Cockroach zine is really more of a miniature bimonthly magazine than anything else. There are articles by regular contributors, recipes accompanied by pretty pictures of food, and even word games for when you get super bored/stuck on the toilet for a long time. The theme for this particular issue is “disguises,” which makes sense given that it was published around Hallowe’en, and every article touches in some way on that topic.
The content is generally pretty solid. I found some of the articles very emotionally affecting — for example, an essay written by a trans woman talking about the first day she left her house wearing a skirt, and one on the topic of name changes necessitated by doxxing. There were a few pieces that fell into the category of eye-roll forever (one was a pseudo-feminist rant about Why Do Women Wear Makeup All The Damn Time that didn’t actually explore the social and cultural factors that make women feel that they need to at least put on some lipstick before leaving the house; another was a Cloud of Fancy Words That Doesn’t Really Say Much, a literary type that is a pet peeve of mine). On the whole, though, Cockroach zine is an enjoyable read, and it’s clear that there’s been much love and effort put into its creation. Plus there’s a hilarious picture of a cat on the back! Cockroach zine: come for the thoughtful articles, stay for the adorable cats. (Anne Thériault)