April 8, 2012

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morgenmuffel #18

Written by Isy
Self-Published

The sometimes drawn, sometimes written thoughts of Isy continue in this 18th edition of her long-running zine.  In this issue, she discusses playing Capture the Flag, going to a zine symposium in France, an anarchist collective she helped with for nearly a decade, and being part of protests in Copenhagen in 2009.

One of the things that's neat about how Isy creates her zine is that is while the craft and design are quite polished for a zine (everything fits neatly within the pages, there are almost no mistakes despite being entirely handwritten, and the narratives follow a linear pattern), the whole experience feels like she just handed you her incredibly immaculate personal journal.

The events described in this zine are little snippets from her life, and it shows.  Using incredibly detailed line drawings, Isy gives a great picture of the places she's been, even doing little things like drawing in a few blades of grass to give depth.  She's also very good at choosing what moments to share, like France's inability to understand vegans (or dumpster diving) or the fear and terror of being attacked by overzealous police officers.

I'm a person who reads a lot of visual material, so naturally a zine line this one is appealing to me.  But it takes more than just drawing to make a good story.  Isy gets this, whether it's a conscious effort or not.

The written section of the zine will resonate with anyone who has spent a long time with a non-profit organization.  The problems the Cowley Club had, from staying on the right side of the board of health to keeping up its mortgage to dealing with vandals reminded me of when I had an association with a food co-op.  My friends who were on the board really had it rough, and over time, it becomes quite personal.  Since this was written nearly two years ago, I wonder if the Club is still making it in this extended global recession.

Morgenmuffel is a very good zine that I think would make a good introduction for those unfamiliar with the genre.  It does all the things I think of when I think of zines, but it does them in a way that won't turn off a person who has only read traditional magazines or comics.  You can find it at most zine distros, so patronize your favorite one and enjoy.