petticoats, layers and layers of skirts), sometimes poses in regards to her chosen method of transportation. It was a perspective I'd never really thought about before (although I'm a fan of miniskirt bike-riding myself). She writes about self-perception, intention and gender presentation in an extremely thoughtful and personal way. Learning to overcome a fear of riding through the busy streets of New York City, building muscles and queer (in)visibility. Seriously, I wanna drink tea and go on bike rides with this girl, she is too awesome. There is also a short article written by a friend on how to do vintage fashion easily by modeling oneself after vintage photos of "real" women as opposed to movie stars, and simple accessories that can vintage-fy any outfit. Also included is a short essay on sound art, a lovely drink recipe and a few pieces on the US postal system. Did you know that 5-digit zipcodes in the United States were put into place on July 1st, 1963? Without spoiling anything, I'll tell you that you absolutely need to read the tale of the theft of Petal. This is one of the best zines I've read this year. Or maybe ever.

Forever Analog
Forever Analog is short but sweet, featuring twelve pages of drawings and short explanations about the awesomeness of all things past. Film photography, snail mail, record players and of course, our beloved typewriters. Supercute! Also available on Etsy.

The Exploding Boy #2
Another issue from my favourite new zinester boy. In issue #2, our Vincent writes about a short visit to Toronto and his longing to escape the small town life. Secretly fantasizing about being in love and living with the boy of his dreams, terrified and enthralled by the idea at the same time. He writes about getting drunk and going to the Dyke March against his better judgment and subsequent musings on the mainstream gay community. Quarter-size, cut and paste, super awesome. Email him, he's up for trades!



Miss Fae said...

That's the sweetest zine review, ever Seriously. 24-hours later, I'm still blushing. I cannot believe it

Vincent said...


Hello Amber! said...

No worries, lady! I feel like a total suckup, but your zine rules so hard, it cannot be ignored!