Review: at the 7/11 outside Club Q

at the 7/11 outside Club Q
Comic, Annabel Driussi, 14 pgs,

at the 7/11 outside Club Q is a deeply personal zine, rendering moments of grief and joy in bright, primary coloured pencil. Cartoonist and science illustrator Annabel Driussi reflects on the aftermath of the shooting that occurred at Colorado Springs’ Club Q in November, 2022. With rounded corners, crisp white cardstock covers and primary-coloured thread saddle-stitching the book together, the packaging shows the care Driussi put into the presentation of this story, while the visible pencil strokes evoke the immediacy of her emotions.

Driussi uses two-page spreads to create a sense of expansiveness in the different locations: the titular 7-Eleven, a carnival and the queer community of Colorado Springs. Lushly rendered images blend into and overlap each other, emulating the stream of consciousness flow of a conversation. Her narrator addresses her partner and friends, recalling memories both happy and upsetting (“Remember that one time?”) from her first time at Club Q to the time someone threw a quarter at her and her partner. The celebratory pages are crowded and full of people and texture, while the sadder pages have more white space.

These narrow glimpses of a wide life create a sense of profound intimacy, as though the reader is being allowed a glimpse into the narrator’s private inner thoughts. The love and sadness Druissi feels for Colorado Springs in the aftermath of this tragedy are eloquently and beautifully expressed through her polished execution.