Today’s Zine Review: The Devouring Grief of ‘Angelheart’ Mitchum

Litzine, Coyote Rosebud ,, $3

This three-chapter fiction zine traces parallel stories of failed romance on the backdrop of the Chicago blues scene. Our narrator has returned home to Chicago in search of a lost love and, broken-hearted, seeks out Angelheart, a disappeared bluesman who the narrator “[trusts] to know what is right,” to give him guidance. Eddie Brassbones, an aging friend of Angelheart’s informs the narrator, over beer in a bar, of the tragic demise of Angelheart upon being spurned by his first love. The story’s parable-like quality, as well as it’s relatively short structure, means that the characters and circumstances take on a sort of comic-book feel. The dialogue style used, where Rosebud writes Brassbones’ monologue in spelling that is accent-inflected, as well as blues tropes (lovelorn, hard-living men, squirreled away in the back of a Chicago bar, waiting to be found by young people seeking out “the real blues”), make this story read like a song pulled from Tom Waits’ early catalogue. Taken for what it is, it’s not particularly moving and sidles into cliché. (Sarah Pinder)

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