The Scary Zine Series

Broken Pencil - - Zine Reviews -

Zine, Per­fec­tion­ism, Nikki, myrainy­week­

“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. (Joshua Bar­ton)

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