279: playful on the outside, real talk inside

Art zine, Alecia Gatlin, 8 pgs, AleciaGatlin.com

Firstly, the format of 279 is super foldy and very cute. It’s borderline origami. Printed on legal size white bond, it folds up into a neat little pocket zine that you can take anywhere. The content of 279: less cute.

Alecia Gatlin is the creator, and she’s engaging in some real talk. You kind of just need to read it, but she writes about her confusion, her emotions and her general brain activity on the whole. This zine feels a bit like a thought exercise, and Alecia should be commended for being brave and spitting it out on paper. Of course, for all of its complexity, it’s not uncomfortable to read. It’s actually pretty universal. Some might file this under “random existential musings,” but I found it to be more than that. There are some interesting drawings and sketches in this zine that, I think, are perhaps the star attractions. The words support, but the imagery essentially sets the pace and the words layer on top in a “yup, we’re fucked” kind of fashion.

The zine also has some valuable thoughts on friendship and inclusivity that seem to have been written by a young person, but are likely of most value to an old or semi-old person. The cover is red and has a vague 1970s-ish look and feel to it. That’s not a statement on content but more on the zine’s playful aesthetics.

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