Today’s Zine Review: Farwell

As part of International Zine Month, we’ll be posting a zine review a day on our blog in July.

Chapbook, Farwell, Cassidy and Jonah McFadzean, 34 pages, JackPine Press,, $20

Saddle-stitched with golden thread, no title or author name; only a vast green glittering expanse of a book cover, interrupted by tiny mountains peeking out from a hole. It’s easy to appreciate quality wrought from effort and talent, and this is an appropriate descriptor for Cassidy and Jonah McFadzean’s Farwell.

I don’t know what I like more in this collection of art and poetry about the town of Farwell, BC (now known as Revelstoke). Between the captivating writing voice and sprawling artwork, the siblings clearly devoted their full attentions to doing their childhood nostalgia justice. Cassidy’s voice resounds through mountains and over dead lakes, evoking imagery of a place I’ve never been to but miss anyhow. She makes writing good look easy, choosing words that specifically titillate the tongue. Phrases like “Children run across mica, carry larva in plastic buckets” rings in your ears as if McFadzean herself recited them.

Her brother’s art fits her subjects perfectly, simple colourless landscapes. It expands past typical book margins, curving itself around her words. Cassidy’s poetry looks natural, immersed in this world of ghost plants and sinking tadpoles. I particularly enjoyed how illustrations were devoid of humanity; despite the narrator’s focus on themselves, it is the ghostly afterimages of landscapes and animals long dead that resonates with readers. (Alfea Donato)

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