GENEVA 13 #13: $2, 5 ½” x 8 ½”, photocopied, 60 pgs.

Mar 04, 2011

Geneva 13 is the perfect example of a zine lifting up the best of independent publishing. It has an interesting premise of focusing exclusively within a thirteen-mile radius of its home town of Geneva, New York. By doing this, the zine is alert, curious, and thematic. By keeping it local—and dropping the zine off for free all over town—it’s also forced them to be honest and dig into complex and contentious issues (like education, trash services, town history, and a home makeover program culturally colonializing their hometown). It’s quite telling that in their celebratory issue #13 that they turn the focus on themselves—and they don’t come across as PR-people-in-the-making. Doug Reilly and Kevin Dunn are critical thinkers, punk rockers, people you’d invite over for dinner, read about it months later, and then invite them over again. Speaking from the perspective as a longtime interviewer, I admire these two guys’ ability to show “regular people” in their own environments. They show proper respect in feature-length interviews, like with the ladies who run the print store that photocopies and binds Geneva13 in the basement of the local college. They come across as humans—Denise loves the new paper cutter—and the interviewers show a very real kindness and appreciation of not only the ladies’ work, but who they are as people. And that’s how I feel about Geneva 13 as a zine. Highest recommendation. –Todd (Geneva 13, PO Box 13, Geneva, NY 14456)