RESTLESS LEGS: 2011-2021, $10 ppd., 8½” x 5½”, mostly color, 34pgs.

Mar 10, 2023

Well Bryan’s a bit bummed out ’cause he mailed this zine across the country to Razorcake just for it to get sent back to our house in Minneapolis for me to review, but the joke’s on him ’cause I always enjoy writing about his photos (I’m still waiting to do the intro to one of your photozines like we’ve talked about…). So, anyways, I might be a biased party, but whatever. I’ve been reading Restless Legs since around 2016 and I think it’s one of the best photozines out there. In my last review of a previous issue, I wrote that the photos were “intimate and pure,” and that holds true. I remember my first time seeing Bryan’s photos: I was a queer punk teen still living at home, isolated for a variety of reasons, one of—if not the only—punk in my town and in a seriously scary relationship. I met Bryan at a house show in Minneapolis I begged my dad to go to. We traded zines and I was so struck by the photos: they were a window into a world I desperately wanted to be a part of. Not even really because of the show shots that looked so fun or people riding trains—which also looks fun but has always terrified me—but because of the shock of intimacy and care you feel in the eyes of the people sharing looks with the lens. Maybe this review doesn’t need all of this exposition. Maybe I’m rambling, but this issue in particular asks for it: as a retrospective of photos from a decade-long period, it contains pictures of dear friends and people I’ll never know, so many huge smiles and tender or goofy moments. In the introductory note, Bryan describes how he put this zine together in the wake of a friend’s death, how this is the collection of photos he looks at when “the world is grinding me down, those lucky snaps of something transcendent, the ones that ‘remind me to look down and back.’ Here is photographic evidence that we tried despite it all.” I feel lucky to be a part of this world I first encountered in this zine, that I’ve found a place among the grins in the crowd, and that even in the shadow of grief and strife we all get to be here together. And I feel lucky to know (and write about) someone who captures this world with all of the love and skill it deserves. If you care about photozines of any ilk, you need to be reading Restless Legs. –jimmy cooper (Bryan, [email protected])

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