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03/28/2004 Archived Entry: "Decease review"
2004 Alternative Press Expo Swag Review (still): Decease #1
A good zine is hard to find. Actually, let me emend that: finding a *zine* is hard enough these days, since everyone is doing comix, apparently. I've always loved zines - bought them, traded them, written about them, worked on them (Inquisitor) - and I'm sad to see that most zines have gone the way of manual typewriters. Hmm, maybe there's a connection. Anyway, I was genuinely pleased to pick up the first issue of Decease of APE: a gen-yoo-ine zine, black and white xeroxed 8.5x11 sheets stapled in the middle and packed with lots and lots of text. Yay! The zine is not dead - now it's just *about* death.
Editor-in-chief Meri Brin has assembled 10 diverse meditations on death and the culture surrounding it. They range from personal and touching (Jana Wright's memory of seeing her father's body in a morgue - not scary, but liberating) to ironic and amusing (Andrew Losowsky's 12-page essay on obituaries, which could have used a bit more editing) to offbeat and hey-isn't-that-cool (Wright again, on true crime tunes and the morbidity of Liszt - and hey, how come Peter Gabriel's "Family Snapshot" wasn't on the list of songs about murder?). There's lots more, some of it fascinating, all of it well-written and thought-provoking. This is a zine at its best: taking a universal fact and writing about it, writing through it, and making it your own.
My only complaint about Decease is the use of whimsical and serif-laden fonts, and a different one for each piece, at that. My eyes, my eyes! Please, for the sake of your readers with less than perfect vision, stick to Arial and Times, and if you must go wild, use Palatino. I look forward to issue #2.
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Updated: May 31, 2004