Zine, Jonas (editor), Alice Bag, Alex Wrekk, Joshua James Amberson, Jim Joyce, Kelli Callis, Jenna Freedman, Art Noose, Jami Sailor, Emma Karin Eriksson, Nyxia Grey, Jennie Hinchcliff, Matthew Moyer, Kendy Paxia, and Aaron Weber, 60 pgs, P.O. Box 633, Chicago, IL, 60690, USA, $3
Like a Nina Simone song, experiencing others’ pain through art can be comforting, observes long time Ker-bloom! editor, Art Noose. She’s one of the many familiar zinesters who contribute to the third installment of the mental health zine SRVIV. Once again, editor Jonas has assembled 16 writers who answer the question: “What gets you out of bed every morning?”
The contributors to this issue come from different social classes and stages of life, and it is interesting to see the differing approaches they take to answering the question posed. Some present a very guarded self; other contributors are achingly candid about the struggle.
While some tackle the question straight on (“I leave the bed because I have to pee”), others use it as a pretext to muse on a different theme or story altogether. Alex Wrekk (Brainscan, Stolen Sharpie Revolution) contributes a sprawling story about her grandfather’s brain condition and writes with great affection about his forgetfulness and visits to the hospital for brainscanning (which is how her zine got her name). Meanwhile, Art Noose writes a wonderful piece about heartbreak and how it feels getting up and going about your life bearing that weight, especially as a parent. She looks at her son while he’s sleeping and ponders what his life will be like. Sounds sentimental, but it’s very well written.
Barnard Zine librarian Jenna Freedman writes about becoming a library manager and how being a boss totally didn’t work for her. She writes candidly about how a colleague intervened to make her give it up and help her accept that this job might not work out.
All the contributions here are pretty strong and laid out in simple but effective rectangular patches of text over textured backgrounds. SRVIV shows that the young depressive who is still figuring their life out can be just as insightful as the more seasoned voice of experience. Jonas does not editorialize or even provide an intro, but rather allows the pieces to speak for themselves from the get go.