This zine is printed on bright blue paper and features some fairly crappy line drawings and grainy photographs, but the writing can’t be knocked. Ballz showcases the writing of nine contributors, some from Montreal and others from abroad. Roxane Hudon, who seems to be the mastermind behind the project (with her by-line on three of the pieces), gives a full film treatment for the trapped Chilean miners story of 2011. Every mainstream Latino actor gets a role as she melds real people into super-human Hollywood composites. This lady is smart, funny and I want to watch the Oscars with her just to hear the sass talk.
Brad MacDonald’s eight-step approach to becoming a grown-up advises readers on how to make superficial adjustments to their lives. Some tips: talk about bathroom renos, wear vintage pyjamas and engage in tedious and pretentious Sunday morning activities (“Personally I no longer watch football on Sunday, but instead read the Economist and do cryptoquotes with a bemused look on my face”). This, and, in fact, all of Ballz, is perhaps the best case for delayed adulthood I have ever read. Fitting too, that this comes from Montreal, the land of unemployed young adults fucking around in Mile End cafes. But if this is the stuff they’re making I will happily subscribe.
After another great piece, this one from a former Concordia journalism student about the deplorable practice of contracting biased journalists for the school’s speaker series, I began to suspect that many of Ballz contributors might be journalism grads or have some writing training. Perhaps this is a sign of more writers taking to the zine form for publishing offbeat opinions and stories that can’t find a (paying) place elsewhere. These Montrealers write so well, they may as well produce this fun compendium for friends and anyone else lucky enough to stumble across their zine. (Laura Trethewey)
Zine, issue three, various contributors, ballzmontreal.wordpress.com