Review: Strange and Mysterious Creatures


Strange and Mysterious Creatures: Green Issue
Perzine, EA Douglas, 32 pgs,, $12

The fourth issue of EA Douglas’s Strange and Mysterious Creatures – the green issue for those following along with colour designations — opens with one of the best introductory passages you’ll find. It is about watching sunlight move across a bedroom. EA Douglas is an excellent writer. The expressiveness of her language, her ability to make her own lived moments real for the reader, even (or especially) those steeped in malaise, has been a consistent feature in this series of perzines.

Amidst loss, struggle, and pain, Douglas owns her experience and contention with mental health with a true gift for language. Her facility with the narration of emotion is moving and resonant. Whether it be moments of emotional intensity or dullness, self-celebration or self-critique. Broken into six sections, Douglas shares episodes like the unexpected loss of a grandfather, the intense feeling of being unloveable while moving out of and back into a strained relationship, and confronting suicidal ideation. She is narrating her own self-awareness as it spreads and finds names for its own phenomena, but also narrating these embodied experiences that come along the way. Sitting in the sun-crawled bedroom because it’s all she feels able to do; feeling the “itch of cotton pajamas and perpetual boredom” at the hospital she checked in to, after brushing close with suicide.

Douglas’s series of zines rises to the level of art in its language and is a can-did account of experiencing depression, of navigating the impacts of trauma.