‘Manuscript of Zøgmugøt’ zine is an exercise in worldbuilding

Manuscript of Zøgmugøt

Jean deMers, 14 pgs, jeandemers.com

Wavering Line Collective’s Jean deMers’ recent zine is something of a how-to guide for orcs, a paratextual aside that expands on the fantastical worlds he continues to develop.

Two-page instructional spreads build on each other, with spare pages of explanatory text alternating between an unspecified dialect of Orc and English: “How to allure the gardener at the time of harvest,” or “How greater beasts may be caught with a dart in a weeded clearing.” It reads like a fantastical Book of Five Rings, allowing a glance into a world wholly unlike our own complete with the struggles and practices of its denizens. deMers’ line work and figure design are, as always, excellent. Members of his fantasy races each look distinct but remain cohesive.

Though a short zine, deMers is making choices about the world he is building. I hope it points towards a larger whole. As with the best fantasy work, I’m left wanting to explore it so much more. (Graham Sigurdson)