Zine Review: Work in Progress


Work in Progress
Gemma Flack

In the intro, Gemma says that this is not something she usually does (make perzines, talk about herself and her insecurities, etc). Well, for someone who doesn’t usually do this sort of thing, it’s an excellent read. Hell, for someone who does do this sort of thing, it’s an excellent read. I would have assumed she’d been doing perzine stuff for years if she hadn’t stated in the beginning that she didn’t.

Anyway. I really like this zine. I know I say that a lot, but it comes with the territory when you don’t put up reviews of zines you really don’t like. Gemma has a very refreshing voice that ‘clear’ and doesn’t beat you over the head with anything. She states what her world is like and invites you in, but that is where it stays. You go in if you like, take what you will. She doesn’t force anything on you.

I really love how she ties something as complex as space travel and life on other planets with something as (relatively) simple as Star Trek and South Park. The connections aren’t forced or anything; it reads so simply and smoothly that I wonder at the fact that Gemma says she doesn’t consider herself to be a writer.

I think the thing that I appreciated most in this zine is this line in the smack dab middle piece:

I grew up not really knowing anything about feminism.

For someone who didn’t grow up with feminism, hadn’t really heard much of anything about it until university, and someone who still feels out of place when others are talking about it, it was really nice to read this. To be reminded that we all had to start somewhere – even the strongest voices.

And, as much as it means this review getting even longer, I can’t finish this review before I talk about the positivity piece she wrote. It was a ‘wow’ moment for me. I forget that we are rarely alone in our experiences, and many of mine were similar to Gemma’s. How she talked about the amount of time and re-education it took to get to a place of acceptance was a beautiful reminder that you can’t go from A to B instantly. I’m far from where she is, but I’m glad she shared her story so I know that I can get there eventually.

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