Zine Review: Watch Your Back Vol. 2

ZINES_WatchyourbackWatch Your Back Vol. 2: A Helpful Guide to Dealing with the Devil
Perzine, Emily Switzer & Polina Brouss, facebook.com/watchingourbacks, $5

Watch Your Back Vol. 2 will help you sort through the material and conceptual shit in your life that brings out the worst out in you.

Switzer and Brouss collect a series of depictions of the devil and center them around a short story about selling your soul — which manifests, in this case, as a black opal necklace. Switzer’s short story makes up the bulk of this zine and focuses on a character who ends up having a drink in a bar while waiting for an appointment with the devil. In 11 short pages the author creates a compelling world a la Neil Gaiman / Ursula K Le Guin.

On a literary front, this story left me feeling frustrated, as I was so fully immersed in the lead character’s struggle that I wanted to read chapter two. Although there were parts to the story that felt kitschy (read: smoky green goblet), the story won me over because I put down the zine and walked around the city wondering why/how/what even.

The zine is printed on thin paper in mostly black and white, with hits of colour — for (Sailor) Dark Moon and the devil’s bride, naturally. It’s notable that most of the images are (presumably) gendered female and, even more than that, femme. The series of images of Satan as simultaneously female-bodied and forceful in presence are almost eclipsed by the intro image of beloved rapper Drake as the devil. Let’s give it up for a zine about Satan that incorporates hits of noir, contemporary rap and a mention of Beyonce. (CJ Blennerhassett)

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