Zine Review: Torso 2018 (1)

Torso 2018 (1)
Andrew Nicholas

Torso 2018 (1) is an A6 full-colour collection of written pieces from the Torso zine series. Ax notes notes them as ‘the best of the written pieces from 2018’s Torso zine.’

Torso opens with a note from the zinemaker. He assures the reader that he’s not insulting himself but doesn’t consider himself to be a poet. He goes on to write about his approach to writing poetry as well as that this zine is an ‘answer’, if you will, to anyone who may not be okay with the male nudity in the other Torso zines but may still enjoy the the written pieces.

I found myself lingering on the intro because I appreciate it for a number of reasons. I sincerely hope that Ax is truly not taking a dig at himself with the ‘not a poet’ mention, but – as a person who feels uneasy when it comes to not understanding poetry – this same mention helped me to relax.

On another note, I truly appreciate that Ax saw a potential problem for some with his previous zines that he found a way to grow and evolve it in different directions. No, you can’t please all of the people all of the time, but Ax acknowledged that not everyone is okay with the nudity in the other issues of Torso, has created something accessible for them.

Alas, I may be prattling on a bit.

What follows are five poems, each on its own page with its own unique colour background. The poems live up to the promises made in the introduction with rhythm and rhyme being secondary to the natural flow of Ax’s thoughts and expressions. They cover feelings of frustration, sadness, wistfulness, and hope. Each poem has its own distinct feelings and nuance, but I feel like vulnerability is a theme that links them all.

Aesthetically, there’s a lot of variety in the backgrounds for the poems. Plus, as a bonus, it unfolds into an A3 poster.

This is an interesting one to me in that I appreciate what I understand to be the intention of the zine as much as the zine itself. One to take a look at.

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