Smug: A Zine About Eloping
Perzine, Jonny Rotsztain and Moody Jooly, 16 pgs, bp.press, @bp.press, $5
Ever thought about getting hitched? For the much-maligned civic ceremony presents an interesting opportunity to deliver a resounding “fuck you!” to the wed- ding-industrial-complex. Not only does a secret city hall wedding spare your bank account some catastrophic expenses, it also allows you to completely personalize your ceremony. Worried that your municipal marriage won’t be Instagram worthy? Perish the thought — this zine is full of adorable photos of the two creators from their perfect day.
“We take pride in saying so long to Big Wedding Inc. We avoided excess and invested in one of the most chill, most content days of our lives,” crow the newlyweds Jonnay (local comics creator and charming optimist Jonathan Rotsztain) and Jooly (aka Moody Jooly), who created the zine together. Beyond the baseline joy, the zine functions as a step-by-step guide for planning a meaningful civic wedding ceremony on a budget. The inside front cover is literally a checklist, indicating the 12 critical steps you need before you can unlock the thirteenth and final step — being smug.
Page 3 features a copy of a Marriage License Application from the Province of Ontario, a document which costs $145 to submit in the City of Toronto. While there are municipal staff on hand to officiate your wedding, Jonnay and Jooly urge you to “choose someone who fits your values and style!” — an example of the many bits of
good advice enclosed in this zine. Another especially helpful tip advises you seek out a location — such as a park or a library — which requires no rental fee to use.
The zine is half-page and printed in black-and-white. The cover is pink computer paper and features a photograph of two hands with wedding rings. Pages are handwritten with fairly readable writing and amplified with cut-and-paste images, plus original illustrations by the lovebirds themselves.
Reflecting on their decision to elope, the authors had this to say: “Our siblings had wanted simple ceremonies but saw their plans grow and grow as soon as parents got involved, inviting more and more guests, ballooning scope and expense — we didn’t ask permission and it was more fun revealing our union as a surprise!” A helpful, feel-good read for anyone think- ing of tying the knot.