Zine Review: Portals



Perzine, Louisa Tsui, louscribbles.com, price not listed


In a few short pages with a few short words, Louis Tsui walks you through a whole life; a whole life of emotions and events and the process of growing up. The front cover of Portals includes a series of images that are both symmetrical and diverse. Simple lines with black and grey colouring make this comic easily accessible.

Each scene or portal takes place across two pages with one page featuring an image and the other a thought. Tsui’s age at the time of the scene is placed in brackets underneath. The images are both deeply personal, in that they portray landmark events from the author’s life, and universally applicable, in that faces are obscured and bodies androgynous.

The comic is reminiscent of Julie Morstad’s work in that the characters are at once frail and immensely present. The story is written by and about them and, though they are small and at times dwarfed by their surroundings, those surroundings were created and maintained by the characters within.

This is a comic I would pick up and read at the park alone, then in a crowded party with a glass of wine in hand, then in the dark at the back of a movie theatre. Read it differently each time and it will speak to you in different voices. (CJ Blennerhassett)