Zine Review: How to Fight Back

Zine, Sierra Paquette-Struger and Heidi Berton, mightycontender.tumblr.com, $7

How do we distinguish between retaliation and self-defence? The spare drawings and text of How to Fight Back provide the poetic contours of a story that goes largely untold. The text describes three ways to fight back against an unnamed “he.” The simple line drawings don’t illustrate the text so much as complement it, challenging the reader to make their own connections.

Weeks after reading this zine, I still don’t feel like I understand the narrative, but I keep returning to its images: teeth lined up in a row, half-used cosmetics, a scattering of Scrabble tiles.

How to Fight Back is pleasing to hold, with a black cardstock cover printed with subtle black ink and bold gold embossing. The lack of any binding was a risky choice, though…don’t dump this into your backpack and expect it to stay together. Nonetheless, this zine evokes a gritty spirit and strength in 16 short pages. (Kelly McElroy)



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