Zine Review: Punk and Pregnant

ZINES_Punk and PregnantPunk and Pregnant
Digital zine, Cole Nemeth, 17 pgs, etsy.com/ca/shop/PeaceandChaosSHOP, $2.50

In November 2006, Cole Nemeth was depressed. The 16-year-old punk (then living in Cambridge, Ontario) alleviated her pain the way a lot of depressed folk do — with weed, whiskey and cigarettes, late-night parties and days spent in bed.
During one of these parties, she met Nick — a fellow punk who was homeless. Cole brought Nick home to her parents’ place to crash and wait out the punishing winter. They were complete opposites who fought frequently. One mid-January night, however,  the unspoken tension between them exploded: “I lost my virginity to a guy I barely liked, on a bare mattress surrounded by garbage, vomit and cigarette butts,” Nemeth writes. Given the title of the zine (her first!) you can probably glean what happens next.
Cole’s warts-and-all discussion of her own pregnancy is super refreshing. I especially can’t imagine how hard it was for her as a pregnant teenager, when hormones are a-flyin’ all the time as is. She gives a pretty good idea, describing her feelings of isolation, longtime friends turning their  backs on her, struggling with weight-gain and outgrown clothes, and feelings of grouchiness and anxiety over the future. All this said, it’s worth acknowledging that Cole was in a very fortunate situation — during her pregnancy, she had a roof over her head, a partner who could work to support her, and access to Canada’s healthcare system. I also loved Cole’s charming, skillful cartoons and personal photos supplementing the text; her drawing style pairs nicely with the plain language she uses to tell her story.
The rest of the zine is tied up too neatly to me — Cole doesn’t share her experience of post-baby life in much detail, except to say that she and Nick have become “completely different people” in terms of maturity and responsibility. She closes the zine by directing us to her ongoing blog, peaceandchaos.com, so I’m eager to learn more about her journey as a parent
and a grown-up punk. (Alison Lang)


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