RAILROAD SEMANTICS #3: $7.95, 5 ½” x 7”, paperback, 64 pgs.

For those of you, like myself, who have fantasized about train hopping but never done it, this is a wonderful travel guide of what it’s like. Author Aaron Dactyl lets us voyeuristically tag along with him from Portland to Denver in the grips of winter, with many stop offs along the way. With a vague idea of his destination and being at the mercy of the rail schedules, he shows us a world many think they understand, though could never truly know with out firsthand experience. Sprinkled throughout the zine there are rail-centric newspaper clippings and boxcar graffiti art for a very rounded tone. Aaron’s travelogue is excellently written and engaging. Even the rather dull parts of waiting hours for the train to disembark are full of introspective thought and observation. You get the feeling he’s done this before many times. He uses a bit of slang specific to train hopping, but I easily got the gist of what he meant even when I was unfamiliar with the lingo. This zine has planted the travel bug in me again. Worth the read, especially if you’re in a stagnant place in life. This is the third issue out of seven available from Microcosm and it was published in March 2014. –Kayla Greet (Microcosm Publishing, 2752 N Williams Ave., Portland, OR 97227)