Fixer Eraser #2

Broken Pencil - - Zine Reviews -

Zine, Jonas, PO Box 633, Chicago, IL 60690, USA, bubba.ma­honey@gmail.com, 24pgs, $3 USD

Chicago zinester Jonas com­piles a ten­der col­lec­tion of what he calls “odds and ends and things” in the sec­ond is­sue of Fixer Eraser. It con­sists of six short sto­ries or story-like nar­ra­tives, each with their own unique pull. The text is typed on white cut-and-paste blocks, sparsely pop­u­lat­ing all-black back­grounds for a high-con­trast trip through its 24 pages.

Jonas’s char­ac­ters, like ev­ery­one I know, all fall some­where on the con­tin­uum of sad­ness. In the most se­vere case, the “De­pres­sive Phase, Comedic Gold” shows a poor soul do­ing a 9-5 of­fice shift los­ing all touch with re­al­ity as in­ter­nal mono­logues brush against the de­pres­sion he can’t ex­press to his co-work­ers. He hopes his goofy jokes will dis­arm them as he is frozen from do­ing any work.

In my favourite story, “Sa­lut,” the nar­ra­tor, a writer, shares drinks with Un­cle Havel, who dis­penses wise and dif­fi­cult ad­vice. Havel (who I hear in my head as hav­ing the voice of Pavel Chekov from the orig­i­nal Star Trek) breaks down the dif­fer­ence be­tween fame, great­ness and

ge­nius — and how cre­ative peo­ple of the nar­ra­tor’s gen­er­a­tion con­fuse these things. In “And so, what do you do?” a nar­ra­tor wres­tles with whether or not to in­volve them­selves in a friend’s abu­sive re­la­tion­ship and pon­ders the dif­fer­ence be­tween words and ac­tion in such in­ter­ven­tions.

Jonas’s char­ac­ters are deep feel­ers, sen­si­tive, gru­el­ingly work­ing to­ward a more re­fined self-aware­ness. Their in­sights vary from the pro­found to the self-de­lud­ing. World-weary, but still with some hope that some­thing beau­ti­ful is around the cor­ner, these are sto­ries worth ap­pre­ci­a­tion. (Joshua Bar­ton)

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