Zine Review: Passionate About Proper Dishwashing Behaviour

ZINES_Passionate about DishwashingPassionate About Proper Dishwashing Behaviour
Comic/illustration zine, Gillian Blekkenhorst, 12 pgs, blekkenhorst.ca, 1$Living with roommates is hard. It takes a special type of relationship to make things work. You can’t sweat the small stuff: shoes left haphazardly by the front door, towels hung in a clump over the shower stall, overripe bananas left to rot on the kitchen counter and, probably the most frustrating of all, a lack of clean dishes. Sometimes you have to swallow your pride, live and let live, keep calm and move on — or whatever other cliché phrase you can think that supersedes the nuisance of living with roommates. Or — you could make a zine about it. Gillian Blekkenhorst did.

As stated by the back cover, this zine is “a tract to shame your loved ones”. This palm-sized mini zine is 12 pages long and filled with dorky little illustrations and snarky little quips about the different ways people wash dishes incorrectly. It starts off pretty realistic: “Failing to check the outside for drips — only washing the inside”. Okay, that’s a half-reasonable mistake. But they get worse from here: “Steel wool on teflon”. That’s a personal pet peeve of mine. (This is why we can’t have nice things!) And then it gets a bit more outlandish, with crimes such as hiding dishes, chanting, “fork tine inattention” and “pulverization and heating over a long time”. Something tells me Blekkenhorst is working from experience here.

What I like about this zine is that it doesn’t take on any artistic value it can’t handle. There’s nothing coded or cryptic about it. It’s a mini-zine to piss off your roommates — and yet it’s kinda practical, too. It’s hell of a lot better than leaving passive aggressive notes on the fridge. I got a good laugh out of this zine and if that’s all it’s trying to do then I’d say it’s a success. The first run of these is sold out, but Blekkenhorst said in an email that the next batch will be laminated and on a key ring “so people can hang it over their sinks and continually shame their cohabitants without moistening the pamphlet”. (Jeff Low)