The Scary Zine Series
Zine, Perfectionism, Nikki, firstname.lastname@example.org
“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)