Lisa Wilde taught for a bunch of years at a NYC high school for students who the mainstream system wasn’t working for. This zine series-turned-book is all about her time teaching and interacting with her students. Like any interaction with teens, there are moments that are hilarious or uplifting– and moments that are fucking tragic.
It’s nicely drawn and compellingly put together, and I found myself bummed when I reached the last page in less than an hour or two. Thematically, it reminds me a little bit of Truckface (which is a really great zine), but we don’t hear as much about the protagonist. Get it and read it!!
For the past few years I have been keeping a list in the back of my planner of every single book that I’ve read.
At this point it’s mechanical: I finish a book. Jot down the title and author in my planner. return it to the library, shelf, or leave-a-book-take-a-book box. In recent months, I’ve also started writing book reviews/overviews for a lot of them on this blog to complete the process.
I started this year with a desire to give more credit to the independent art and artists in my life. It started with a blog post my friend Emma wrote a bit back (i think that particular post may have gone away- but her writing and projects are really unique and awesome and worth checking out) that explored ideas about being an artist and getting paid for it and what makes us believe that we don’t deserve to get paid for our art. I’ve loved zines and countercultures for years, but that influenced me to start thinking more about the difference in importance that I was applying to formally published works and independent stuff. I relish in so many zines and some of them have certainly influenced my life at least as much if not more than books I’ve read. So I’ve started adding them to my book list too. I have a job that pays more than just my bare rent and bills now. In response, I’ve started trying to spend my money more intentionally. Obviously I devour library books. But if there’s a book that I really want to buy, I try to do my best to buy it from either a local book store or directly from the author (here’s a good one to support). The last bookstore in my neighborhood just closed its doors last week (when I moved in maybe 5 years ago there were 3 in a 2-block radius). I liked those bookstores. I appreciated them much more than the boxing gym and yuppie vitamin shop that now occupy their old shells (as well as god-knows-what that will occupy the newly shuttered space).
But in the spirit of fully appreciating art and writing, here are some of the Zines I’ve been reading lately. I recommend them all.
LB teaches high school in Chicago and plays in a band over school breaks. This is the first issue of Truckface I’ve read, and it’s really really great and I want more. It includes really great details about how fucked up academic policies can be, stories about real life that mirror some of my own (explosive homemade alcohol, gender presentation, etc), student interactions, and more. It’s touching and smart and well-written. Get it at the Doris distro.
shortandqueer 14: the best thing that happened today was… 2009
I liked this one! It’s a full-year daily journal of the best thing that happened to Kelly every day for a year. Kelly is way more social than me, and the entries are exciting to read because they are *so* full of interpersonal relationships and activities. It reads diary-like, which sometimes means depression. But it doesn’t make you want to stop. Buy it from Kelly here.
Rad Dad #22 Riot Parent
I can’t believe I waited so long to read the Rad Dad zine. it’s fucking great. In this particular issue, multiple (artistic/zinester-y) parents reflect on Riot Grrrl and how/whether it and the revolution has affected how they’ve been raising their kids. It’s so good that you don’t even need to want kids to enjoy this zine. Along with Truckface, I’m definitely going to be buying more issues of this zine. Get it HERE, in the right-hand column.
And then there’s Doris. I will always love this zine. Cindy writes with such an awesome exploratory honesty. That’s a really dorky sentence, but I mean it, and her writing’s not dorky at all. This particular issue discusses queerness and mini horses and way more. Get a copy at her distro. I also really like the Encyclopedia of Doris, which looks like this and can be acquired on the same page.