Full disclosure: I provided the cover art for this zine and have a piece included inside.
The Seas is an A5 landscape layout, full-colour zine featuring art, comics, and words all around the theme of the seas.
“Sit, listen and watch. Turn inwards and hear the voice inside. Let your spirit float and your eyes will open. There are many Seas on Earth – not all are watery, many are found in the 7 ½ billion people we share this planet with.” – Back cover
Perhaps is the class on mindfulness that I’m taking or perhaps it’s the amazing expanse of feelings bodies of water can bring, but this zine has me in such a contemplative state.
After the title page, The Seas opens with an introduction from Iestyn who, in words, contemplates literal and metaphorical meanings of seas. (But don’t worry – not too clinically nor in a confusing fashion.) From there we move immediately onto the opening, wordless comic by Miranda Smart that takes us easily flowing into the art and words contained in the rest of this zine.
There are comics, photos, words, art, and combinations of these all around the theme of seas. I would have thought the variety of things found in this zine might take away from or make the theme a little difficult to stick to, but I quiet enjoyed all the different interpretations. I’m especially impressed with the comic artists who convey so very much with no words at all. There’s some excellent visual storytelling in here.
I think Iestyn has a real artist’s eye for design, and that really shows in this zine. From the landscape layout that put me in the ‘view as a vista’ mindset as a reader to echoing the cover art within the middle spread to give it a very balanced aesthetic overall, The Seas is a lovely zine to take in on multiple levels. I love that Iestyn took the care to get this printed on nice and smooth matte paper but also with borderless printing as well.
Everything feels like a lovely touch with this zine.
I do think a little niggle for me would be having the artists’ names right there along with their pieces. That said, I did quite like how Iestyn handled the ‘artist blurbs’ at the end with page numbers so it also serves as an end-of-zine table of contents as well.
I love an anthology/collaborative zine that brings many people together, and The Seas fits well and truly into that love. There’s so much in here that got me pondering, and I mindfully journeyed through the whole thing.
The Seas is a beautiful and thoughtful zine through and through. I highly recommend getting a copy.