200th Zine Review Celebration Awards: I Read a Zine, And I Liked It

Wonderful, beloved zine friends. I’m so happy to be creating this post.

It’s that time again – a time that probably isn’t familiar to a lot of you. When I reached my 100th review in May 2016, I felt inspired by the Golden Stapler Awards and celebrated by awarding zines with titles like ‘best binding’ and ‘funniest zine’.

(100th Zine Review Celebration Awards: All You Need is Zine Love)

I hit my 200th zine reviewed a few months ago, but with everything that was going on, I wasn’t able to get to things until now. I still wasn’t sure whether I would do this, but I do love sharing my zine enthusiasm and celebrating fun and cool zines.

Things to remember:

1. My apologies for any less than stellar photos.
2. This is only meant to be a bit of fun.
3. Zines often fit into more than one category. How they were sorted is all on me.
4. Keep in mind these are limited to the second lot of 100 zines I’ve reviewed – roughly from May 2016 to July 2017. You can find the whole list: Zine Review Index
5. Picking out the ‘best’ stinks. I love them all!

Let’s do this.

(I’m putting everything after a more tag because there are a lot of images.)

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Zine Review: Beer and Longing

Meg O'Shea Zine

Beer and Longing
Meg O’Shea
Pleaseusethisbag.tumblr.com

This is another lovely zine from Festival of the Photocopier. (I’ve mixed up my zines so much that I am actually happy when I remember where I got something.) This is another one of those zines that I bought because the front looked awesome. Nearly bought for only that reason, I mean. I did have a look inside to find that the quality of the outside was carried into the inside – but I’ll get to all that in a moment.

Beer and Longing is a comic about homesickness. Simply put, anyway. More than that, it’s about being a dual citizen, growing up in dramatically different places, being pulled in different directions and not being sure if either one is the right one for you.

Of course, a little of that might be my bias speaking, having grown up in one country in one hemisphere and then moving to the other side of the world.

The story is as simple or as complex as you want it to be, and the art reflects that in a way. Meg has an art style I enjoy that is detailed but not to the point of taking away or distracting from what is happening in the story. I was pleasantly surprised at the writing in this. There is a lyrical quality to it that leaves me hoping that Meg writes more stories.

The materials used and the way this zine was put together is gorgeous. I don’t see a lot of zines where the creators choose to sew the binding like I do. But Meg took this to a whole new level. No simple saddle stitch for Meg! Meg went with a Japanese four-hole binding that I have only ever seen in person a few times – and I’ve never seen it done on a zine. The beautiful thing is that it’s so appropriate to the zine itself. The Japanese stitching, the circle print on the cover which is reminiscent of the Japanese flag, the tiny Japanese type within that circle… Of course, all relating to the setting of the comic.

I absolutely adore it when creators carry themes like that in such subtle ways.

And I can’t go past mentioning that the cover and interior paper is quite nice, too.

This is a lovely zine, through and through. The whole thing just makes me want to be careful with it and treat it well so I can enjoy it for years to come.