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Comic, Katherine Verhoeven, Issue One,, $5

Meat & Bone is the type of zine that I’m willing to bet every reviewer prays will fall into his or her hands. It’s smart, funny and relatable and the illustrations perfectly suit the text. The story follows protagonist Annie, who is moving in with her friend Gwen after going through a bad breakup. Annie idolizes the tall, thin, blond Gwen, and finds herself constantly comparing her body negatively with her friend’s. Annie’s relationship with Gwen’s is probably one we’ve all experienced at some point or another — that person that you can’t believe
is willing to condescend to be friends with someone like you, and who you view with a mixture of jealousy, admiration and love. Of course, putting a friend way up high on that type of pedestal only makes the crash harder once you realize that they’re not, in fact, perfect. The way that Annie and Gwen’s friendship is set up in this issue leaves me keenly interested in how it will play out. Annie manages a hip cafe/restaurant with owners whose business model seems to be “treat your knowledgeable employees terribly until they quit, and then hire someone inexperienced for half their salary.” It’s a challenging job, and made even more so by the fact that Annie is recovering from an eating disorder. She struggles not to slip back into old eating habits as she tries to juggle all of her various responsibilities. Meat & Bone’s first issue is a complete delight, and I’m very excited to see where the story will lead. Annie is such a charming and realistically written character that you’ll find it hard to read Meat & Bone without completely falling in love with her. (Anne Thériault)

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