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The Scary Zine Series lays it all out on the line

The Scary Zine Series

Zine, Perfectionism, Nikki,

“I’ve wanted to make my own zine for ages … but something was always holding me back. Perfectionism.”

Well, congratulations, Nikki, on graduating from the never-made-a-zine club! And it’s a great zine. Why? I’ll tell you. Nikki has dug down deep and entered into the big, dark, scary place of judgement, accepting the less-than-perfect, or the risk of it, and bracing for critique. But as can be the case with happy zine stories, what Nikki will likely find is a readership that can absolutely and totally relate.

This quarter-page-sized zine, with immaculately legible handwritten text and delightful hand-coloured illustrations, is a study in vulnerability. Nikki lays it all on the line, making “my first zine in the hopes of overcoming the anxiety … of making a zine. Embarrassing.” But don’t worry, Nikki. You are among friends.

Nikki proceeds to interrogate all of the nagging perfectionist questions that held back the dream of making a zine and extrapolating from them some self-observations on the perfectionism that has followed Nikki from childhood.

The charming meta-narrative is relatable, and models kindness to oneself in a way that can be a helpful model as Nikki shifts from personal insights to affirmations for you, the reader: “You are allowed to make mistakes when you are learning (and after).” This insight, like the existence of this zine itself, is a victory over fear. It makes me very happy to see zines like this one, showing how people can grow and inspire growth by taking the risk of being themselves.

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