Thursday, September 8, 2011

Three Days of My Life I Will Never Get Back

A friend sent me a package of about 50 zines a couple weeks ago. It was out of the blue, and I was delighted. I tried to read as many of them as I could--I was trying to work my way through because San Francisco Zine Fest was coming up. I knew there would be a free table, and I knew I'd be stopping by Long Haul Infoshop in Berkeley afterward. I wanted to donate the "good zines" to Long Haul and leave the rest on the zine fest's free table. By "good zines" even I didn't know what I meant. I just had a sense that some of the zines should be given away freely, and some should be preserved and reread in a zine library.

When I actually got the fest and looked for the free table, it was different from what I remembered from years previous. It was neat and tidy. "Is it okay if I bring some chaos to this table?" I asked the volunteer, and he said sure. So I left a tall stack of zines at the free table, unsure of whether I had done the right thing. And that night at Long Haul Infoshop I donated a paper grocery bag full of zines, and the volunteer seemed happy.

Anyway, Three Days of My Life I Will Never Get Back, one of the zines my friend sent me, didn't go to Long Haul Infoshop or the zine fest's free table--I kept it for myself! It's first-rate zinery. It's someone's tale of a trip across the US by Greyhound bus. He's smart, he's funny, and he's English. It's all one continuous story of this bus trip, no nonsense. A few skillful drawings break up the handwritten text.

One of the things that most impresses me about Three Days is how the speaker is able to sustain the story. His attention span is admirable. And great attention to people. A favorite part is about a little kid. "His grandmother calms him down with tin foil wrapped chicken legs, which he devours and shouts 'I LOVE YOU GWANNY!' inbetween chews." It's all like this, a series of gems about the characters on the bus.

20 pages, quarter size, black & white photocopy

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