Zine Review: Beer and Longing

Meg O'Shea Zine

Beer and Longing
Meg O’Shea

This is another lovely zine from Festival of the Photocopier. (I’ve mixed up my zines so much that I am actually happy when I remember where I got something.) This is another one of those zines that I bought because the front looked awesome. Nearly bought for only that reason, I mean. I did have a look inside to find that the quality of the outside was carried into the inside – but I’ll get to all that in a moment.

Beer and Longing is a comic about homesickness. Simply put, anyway. More than that, it’s about being a dual citizen, growing up in dramatically different places, being pulled in different directions and not being sure if either one is the right one for you.

Of course, a little of that might be my bias speaking, having grown up in one country in one hemisphere and then moving to the other side of the world.

The story is as simple or as complex as you want it to be, and the art reflects that in a way. Meg has an art style I enjoy that is detailed but not to the point of taking away or distracting from what is happening in the story. I was pleasantly surprised at the writing in this. There is a lyrical quality to it that leaves me hoping that Meg writes more stories.

The materials used and the way this zine was put together is gorgeous. I don’t see a lot of zines where the creators choose to sew the binding like I do. But Meg took this to a whole new level. No simple saddle stitch for Meg! Meg went with a Japanese four-hole binding that I have only ever seen in person a few times – and I’ve never seen it done on a zine. The beautiful thing is that it’s so appropriate to the zine itself. The Japanese stitching, the circle print on the cover which is reminiscent of the Japanese flag, the tiny Japanese type within that circle… Of course, all relating to the setting of the comic.

I absolutely adore it when creators carry themes like that in such subtle ways.

And I can’t go past mentioning that the cover and interior paper is quite nice, too.

This is a lovely zine, through and through. The whole thing just makes me want to be careful with it and treat it well so I can enjoy it for years to come.

4 Replies to “Zine Review: Beer and Longing”

    1. Hehe. πŸ™‚ I am very happy to hear that.

      I feel like this should be an easy question, but I’ve had quite the think about all the zines I’ve seen/read/held over the years.

      On the face of it, I’d say more zines than not are made from your basic 70 or 80 gsm paper from your local office supplies store. Some of my all-time favourite zines are made of basic paper. It’s pretty much what I use for the internals of my zines, and I’ve seen plenty of zines that due the same – some even for the covers (which is a tiny bug bear of mine but a subject for another day). Over time I’ve seen more zines opt for slightly higher gsm (think about 100) but that could be due to a number of factors.

      The subject of the zine can influence this, as photography zines tend to be on glossy and/or higher quality paper simply to help better present their work. The same goes for some comic artists who want full colour but don’t want the ink to shadow through. Some people like Alex Wrekk and Adam Gnade who turn their zines into more book-like creations will have higher quality because of this.

      However, I have seen it go the opposite way with a zine I received ages back that was somehow made on tissue paper. Interesting, but not the greatest experience as I hate to be scared of breaking (or in this case, ripping) a thing when I’m checking it out.

      I may have unintentionally leaned toward zines that have the higher gsm or other high quality aspects simply because I’m attracted to that. I have loved paper since I was a kid and we got to make some as a school project. I’m also big into touch and textures, so I doubly love those aspects of a zine.

      A very long answer to a short question, but I do love to ramble about zines. πŸ™‚ Thanks for asking. Definitely feel free to ask anything that comes to mind.


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