Zine Review: Little Death

ZINES_Little-DeathArtzine, Louise Reimer, tobinlouisereimer.com, $6

Louise Reimer’s illustrations have ap­peared in Broken Pencil before, and there’s a good reason for that: her combination of notebook doodles and watercolour landscapes are as clever as they are mod­est. Her most recent work Little Death begins with a quote from Frank Herbert’s Dune, and states simply, “This is a series of drawings about self-doubt, insecurity, and perseverance.” The remaining 10 pages of the zine are filled with eight dif­ferent illustrations that track a vague narrative from fetal-position-despair to outstretched-arms-triumph.

It seems almost counterintuitive to title one’s work Little Death — being a direct translation of ‘la petit mort,’ the French phrase for ‘orgasm’ — and avoid any kind of sexual subtext. The phrase takes its lead from the opening Herbert quote (“Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration”), but it seems a great deal more nondescript in that context, and not fit for the unintended implica­tions brought about by its presence on the front and centre.

But aside from this minor gripe, Little Death is a lovely little zine. Reimer has a great style, marked mostly by its note­book-sketch figures trekking across wa­tercolour scenes. She manages the floaty vibrance so common in fantasy illustra­tions without the luxury of coloured ink. The illustrations themselves, featuring jungles and mushroom caps, are whimsi­cal, and the narrative is compelling enough to keep the pages turning. With its colourful jacket and its sympathetic sketches, Little Death receives my recom­mendation. (Joel W. Vaughan)

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