Zine, Michele, 24 & 32 pgs, PO Box 207, Niagara Falls, ON, L2E 6T3, [email protected] $2 (trades preferred)
I can’t tell you how excited I was to read a zine from Niagara Falls, Ontario. That might sound strange, but I haven’t heard a zinester mention this place since I’m Johnny and I Don’t Give a Fuck. It seemed to be a chance to learn about a part of Ontario I have limited experience with. However things don’t get too Niagara-specific in Wandering Home. One thing that Michele nails, however, is that relentless longing to escape your hometown. She achieves this through a cross-country trip on a VIA Rail train.
What is interesting is that tales of her trip are interspersed with journal entries that range from age 12 to present. My take on journal entries is that they are sort of like when someone describes their dream to you: it’s super-engrossing for them, but slightly less enthralling for the listener. That gripe aside, Wandering Home does combine many elements of zinedom I adore: typewritten text, sweet black and white photography, and choice musical selections for “top tens.” It also brings some flourishes of its own, namely a puzzling blank middle section that invites the reader to “define yourself” and send it in to the editor. All in all, Wandering Home offers a somewhat uneven but sharp-looking start. Michele could be going somewhere great with this. We will have to keep our eyes peeled. (Chris Landry)