Compilation zine, Alvaro Zavalda Luz Magdaleno, issue 2, 24 pages, oxnardplain.com, free
One of my favorite kinds of zines is the compilation zine, where different contributors bring poetry, stories, rants, analysis, photos, drawings, and more, all under one zine-roof. A type of magic takes place there, which I think gets to many valuable practices of zine culture: collaboration, mentorship, access and valuing young or new voices, among others.
In this issue, ¿Serio? focuses on themes of Mexican-American identity and the Chicano political movement, featuring about a dozen voices in a variety of formats. While based in Chicago, the work presented here speaks to experiences which may resonate with the Mexican or Chicanx diaspora anywhere. That being said, the contributors are coming from different angles, portraying and celebrating various elements of their identities, from music to cars, social change to schoolyard stories.
“If words are mightier than the sword/why can’t mine slice through/the fists/the knives/the bullets/that tear everything apart?” writes Sarah Yousuf in her poem “Heartbeat”, herself slicing through the banality of common phrases which offer little aid to her struggles.
At the risk of being that banal guy myself, I would think that if zines can be of any aid to the struggles for self-expression, self-representation, exchange and analysis in oppressed communities, zines like ¿Serio? are likely to be a part of that movement. Scoop this up! (Stéphane Doucet)