February 13, 2010

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The Independent Kitten Issue 5

[No image available]
Written by Shelley
Self-Published

Independent Kitten is a zine we picked up at the Philly Zine Fest last year. Shelley mentions that she's gone about 4 years since writing her last zine and that she finally feels like she's an adult--even if she still likes some of the same things.

She refers to this as a "Zinester Classic", which seems about right to me. There are several little articles, the bent is always personal, and she's not afraid to use cut and paste to create an interesting layout. That means in addition to the text, you get a collage of her friends, pictures of animals, and even some rather odd marketing ideas. This gives the zine a homemade feel, but Shelley still manages to keep the text readable. (Sometime I think zinesters get a bit too clever in their designs and end up with something almost illegible.)

Shelley lives in Portland, or at least she did when this zine was made. So there' a description of her four favorite places and local farmer's markets. We also get an article on her relationship to her maternal grandmother, which registered strongly with me because I was also close to mine and even called her by the same name, "Gram."

We also get some really short book reviews, documentary reviews and Shelley's thoughts on power structures. She's a very liberal person and writes accordingly, so be aware of this going into reading Independent Kitten.

The last article is on letter-writing, something I used to do more of. She talks about how she's a frequent writer to the White House and imagines how her pleas are summarized.

Independent Kitten was a short read but definitely works well as a personal zine. After reading it, I feel like I know Shelley a bit better, which I think is the point of writing a personal zine. I wasn't able to find any information for her online, but if you like personal zines and see her at a table, it's definitely worth picking up.