Zine Review: Dear Crush

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Dear Crush
Lydia Martin
lydiamartin976@gmail.com

I didn’t intend for it to be ‘crush week’ in the review section of the blog, but here we are! I do love a good crush story (my first paid publication was about my crush), and Dear Crush presents notes the many crushes from her life – be them good and bad.

Colour! Unless you’re printing at home (and sometimes even if you are printing at home), colour printing can get expensive, so I suppose it’s no surprise that one might be attracted to the colour zine covers in amongst the treasure trove that is Sticky Institute. Colour combined with subject matter landed this zine in my stack of zine purchases.

Dear Crush features small pieces of art along with colour-copied sticky notes written out to crushes over Lydia’s life. Some where innocent. Some were quite obviously less so. I found myself wondering if the notes were in chronological order, as the seriousness of the ‘feels’ increased as the reading went on.

They are all short reads, so I had to remind myself to slow down and really take in the words as well as the drawings that went alongside them.

Art is like poetry to me – I often get the interpretations wrong. I couldn’t help my brain from being tickled by the presentation of the notes. They are, after all, on sticky notes. Reminders easily thrown away. I felt like Lydia might have been trying to say something about the nature of crushes by using sticky notes. In the end, though, I found myself feeling like there was a depth of feeling missing because of it. Maybe I’m supposed to feel that way? Perhaps that is the nature of crushes, the unrequited.

Either way, I’m not sure. It made me feel something, which is the goal of most art, but the feeling was of that of a shared secret that ended up not being as important as I thought it would be.

But hey, it made me think. It made me look at the presentation and content as one presentation instead of things that happen at the same time on the same page. Very curious, and an enjoyed intellectual dance.

There is something that I feel I must add into this review that isn’t about the content. I confess that if I’d been less anxious and paying more attention to the price of this zine, I wouldn’t have bought it because of the price tag. I have no authority to say what a zine should be priced at or how a creator should value their work. Colour print can get bloody expensive, I know first hand, but one of the reasons I love zines is because I can afford them. At $10, this zine is out of my range. It’s only by the levels of my anxiety and the fact I ended up having enough cash that I was able to buy Dear Crush.

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