Zine Review: The Straphanger’s Noose


Photozine, Marc Calvary, 32 pgs, The Carbon Based Mistake, thecarbonbasedmistake.wordpress.com, $1

When I first read this zine, the entire time I was thinking of that Louis CK skit: “You know when you’re in the bank and you’ve got nothing to do while you’re waiting in line so you just pick people to hate… and form an opinion with no information and it’s never positive?” That particular joke summarizes the misanthropic sentiment of this zine pretty well. The Straphanger’s Noose is a photozine of people using the subway in NYC, peppered with criticisms about them. While most are fairly true (i.e. peeps not moving their bods aside when you get on, texting while walking very slowly), the comments rubbed me the wrong way and reminded me of being stuck in a car with someone obnoxious who can’t keep their road rage in check. This is not my first time reviewing a zine by Marc Calvary; the last one being Undercover Ablutions, another photozine about people’s medicine cabinets. Both zines were photographed using his iPhone, which was my major issue with the last one since a different camera would have made the snaps more interesting. However, I find this works quite well in The Straphanger’s Noose. The shots are obviously candid and are framed pretty nicely considering the limited space and need for discretion. The pictures make it worth picking up. Overall though, I’m not a fan. His comments bring up no new ideas, and are honestly annoying and pretty boring. (Andrew Melanson)