BROKEN PENCIL #75, $5.95, 8 ½” x 11”, 73 pgs.

Nov 22, 2017

This is my first time enjoying the long-running Broken Pencil, a magazine of “zine culture and the independent arts” out of Toronto. Aside from offering the regular slew of good ol’ zine reviews (with reproduced excerpts, gimme a hell yeah!), this issue has some short stories, great comics, and has a feature article on cartoonist Erik Kostiuk Williams and his Superqueerdo series, which stars two “shapeshifting cosmic femmes” who land in Parkdale, a once interesting neighborhood of Toronto that’s losing its art scene and being bulldozed for glass-walled apartment complexes. Williams’ new comic, the fifty-page Condo Heartbreak Disco, takes on the reality of Toronto’s “oh-so-real overdevelopment” with lovely thick-lined illustrations of atypical superheroes who are caught in the complicated battle of slowing gentrification. Article author Johnathan Valelly and comic artist Williams get into a cool conversation about how the comic’s characters are, like a lot of artists, “drawn to the authenticity of [a] neighborhood” and enjoy its resources while simultaneously being “totally oblivious privilege-wielding jerk[s]” who can’t see that their presence may bring irreversible consequences. (Sounds like me.) Anyway, that’s a lot to unpack, but Broken Pencil is good for it. In another article, Alison Broverman adeptly explains how to protect yourself from the artist’s nightmare of having work stolen and reproduced on the internet, from Pepe the Frog to weird shit you post on your blog. –Jim Joyce (Broken Pencil, PO Box 203, Station P, Toronto, Ontario M5S 2S7 Canada,