Jan 23, 2012

One of the great democratic principles of zines is that anyone can do one. You don’t need permission, capital, or validation to draw or write something, steal/pay for some copies, and get it out there. That said, some infrastructure has been built, and businesses like Microcosm have the resources and “customer” base to distribute art, literature, ideas, etc. on a much wider scale than Alex Q. Zinemaker does in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Which is their business—it’s not my place to tell them who to publish. But in this instance, I am dumbfounded. All those resources and they published this? It’s not that it’s that bad—okay, maybe it is—but that what it accomplishes is, uh, telling you how useful neti pots are, how squatting to shit is natural and good for you, how one time the author saw a bear (it was scary), another time he found a piano (it was fun), and that if you don’t want babies and have a penis, you can get a vasectomy.So, I knew most of this stuff already. I learned it over the course of my life in similarly mundane and uneventful ways, just not all at once and stapled together. I know there are people out there who have not encountered all these ideas, who, theoretically, might, for the first time, in these comics. Who gives a shit? I don’t mean to invalidate the ideas in this. They are good ideas. It’s their weight class that’s the problem—I feel like I just watched an HBO broadcast of the world turtle-racing championships, looking for a knockout. –Dave Brainwreck (Microcosm Publishing, 222 S Rogers St., Bloomington, IN47404)