Zine Review: The Life and Times of Billy Roberts Issue 78

billy-happy-mail

The Life and Times of Billy Roberts Issue 78
Billy
www.iknowbilly.etsy.com

The Life and Times of Billy Roberts Issue 78 is a single piece of paper folded in half to create four pages. It’s a reminder that zines don’t have to be gloss and colour, thick, thin, or any one thing. I find myself wishing that all my friends would create little life update zines like these so I could keep up with their lives when we can’t catch up otherwise.

Right away I could feel Billy’s depressed mood through his words. “I’ve already written 3 versions of this newsletter and thrown them all away” isn’t a good sign. In this zine, Billy talks about the US election, dealing with full-blown depression, and finding some good things in amongst the doom and gloom. It’s a zine-ified version of a letter from a friend. Even if you aren’t friends with Billy, I feel like you could get that sort of feeling from this zine nonetheless.

It’s hard to read about the hard times anyone is going through – friend or stranger. My heart went out to Billy, especially talking about not being able to do much more than stay still and watch television most days. I think that’s what makes it even more special that Billy is able to still talk about some happy things happening despite all the weight of depression.

If you’ve read my reviews for a while now, you know one thing that niggles me is no contact details. When the creator leaves the reader to hunt down further reading. I’m almost willing to ignore it on this one because it might be something ‘just for friends’ anyway, but you still never know where your little creations may go, so…

This is a zine I’m keeping not just for the reasons I like it but because it’s like keeping a letter from a penpal. It’s a zine that shows how much zines can connect people and remind us that we are all people dealing with our own struggles.

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