Seance is a US-sized half-fold, full colour zine of art and short tales of the spooky and strange found in everyday life.
It’s October! Let’s get our creep on.
Seance opens with a short scene about mistaken creature identity that sets a slightly ominous tone for the rest of the zine. What follows are real scenes from Joe’s life – some scenes easily explained and others not so much. From the fear of very real threats to the unease of the unexplained, Joe’s experiences come together in words and art in a way that may inspire the reader to take a second look at the world around them.
Each short scene/story is accompanied by an art piece on the opposite page. This does lead to a bit of font size changes, but the font is nice and clear so it doesn’t really cause readability problems.
This layout of art with story gave me such nostalgia for an old Twilight Zone-esque show from my childhood called The Night Gallery. There’s also the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark book series as well. So I think the combo is a really great one – especially for people around my age group.
Joe’s art style is a fun mix of small details and colours that really pop off the page. This is served well by the glossy, bright white paper. Joe’s writing style is fairly to-the-point with a slight flair for the dramatic (which suits the feel of this zine perfectly). It’s not ‘too much’ of anything. I did wonder for a while if I would have preferred to see the stories fleshed out a bit more, but I think they actually suit the overall zine well. And most modern attention spans, to be frank.
Seance wasn’t really a scary read as such for me – save, perhaps, for the bus driver, but I do tend to find people much scarier than anything else. I did go in somewhat expecting the creeps, but I ended up loving what I did get: a reminder of what it’s like to view the world through younger eyes as well as a reminder to pay more attention to the wonders in the world around me.
Those are reminders I am always grateful for.
I do have my nitpick of no socials, but, as always, this may be intentional. Still, a name search does lead to an American neuroscientist so socials in future editions (please create more zines Joe!) would be a good idea.
Seance is an interesting mixture of perzine, art zine, and suspense/thriller zine. The mix intrigues me and has me going back through the pages even after I have finished reading. Be it the mix of genres, the parts of personal nostalgia, the inspiration of looking at the world through a different lens, or everything… check this one out.
PS. Big nostalgia points for the mention of Pogs.