Zine, Joshua James Amberson, issue 6, c/o Ms. Valerie Park Distro, PO Box 2645, Olympia, WA 98507, USA firstname.lastname@example.org
If I were a professor marking this zine to hand back to Joshua, it would be full of checkmarks. Thoughtful epigraph? Check. Typewritten text? Check. Train hopping story? Check check. Extra credit: cursive typewriter and colour cover. This is the type of zine I love to read and occasionally try to write: autobiographical short stories darting from different points in the author’s past, loosely woven together. The theme has to do with beginnings, which can mean anything from beginning to realize the world is fucked up to a refection on the Wright Brothers (early fight) and Edward Muybridge (early photographic motion studies).
Joshua’s goal is not to didactically bore you with details of these figures but to share a personal connection with them. He is more interested in telling you what Gertrude Stein makes him think and feel rather than why she was important, which is to say you experience these texts through his eyes. I appreciated the sketches of memories and his comparison of certain lo-fi, Peruvian folk music to Kate Bush and P.J. Harvey. The sincere curiosity in these pages will appeal to folks who remember zines such as In Abandon, Grundig and early Doris. (Chris Landry)