READ ONCE AND DESTROY: A COMPILATION : $4.00 4¼” x 4¼” photocopied, 60 pgs.

Nov 21, 2013

When I first saw the cover of Read Once and Destroy, I bought it for the cover art. It has a striking image of an Ouija board, which immediately grabbed my attention. There is a lot of information to process from this zine. Even though it’s a quarter page format, Julia Eff fills each line of paper with two lines of writing. You will either feel like you’re getting your money’s worth for that much content or you might just feel overwhelmed. Whatever you feel going into this, if your eyes need glasses then now is their time. I liked her layout, breaking up her stories with dramatic cutouts almost every other page. I don’t know if it’s more than just a strategy trying to fit a large amount of information into sixty pages but when I was holding her zine to read it was always inches away from my face. I found myself completely immersed in her stories and committing myself to the situations she is writing about. I had a good time. The zine is “A Compilation” of autobiographical experiences, in Detroit starting with an open letter to writers and zine makers. Eff goes on to name people like Adam Gnade, Alex Wrekk, and Jim Goad, rhetorically asking them if “…this is the shit you think about… why are you still doing this… is this art?” She continues to list her reasons for writing and anyone who has published their own zine will relate with enthusiasm. Most of her stories in this zine revolved around her angst and troubles with mental illness, which isn’t the freshest theme for a zine but the stories are lovely and well written with the passion and anger of someone who was told their whole life that they were weird and not in a good way. Oh yeah, the majority of the second half is a list of reasons explaining why she wrote a zine about Columbine and how an extreme zero tolerance environment affected her school life. I very much enjoyed this zine and her dramatic cynicism. –Simon Sotelo (