Review: The Love Of My Life Doesn’t Use Dating Apps (but maybe they’ll read this zine)

The Love Of My Life Doesn’t Use Dating Apps (but maybe they’ll read this zine)
Perzine, Cleopatria Peterson, 10 pgs,, $30

I met Cleopatria while doing a printmaking residency at Open Studio in Toronto. Not only is Cleopatria hilarious, they’re the kind and generous sort of artist who will proofread your bad poetry for you before you commit to screen-printing it. I was lucky enough to be in the studio while they were making The Love of My Life Doesn’t Use Dating Apps and was intrigued by their commitment to using letter-press to create the zine.

The zine is 10 pages long, all letter-pressed text on white and red paper of various textures and transparencies. The ink colour varies between white, black and red depending on the page and the zine is hand bound with red thread. It is a witty slice of Cleopatria where they tell you that they are evil and, in the same breath, admit that they want to be loved. They format the zine similar to a dating profile, telling you a bit about themselves in their own witty style. I find that the zine is a great comment on modern online dating which overloads us with perfectly groomed and performatively happy and ‘successful’ potential partners. When using online apps I have had my self-esteem squashed and been left feeling overwhelmed and lonely. This zine reminds me that other people have had this experience too. There must have been at least one love affair started through zines before, right?

My favourite page is Cleopatria’s last that reads: “plz get in touch via carrier pigeon to discuss any romantic endeavours you wish to pursue with my person or via telepathy oxox gossip them.” I told Cleopatria that the love of their life would reach out to them through their DMs. So here’s your chance to admit your zine crush.