Zine Review: Different Shades of Normal

Zine, Zippity Zinedra, issue 3, tattoo_sweetie@hotmail.com, $3

The author’s note at the end of Different Shades of Normal advises people to “Just read the zine. That’s why it’s here. It’s a glimpse of time. That’s it–just a glimpse.” However, it’s also a glimpse of 21 years, starting in 2014 and going back to 1993 in descending order, told in diary entries.

Writer Zippity Zinedra covers a lot of ground (depression, heartbreak, being a “queer loner”), but rarely goes into detail about any one event. In many ways, this is an intensely personal zine, but one of the most effective passages is a verbatim transcription of an overheard conversation where a blind man argues that his sighted friend doesn’t have an obligation to read a newspaper because “you have a choice.’” No comment is made about how this conversation fits into the writer’s life, but it perfiectly illustrates the issues of fitting in, personal choice, and individuality broached throughout the zine. It’s understandable that the writer feels vulnerable sharing details of their life with an unknown public, but even a little more detail would go a long way toward drawing us deeper into their world. (Joanne Huffa)

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