Zine Review: The Other Side

The Other Side
Te Hao Boon, Jennifer Nichole Wells, Ghostwulf
IG: @tehaoboon
http://www.jennifernicholewells.com
ghostwulf69@gmail.com

The Other Side is a one act play zine about three snails and the mysterious Other Side.

This is definitely a first for me. I don’t come across a lot of fiction zines in general, and this is the first script zine that I’ve ever seen. When you’re creating zines, I think there is a bit of a special allure to the possibility of having created the ‘only one of its kind’.* With multi-coloured snails and road signs (promising trouble for snails) on the front, how could I not be drawn in?

Aesthetically, this zine is pretty fun. I wish all the scripts I’d read as a teenager came with pictures and little line drawings on the pages. It reminded me that, while this is a script, it’s still also a zine.

I must admit that the zine lost me a bit content-wise, but I feel like my editing and theatre background influenced that. I would have thought that a play about snails would be for a younger audience, but there’s swearing and other not-quite-so-young content. ‘Bae’ and ‘mommy’ are used, and I got distracted wondering if they were being used ironically because they stuck out so much in the dialogue. At one point, a snail used the last of his rations… Rations which were never packed in the first place.

I can be forgiving of editing errors and the like in zines because I make them myself, and there aren’t a lot of zine makers who can hire an editor. But a script is still a script, and if that’s the main aspect of what you’ve created, I’m going to look at it as such.

There are limitations with a script that make it harder to engage readers, and I feel like the team who created this made up for some of those limitations with the cut and paste aspects. It also remains true to the script form by listing the characters and setting the stage, so to say, for the setting. However, I feel like the play itself could have done with some workshopping (or more workshopping, if that’s the case).

*I’m not saying this is the only script zine out there. Merely that this is the first I’ve seen.

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