Zine Review: Fully Sick, Chronically Sad

Fully Sick, Chronically Sad
Amber is Blue
https://www.instagram.com/flindersstreetstation/
http://amberisblue.bigcartel.com

Fully Sick, Chronically Sad is a black and white comic zine with a colour cover somewhere between A5 and A6 about mental illness.

I struggled a lot with this zine. Not so much with the zine itself but because I’ve been there – and am there still in many ways.

In various drawings, Amber is Blue takes us through what it’s like having a mental illness and the constant struggles coming from inside and the world around us in dealing with it. Medications can be wonderful, but wonderful meds that work are often not affordable. Therapy helps, but the current system doesn’t exactly help with consistency.

Amber is Blue doesn’t mince words when it comes to dealing with these frustrations and more. There is no mystery when it comes to how Amber is Blue really feels about these things.

As I mentioned, I identify a lot with Amber is Blue and all of the nonsense that comes with these things. I think it’s valuable to share these experiences so people don’t feel alone. While this zine stirred up a lot of feelings in me, one of those feelings was a desire to write more about my own experiences with mental illness.

I do feel I should mention one content warning, though, in that suicidal thoughts and dealing with suicidal thoughts are mentioned.

There weren’t any contact details in the zine itself, but I’ve dug up some links for you if you’d like to check out more of Amber is Blue’s work. Fully Sick, Chronically Sad has a part two and three, which I’m looking forward to checking out.

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Zine Review: Introduction to Gratitude & Self Love

Introduction to Gratitude & Self Love
The School of Life Design
http://www.schooloflifedesign.com

Introduction to Gratitude & Self Love is a black and white education zine designed as a seven-day course on gratitude and self love.

Introduction to Gratitude & Self Love starts off with an intro that flows along the lines of ‘you get back what you put out into the universe’. That may be oversimplifying it a bit, but it basically takes you into the realm of your thinking influencing your reality. If you remember The Secret, this zine reminded me of that.

As you can imagine, a seven-day course should be done over seven days. So I decided that a proper, full review of this zine could only be accomplished if I did it ‘as prescribed’, so I did one exercise a day over the course of a week.

I like that the exercises didn’t require anything but a pen and some time (and the zine, of course). I’ve seen too many of these sorts of things that require money and various other supplies.

I am very familiar with the concept of gratitude and daily gratitude exercises, so the basics weren’t new to me, However, the exercises included were. I won’t list them out, but I will say that the ‘success of another’ exercise was definitely my favourite. The exercise made me think outwardly and about others.

That’s something that this zine does very well. The exercises cover both inward and outward thinking as well as past and future thinking. The course got me to sit down and calm down for a bit once a day, and that’s a lovely thing.

Aesthetically, this zine ties right into its own message. It focuses on the exercises with simple designs that are nice to look at but only serve the task at hand. They aren’t overwhelming and serve to compliment the words rather than take away from them.

The one detail that did give me pause is that the “Introduction to Gratitude & Self Love is a 7-day, intensive course…” is on the back of the zine rather than on the front or in the introduction. I can see someone smashing out all the exercises in one session for missing that detail. I’m not sure that’d actually be a problem, but I imagine the creators of this would prefer it be done over seven days.

While I may not have agreed with all the sentiments and wording, I did find value in the course. I like that this zine exists. I like that there are people making zines that can help people wanting to connect to the spiritual sides of their lives. If that sounds like you, I think this zine could be a good place to start.