BouncyBall is a compilation zine all right. A very random one.
The zine starts with a one-page description of someone’s (Stevenson’s?) grandfather, followed by a photocopied letter written and sent from said grandfather to his daughter in 1970. Next is a two-page comic by Albert Kwon about a caveman who does… well, it’s not exactly clear what is supposed to be happening in the comic. From there the pieces continue to get more disparate and we find features like an interview with a filmmaker from Uxbridge, Ontario, a two-page photo of bowling balls, text messages Adam McKechnie has received, a crossword puzzle and some poems. None of these pieces have anything to do with any of the other pieces and, with no intro or outro for the zine, I’m left scratching my head at what this is supposed to be. How did these disparate submissions wind up bound together in one zine? What is the goal here? Why did Stevenson make this? These are a few of the numerous questions I’m left with after reading BouncyBall.
If any of the individual submissions were particularly astounding I’d probably be willing to overlook those questions but, as it is, most of this is fairly generic. The parts that could have been funny fell flat and the few things that had the most potential weren’t given the opportunity to reach that next level. I’m thinking specifically of the grandfather piece and Matt’s “sports corner.” Eugene Henry’s “Hip Hop In Osaka” is the best piece here because it seems to know what it wants to be and is a fully formed item about Henry’s trip to Japan, where some local men tried to turn him into a hip-hop star. The rest are just ideas that don’t come together. (Harley R. Pageot)
Compilation Zine, Benjamin Stevenson, 281 Augusta Ave., Toronto, ON, M5T 2M1, email@example.com, $2