It was bound to happen again sometime, and here we are…
Wildlife of Victoria Vol 1 – Semi-Domesticated Animals is a funny black and white zine featuring two stories: one about bees and one about a goat. There are also some bee facts and recipes to try out thrown into the mix.
With the title being what it is, I expected something like a listing of wildlife encountered or something along the more ‘dry factual’ lines. I was surprised in all the best ways when I realised that, while this does serve as a guidebook of sorts (I had no idea that if you move bees, it has to be more than 5 kilometres away because they know their way home), it’s primarily a funny memoir-style zine about animal encounters.
Before I get carried away, I want to start off with the beginning of this zine, which is very, very sweet. Apples talks about being afraid of meeting new people (I hear you!) and dealing with that fear by seeing them simply as people who haven’t heard the bee-moving story yet.
I thought the concept was a fun and funny (in a good way) way to do things, but I didn’t realise quite how funny until I got into reading about the bees.
And then reading about the goat. Oh, my goodness, that goat.
I struggle to talk about the stories because I enjoyed them so much and don’t want to spoil even the tiniest bit of goodness. The stories are funny on their own, but they are made even funnier for two reasons.
The first comes in having the wisdom of hindsight. I laughed, with empathy, when Apples wondered why they thought a certain move with beehives would be a good idea because it definitely wasn’t.
Right now, typing this, I cannot believe what a stupid idea this is.
Secondly, it’s funnier because Apples has taken tweets made while these things were actually happening and included them in the zine.
I now realise why goats are linked to Satan
Apples also includes recipes, both of which I’d like to try out. But I think what I love most about them is that they are put into the zine when they are mentioned. Even mid-story. Readers might not think one way or another about this, but I really feel like sticking them in like like (as opposed to putting them in their own recipe section or something like that) adds to the ‘chaotic flurry’ that is the feeling when reading about angry bees and even angrier goats. It feels almost like an aesthetic choice to simply put them in as they came up in conversation.
The funniest thing about this zine for me is this: I looked at the back cover before I started reading, and it reads “look forward to vol. 2 where I will talk about chooks”. Now having read the zine, that now takes a hilariously ominous tone.
If you want to have a(n empathic) laugh at tales of semi-domesticated animals, then you are missing out if you don’t check out this zine.