just got you’ve got a friend in pennsylvania #1 in the mail from sari, who, despite being from pennsylvania, is actually currently living in my hometown and we probably know a bunch of the same people which is hilarious, since i got this zine from a random ning trade. also this zine is bound with needle and thread which always impresses me. as a side note, i don’t usually bind my zines because i want people to make copies and give them to people, but if you think that’s annoying, please vote and tell me to get off my lazy ass and make my zines stick together somehow.
ANYWAY. the first part of you’ve got a friend in pennsylvania is sari’s travel diary from her study abroad in slovenija, which at first i was hesitant to read because i tend to get bored by people’s stories about how cool monuments are and shit like that. also this zine is totally text-heavy and therefore does not fulfill my usual desire for zines that i can read in the time span of a poop. but i persisted and it was worth it–not a monument to be found. when i finished that section of the zine i wanted to read more, which is sweet because sari will be printing more of her travel journal in issue #2. yo, sari, this trading relationship is not through. speaking of relationships, the rest of the zine mostly deals with those: old friends who have drifted apart, mothers, (ex)boyfriends. i wonder if sari has read culture slut or if amber has read you’ve got a friend in pennsylvania, because they both deal with issues of queer invisibility when badasss queer ladies are dating straight cis men. the last piece in the zine is from a paper sari wrote on menstruation, which was really interesting and actually i think might help with the seminar paper i’m writing on female facial hair. sari formatted the piece in two sections: theory and praxis (which i would like to do with my paper), and also writes about the desire to “separate ourselves from our ‘dirty’ bodily functions,” and the way that menstruation is delegated to a private space of shame or at best a hassle.
if you want a copy of you’ve got a friend in pennsylvania #1 email sari at email@example.com.
also just got culture slut #19 and culture slut #20 from amber forrester in montreal, who is pretty much my zine hero. she makes me want to be a better zinester. one day…
Culture Slut #19 deals heavily with boys in all their shittiness–amber includes a trigger warning about the first part of the zine. besides the epic assholeness of dudes, #19 talks a lot about coming into a queer identity, and the struggles of doing that particularly while dating cis dudes. I can identify, lady. maybe i’ll make a zine about shitheads-i-have-dated and send it your way. other than being a damn good writer with things to say, amber is great at making zines really visually interesting with the incorporation of found images from old books and magazines, text from a label maker as well as a typewriter and so forth. also i was able to read this entire zine while pooping, which, for those of you who know, is something that always makes a zine a winner in my book.
In the words of culture slut #20‘s epic author, “This zine is about getting settled in the city [Montreal], queerness, cats and periods.” It is also about love, living somewhere where you don’t speak the language, going back to school, city-biking, shitty gyno experiences, going to Pride for the first time, losing childhood pets, the word “cunt,” zine reviews…#20 also has a lovefest for the divacup, in common with you’ve got a friend which makes me kind of want to go buy one. i bought one a couple of years ago and found it didn’t fit comfortably but who knows…anyone want to lend me one to give it a shot?
In any case, Amber remains an inspiration and Culture Slut is a delight. One day I will go to Montreal and we will high five.
Okay, I have an epic amount of work to do and also need to go to Value Village today because my dress shoes fell apart at Homoween.
Hope you’re having a sunny Sunday,