It Never Happened
Guest Comic by Frankiesbugs
https://www.instagram.com/frankiesbugs/ Cover by Bree Paulsen
It Never Happened is US-sized half fold, black and white zine collection of stories – and a guest comic – of strange and surreal stories.
Talk about a cover that really catches the eye! The art made me eager to dive into the stories inside.
It Never Happened opens up to a nice title page before going into the first of fifteen stories. While the description says ‘short stories,’ these fall more under the label of flash fiction with most being no more than a page long with big, readable type.
The stories were a bit of a mixed bag for me. Some were like poetry for me in that the images and feelings were interesting, but I wondered if there were some themes or symbols I was missing. Others I loved as tight, twist at the end, surreal flash fiction that made me smile. ‘Fourth-Floor Bathroom’ is a great example of that while ‘Community Pool’ gave me a chuckle with the play on words.
The overarching themes throughout the zine are death, decay, and seeing the world with a gaze for the surreal. Even with the ebb and flow of my personal enjoyment of each individual story, I enjoyed the overall dark, grim feel this collection has. (And it has me curious if Kathryn or Frankiesbugs have created or will create longer pieces.)
There’s no way I could review this zine without mentioning the physical qualities of the zine. I’m not sure what kind of printing and/or paper creates the effect, but the cover feels so smooth and soft! Talk about being happy to pet a zine. In combination with the amazing cover art and font chosen, it creates such a gorgeous effect.
I feel like it’s been a long time since I have read fiction, and this was a nice step back into things. If you like surreal, weird, slightly horror-esque flash fiction, pick this one up. (And pet it. Lovely cover paper.)