Zine, Aitch Elle and Genevieve Darling, 16 pgs, $5, @notorious_b.a.e.
With a name based off of Rihanna’s bumping, never-stale summer jam, this zine has a lot to live up to — and it does not disappoint! BBHMM is a best practices guide for strippers and other adult entertainers, mainly aimed at beginners, from the perspective of Aitch Elle, a queer Black feminist in Montreal. This truly is a how-to zine. It lists things you’ll need, financial advice, examples of the potential trials one may face with clients, and insight from experienced dancers make up the majority of the zine.
Check out some excerpts from BBHMM
But this practical information is written in a friendly, informal tone, full of humour and character. Most importantly, it’s accessibly written and easy to understand, elevated by the excellent illustrations and design by Genevieve Darling. Aitch is honest about the fact that while she has found success, power, and insight as a dancer, there are plenty of downfalls to the game, including cultural stigma, shitty clients, and less than ideal drug and alcohol use by clients and dancers. Still, I deeply appreciate the objectivity and clarity with which Aitch describes strip club life, and most importantly the intersectional approach she takes, bringing added nuance as a woman of colour in the biz.
Ultimately, BBHMM is a reminder of just how important zines can be as how-to and DIY tools shared amongst peers. The advice here directly empowers the reader to make smart and perhaps very profitable decisions about dancing, and it all comes packaged in a sweet and sharply illustrated package. (Jonathan Valelly)