The Sunday Night Black & White #4
Zine, ed. by Roland LeSage, sundaynightbombers.com, $8.50
This is one of those zines where halfway through it I’m still a little unsure of what exactly I’m looking at. That’s just how The Sunday Night Black & White rolls, no introduction, just a table of contents, and off we go. Issue four includes five contributions that range from writing, photography, and illustration. It begins with Chopper Nyk’s drawings, which bear a stylistic resemblance to the work of Raymond Pettibon. The high-contrast, black and white images take the form of disturbing advertisements that mix old timey Americana and the occult and other sinister imagery. “Do you Remember?” is a curious experiment on memory and writing for writing’s sake. “Solo Smoker” nicely juxtaposes text and images, but might be more effective in colour as details appear to be lost in the shades of grey. “Small Town Fiction” is a collection of landscape photographs depicting rural vastness from day to night. My favourite was the final piece, “Mike Diana the Boiled Angel,” which tells the story of Mike Diana, an underground cartoonist who was found guilty of artistic obscenity, and provides a thoughtful interrogation of the history of transgressive writing and cartooning in general. The author argues that Diana got a bad rap and that his drawings, as unappealing as they are, are akin to something like Pasolini’s Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, not something you’d admit to enjoying but something you should respect as an artistic work that employs perversion to make a point.
The Sunday Night Black & White’s disorienting start notwithstanding, I enjoyed getting lost in these collected words and images. The zine is properly printed, rather than photocopied and has a logical layout. Despite its 40 pages, I breezed through this pretty quickly and would totally check out a future issue.