Zine, Neal Armstrong, Devon Marinac, Issue One, email@example.com, $5
Try to suspend disbelief all you want — you’re not going to get any weed to grow on Mars. Sure there’s the Martian north polar ice cap and the prospect of ice deep underground, but the Mars rover has yet to turn up any liquid water at all, let alone enough for a lush, moist ganja forest on the red planet. Be that as it may, terrestrial weed smokers will dream their dreams of an interplanetary crop.
Two such dreamers, Neal Armstrong and Devon Marinac, let their imaginations take cosmic flight in Two Astronauts. Mashups of hazy analog and digital collage art are interspersed among a narrative timeline titled “Interstellar Truthbuster: The Secret History of SpaceFarm.” The story traces the development of Lunar and Martian agriculture (including weed) from 1958 to 2020, including Armstrong’s placement of the “Canadian ‘Weed Leaf’ flag in the lunar dust.” The collages alternate between pixelated color and blurry black and white prints. Random, hand-lettered words and scrawled lines weave between magazine and paper clippings piled together into loose anatomical forms. Other images take on the distortion of television signal interference. There doesn’t appear to be a direct connection between the collage art and the SpaceFarm story — at least not one I can detect without a joint in hand.
Two Astronauts is a disorienting mixture of glitch visuals with an amusing premise for a story. There’s lots of fun, druggy incoherence to be had here. (Joshua Barton)