Blixa: Musings of an Awkward Girl (Spring 2008)
This is a cute mini-zine, and coming in at 4″ x 3″ and 6 pages long, it’s both the smallest and the shortest zine I’ve ever read! In the zine, Chiara talks about how much she is looking forward to spring, her seasonal wardrobes, the things she is craving, and songs that remind her of summer. Although light on text, the zine is packed with self-portraits and drawings of pretty things. Chiara comes across as a lovely person in this zine, and there’s just something about the zine and Chiara’s unpretentiousness that makes me smile everytime I read it. The length is a shame though – Blixa is so short that it takes less than a minute to read, and it can feel like there’s not much substance to it. I believe that mini-zines don’t have to be mini in length AND in size, so if Blixa was just twice the length then it would be close to perfect.
Losing Our Minds #1 (August 2009)
Saara Fae, UK
This is such a great zine. In this quarter-sized perzine, Saara talks very honestly about her university experiences, and recounts both the positive and the negative experiences she went through (though there are a lot more negative experiences, sadly). She talks about social anxiety, “frenemies” and the concept of a best friend, gigs, clubbing, her rejection of the student stereotype, and her difficulties finding a job after graduating. Saara describes this zine as “text-heavy”, but I’d say it’s a very nice middle ground with plenty of text and complimentary images. I think the reason I like this zine so much is because I can relate to everything she writes about – many of us can relate to her experiences of bitchy friends, feeling anachronistic and out of place, problems making new friends, and having our high expectations dashed. Although her experiences aren’t always happy ones, she never comes across as too self-indulgent, but in fact seems like a lovely person (and I can confirm that this is actually true, so that’s another reason to like the zine!). She also tries to balance out the negative with some positives, with a list of positive experiences of university, and plenty of humour. There’s a nice mixture of visual styles in the zine too, with some handwritten pages, typewritten pages, photo backgrounds, artsy black and white backgrounds, and hand-drawn layouts. Every time I’m feeling a little lonely or sad about my university experience, I pick up this zine and I realise that I’m not alone in feeling this way… and that always makes me feel a lot better, which is exactly what a good perzine should do.
Feels Like Friday #12 (August 2009)
Ivana Stab, Australia
This issue of Feels Like Friday is my favourite of all the issues I’ve read, which makes is so much more saddening when she announces that this issue will possibly be the last! This issue in particular is unique, consisting of an eclectic mixture of short written pieces, including stream-of-consciousness musings, philosophical thoughts, unfinished sentences and pithy statements. This zine is also gorgeous to look at, with a lot of interesting black and white images and backgrounds. Although this style of zine is quite different, the fact that every written piece is less than 150 words can make the zine difficult to read. She flits from subject to subject never referencing back, and by the time you reach the end of the zine it can feel as if you’ve not engaged with the writing enough – I would’ve liked some of her short pieces on feminism in particular to be at least 3 times the length. Having said that, Ivana comes across as a fiercely intelligent and independent woman, and there’s a simmering anger and power that comes through in her writing which is very inspiring.