Dream Whip: The Pedal Powered Movie Tour
Zine, Bill Brown, issue 15, Microcosm Publishing, microcosmpublishing.com, $10.95US.
“I vaguely remember some other life before this bike ride, but the memory of it fades a little more each day,” muses Texan author, filmmaker and photographer Bill Brown as he rolls through Lucas, Kansas. In the 15th installment of Dream Whip, Brown documents his two-month trek across the United States from Washington, D.C., to Denver, Colorado supporting his documentary about activists working along the U.S-Mexico border. The Pedal Powered Movie Tour, as he calls it, is no regular tour: Brown and a handful of friends challenge themselves to cycle from coast to coast, screening the film in Unitarian churches and anarchist bookstores, exploring sleepy rural towns and winding railroad corridor trails, and meeting colourful locals along the way.
This charming pocket-sized, handwritten zine is a must-read. Dream Whip is a clever, insightful and humourous glimpse into the people and places that make up America as told by a thoughtful traveller who relishes the small joys of the adventure. For those who love discovering strange and wonderful living examples of contemporary Americana, standout stories include a visit to a school bus filled with “The World’s Largest Collection of the World’s Smallest Versions of the of the World’s Largest Things” and “The Gallery of the Also-Rans,” a room of portraits of forgotten presidential candidates. Avid cyclists, too, will enjoy pedalling along with Brown as he and his crew attempt to navigate their way out of Pittsburgh (no easy task, as we find out), share highways with aggressive truck drivers, and learn the true importance of perineal comfort.
A few pages in Brown already feels like a close friend. His sincere conversational tone and honest insights are easy to get lost within. Dream Whip is best read from start to finish, out loud, again and again. (Melissa Hergott)