Saying goodbye can feel good in this zine that focuses on the feeling of nostalgia

Old Blues

Perzine, C.N Hubbarde,, $3

This tiny zine, barely the size of debit card, focuses on the idea of nostalgia. Something about the pocket size lends well to the content — bits of the past you long for, or its very absence, might also hang around for a long time in your back pocket.

Hubbarde writes about his time working on the now shuttered zine project Deep Madder, long a staple of the Toronto zine scene with a focus on personal mental health. He reflects on collaborations with their creative partner, and how he find themselves missing these and other moments past despite knowing he doesn’t truly want to experience it again. Hubbarde’s personal experience of nostalgia weaves through look at the lifespan of the zine, demonstrating how a creative endeavour may eventually end —which doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Saying goodbye can feel good. They make some pointed observations about people’s obsession with youth and vitality, pulling at the tension between a feeling satisfied with your older self’s life, while still fondly looking back.

The last section of the zine is a little write up by A. Arvelo McQuaig on vapour-wave that’s just delightful, especially in the context of nostalgia. McQuaig explains the strange allure of a weird 80’s tech inspired subgenre beautifully and it perfectly wraps up Old Blues.

Admittedly, Deep Madder’s trademark style, an excessive use of high-level vocabulary, makes it occasionally difficult to immerse oneself in the text. Anything that gets too “university essay” in tone makes my eyes glaze over, but this only happened in a few particularly dense sentences.

But mostly, Hubbarde’s thoughts are relatable and charming. Many of us know what it feels like to get caught up in nostalgia at times. We often perpetuate the strange idea that certain slices of the past innately better, more enjoyable, or just notable — even small moments of making a zine with a friend.