Zine Review: Bad Skin

ZINES_Bad SkinBad Skin
Artzine, Gabrielle Mulholland,28 pages, suckerpress.com, $5

Yin and yang, day and night, light and dark, black and white. These are four different perspectives to describe one curious cover, although I’m positive the lists of attributes is endless. Bad Skin is a story based in the summertime with hints of melancholy and whispers of erotica. Mulholland’s writing brings back memories of hot nights and nervous hearts. It embodies the longing to change that one night with that one person that one summer. It makes me ache in my gut because I’ve had that moment, as I am sure you have too.
Composed in black and white, the zine undeniably speaks to the grey zone; understanding what isn’t being spoken aloud and accepting the flaws being laid bare. Bad Skin has the mystery of nighttime with its poetic dialogue, and rough lettering. It feels as if you’re reading it under a streetlight, or from the light of the house as you stand barefoot in the wet grass of the backyard. On a few of the pages, some of the letters disappear into the imagery, which makes it slightly challenging to maintain the fluidity of the text. The effortless illustrations are maintained in the background, filling in the picture you are already creating in your head; the spiral waterslide, the pool, naked bodies, beer cans in the grass, the moon, and the moths. It’s so familiar that all you have to do is close your eyes and you’ll feel it around you. I enjoyed this zine, not only for the memories it stirred, but for the simplicity of it all. It’s a sad summer soliloquy neatly contained in 28 pages. (KK Taylor)


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