Review: Hypnogogia: Book One

Hypnogogia: Book One
Artzine, Edited by Charles Hackbarth, 38 pgs, Hypnogogia Press, 13$

As a collection of collaborated drawings, Hypnogogia is perfectly adequate. The images from Marc Cohen, Charles Hackbarth and Steven McCabe are interesting enough. The intended “hypnogogic” effect of the untouchable world between sleep and the waking world is well realized, and it’s unclear where each artist ends and another begins. Thematically, it achieves what it set out to do.

If I may speak in broader terms, there’s an unspoken-albeit mutually understood element of ‘community’ to producing a zine. They are a useful tool in driving one to seek out further work and output from the creator. Sadly, the three artists do not include any links to their work or social media, and even a cursory online search for each of them brings up few results, save Hackbarth’s website that hasn’t been updated since 2019.

If I were to feel compelled to seek out the wider body of work of each contributor, there’s suddenly an added layer of difficulty where there really shouldn’t be. I’m no stranger to pseudonymous or “cryptic” zines-I’ve reviewed many for Broken Pencil and the ‘chase’ is part of the fun, but to put out a perfect bound booklet, complete with an ISBN, and then to offer essentially nothing in the way of promoting themselves further, feels like waste. Maybe this is just furthering the hypnogagic state these men have sought to create. If that’s the case, well done, but I don’t think they were playing that level of chess.

Hypnogagia is a zine that invites you to further explore the psycho-dream imagery its artists have created. It’s unfortunate that you aren’t invited to engage further.