Zine Review: Submerging

Edited by Brian Cogan, Brett Essler, Mike Faloon, & Brendan Kiernan

Submerging is a full colour half-fold literature zine that also features photographs.

“Euphoria is a trail of exclamations points that you follow off a cliff.”

Despite what I imagine was a typo pluralisation of ‘exclamations’, there is something darkly amusing about that quote.

Submerging is a zine that contains four stories that I am assuming are all nonfiction. They read as non-fiction, but there’s no indication or introduction in the zine that makes that clear. (Though the website does mention that the zine includes personal essays.)

We start off with an interesting diary-style piece that starts with anti-anxiety medication, wanders into the realm of analysing politics in the United States, and ends on a sad note in the Philippines. The pieces that follow cover a heart attack, a slightly stranger (in structure) piece about memory and health heartbreak (no spoilers here, zine friends), and a piece about aging.

I finished the first story a little confused and feeling like perhaps there was something in it that I just wasn’t understanding fully. However, I settled right in with the pieces that followed. The heart attack fascinated me (as strange as that is to type. The structurally stranger piece was still intriguing, and the piece on aging? It felt a little sad because of the inevitability of everything (and because of the age I’m at), but it ended on an unexpectedly cheery note that left me feeling good.

While writing exploring health – both mental and physical – may not sound appealing to you on the surface (it’s definitely an interesting topic to me, so win there), the personal element to these pieces draw you in.

Submerging is a nice zine to look at and touch. It’s made with smooth, glossy paper, and everything looks very clean and crisp. The typography choices are nice, and little things like the drop cap at the beginning of pieces adds to the overall package. I like the inclusion of photos as well. They break up the text, but there aren’t so many that it would confuse this being primarily a literature zine. (I can’t decide whether the cover photo or ‘En Route’ is my favourite picture.)

The writing voices in this zine worked well together, and I can see myself going back to read some of the stories again. If you’re looking for a literature zine with a taste of photography to check out – or maybe even submit to – then this is a zine to have a look at.

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