Zine Review: Our Date with Alison Bechdel

Zine, text by Tara Michelle Ziniuk, illustrated by Sarah Mangle, t.ziniuk@gmail.com & sarah.mangle@gmail.com, price not listed

Our Date with Alison Bechdel reads more like a short story than a zine. It’s very text-heavy and narrative-driven with crude (but lovely!) illustrations. In it, Ziniuk writes about her experience hearing Bechdel speak at the 2013 Toronto Comic Arts Festival as part of the launch for her second graphic memoir Are You My Mother. Throughout her story, Ziniuk
weaves in bits and pieces of her own thoughts, feelings and history with her experiences from that day, in a way that often hits that oh-so-satisfying-to-me note of happy/sad/funny.
Ziniuk writes a bit about classism and elitism and family in a way that really resonated with me — in fact, there are several things that I feel like I could have written myself, stuff like: “I have this thing where I’m jealous of intellectuals. It sucks because it’s totally classist and doesn’t account for people ever being able to be responsible about their privilege, or have a complicated relationship to class.” Yeah, me too, buddy. Me too. All in all, Our Date with Alison Bechdel is a great read, although it could have benefited from a good proofreader or
copy editor. There are a few places where the tense jumps around — for example, the same event being described in both present and past tense in the same sentence— and that can be a bit confusing. There are also a few typographical errors and while it feels nitpicky to mention them, they’re something that I know can be a deal-breaker for some people. With just a touch more attention to detail, this zine could have earned an A+ in my books. That being said, I really enjoyed it and would totally recommend it. (Anne Thériault)

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