Wiseblood 66 is a 1/2 size black and white perzine with three stories of alcohol, drugs, and the strange relationships we develop with people sometimes.
Fishspit opens this zine with recalling what it was like to be a mentally ill teen before the days of school counsellors and openness about mental illness. Amongst bullying and a lack of avenues for help, Fishspit finds an unexpected friend in alcohol – and in the person who introduces him to it.
From the stolen secondhand whiskey, he writes in the two pieces that follow about accidental cigarette fires and what happens when you’ve had alcohol for so long that it doesn’t really get you drunk anymore.
While you might end up smiling a little at the shenanigans in the name of getting alcohol in Fishspit’s youth, he shows you in the same ‘it is what it is’ memoir tone the harsher realities of being an adult alcoholic and drug user.
Fishspit’s almost stream of consciousness style writing may wander here and there, but it still carries you easily through the zine.
With the first story being about Fishspit’s first taste of alcohol (and second, and third…), and the second story being about bad things that happened while drunk, I found myself hoping the third story would be about finding AA. But it isn’t, and I realise that’s only appropriate. Life doesn’t always culminate on a high note, and it certainly doesn’t obey neat and tidy story beats.
I think that’s what fascinates me about these zines – they remind me that life is often anything but pretty.
If you’re sensitive to politically incorrect words (or topics like bullying, alcoholism, drug use, etc) then this may not be the zine read for you. But if you like gritty memoir style writing, definitely get in touch. Fishspit is always looking for new mail friends.