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The previous issue of New Pompeii, according to this one’s introductory spiel, came out six whole years ago, which is either the longest hiatus ever, or a brilliant post-modern strategy to get the indie kids scrambling madly to locate all the back issues, or both. Creator Michael Hind claims to have got sidetracked by some mythical phenomenon known, apparently, as “life” between then and now, however that means that he’s got plenty of material to stuff into the thing, making this newest issue a whopping 79 pages long.

Included are a couple of sincere personal pieces, some helpful essays such as “What To Do When Your Partner Becomes Disgusting” (some of the suggestions include “Murder Them,” “Have Affairs,” and “Become a Mormon”) and “Fashion Orphans” where Hind advises makeovers for Hasidic Jews, Retarded People, Snowmen, and Me (n-no, not me — you know, him). Interspersed throughout are Hind’s comic strips; particularly notable is the often hilarious and fourth-wall-breaking “Jay the Blind Jaywalker.”

There are also ironic profiles of fashion designers, and a few baffling drawings of generic science fiction and fantasy characters (plus a groupshot of Alpha Flight, to satisfy CanCon requirements, I guess?). Hind misspells words not infrequently, but he also uses semicolons correctly so I’m not going to deduct any points for that. Overall, New Pompeii is entertaining and bitterly incisive. Hind promises the next issue will not take as long as this one did. We’ll be waiting. (Richard Rosenbaum)

Zine,Michael Hind, Issue 31, $3, 2460 Knox, Montreal QC, H3K 1P9

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