Zine, Sarah, 28 pgs, Paper Innards Distro, paperinnards.com, no price listed
The fact that the word ‘crisis’ is on everyone’s lips these days could mean we’re not taking appropriate care of the smaller crises springing from the worldwide catastrophes piling atop eachother, threatening to blot out the sun. Ha! In this zine, Sarah carefully walks the reader through the nuts and bolts of the despair colloquially known as an ‘existential crisis.’
Loosely taking the form of a self-help guide, the author effortlessly and skillfully lights the path away from the “dark, indescribable void” towards an autonomous self-care and gosh, maybe even self-love. I couldn’t be any more happy and fuzzy-feeling about it.
To be clear – and maybe my only complaint about the zine is its lack of clarity on this issue – this is a different sort of crisis that one borne from depression or mental illness. Nor is it the type of crisis that comes from constantly running up against a world that hates you for, say, being 13 and trans, or being a young aboriginal male who can’t find housing, etc. I could see some people wishing that their problems were about the ‘end of meaning’ rather than deportation, hunger, or police brutality! So, in this context, that’s perhaps what differentiates an ‘existential’ crisis from other types of crises.
That being said, Sarah’s approach is generous and caring, self-aware and reflexive, humorous and rigorous. The text is broken up in thoughtful ways that make it worth returning to and can hopefully be of practical value to readers when they need it. I know that I will be doing that. Thanks Sarah! More please! (Stéphane Doucet)