Zine Review: The Would-Be President

The Would-Be President
John Dishwasher
http://johndishwasher.org/

The Would-Be President is a black and white (with colour cover) US half-fold zine featuring a play inspired by Moliere’s play ‘The Would-Be Gentleman’.

The play opens (written in script format with stage and actor directions) in the Oval Office, with characters ‘Avinka’ and ‘Kirchener’ contemplating a mysterious meeting called by President Ronald Rump and three people they’ve never met before. From there we have a comedic play about people who aren’t who they seem to be, a speech that changes the world – and then doesn’t, and an amusing twist that would (I imagine) satisfy quite a few people if it ever became reality.

Funnily enough, this isn’t the first script zine I have ever seen, and I’m so glad people are making these kinds of zines. Goodness knows I could use as many laughs as I can manage of late, so a comedy script is doubly appreciated.

When it comes to politics, it’s easy to get everyone fired up in a hurry. However, I think no matter who you are, you need to be able to have a laugh. This zine definitely provides at least a smile with thinly veiled parody characters, plenty of jokes about language use, and an ending I definitely didn’t expect until the last minute.

I don’t want to give the ending away or most of the second half, really, so this is a little difficult to work around. I will say that even though I guessed the topic of the mystery speech before it happened, it was amusing to see it play out. (No pun intended. Mostly.)

Aesthetically, this zine is great. I was in theatre in my school days, and I can imagine hauling around this zine with my lines highlighted. Everything is clear, the font is easy to read, and, save for a hiccup or two, the formatting is spot on.

I was a little concerned in reading this because of the references that felt like they were definitely jokes but they didn’t land as well as they could have because I didn’t understand them. Not only am I not in the US, I don’t have television, either. For instance, Avinka puts a lot of emphasis on a lot of words (hat tip to dishwasher for making me feel irritated with her in a hurry), but I don’t know that I’ve ever heard the character upon whom she is based actually speak. So is that a play on reality or a funny thing thrown in for laughs?

Still, goodness knows people over here aren’t exactly enamoured with our politicians, so the humour is appreciated all the same.

If you’re in the mood for a longer zine read and a bit of funny prodding of Ronald Rump, Avinka, and Kirchener, then I think you’ll like this read.

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