Smoking Dreams is a half-fold black and white perzine about friendship, passing time, and smoking.
While the title of this zine refers to dreams, actual dreams about smoking play a relatively small role in the bigger story. Hannah jumps right into things on the inside front cover. Hannah writes briefly about smoking dreams before writing about a not-so-nice view of cigarette smoking in her childhood.
From there, we read about Hannah dating Patrick and a slow introduction not only to his friends and cousins but to their happy pastime: smoking. Cigars, pipes… it all became a part of Hannah’s life as she found community, friendship, and even new acquaintances thanks to the hobby.
Hannah uses a cut and paste style, but in a minimal way with larger pictures and a few small elements dotted here and there. I think this really works for this zine. Hannah’s writing style reminds me of reading a novel, and putting more visual elements would have been – I feel – more distraction than anything else.
Then again, while reading this zine, I found myself thinking of my own pastimes around smoking. I never smoked myself, but many family members used to. Even decades later, the smell of a familiar brand of cigarettes will send me right back into those memories. No doubt that played into how easily I found myself getting right into this zine.
One small point is that it did take a little bit of hunting to find any of Hannah’s details, but, as I always try to keep in mind, this could be by intention.
Smoking Dreams is one of those zines that you’ll love if you like peeks into other people’s lives. The seemingly small choices that lead us onto new life paths. Check it out if this sounds like your kind of zines.