I am the flame; I am Mexico

In this large, illustrated zine (over twenty pages, 81/2 x 11) Milo Rutherford seems to aim for expansive beauty and, though it might generously be said that ultimately he does not miss the mark, he does not always hit it. The illustrations can be evocative but do not stun; on nearly every page, they simply depict what is being described in the text, leaving no conceptual gap between word and image, which is not particularly productive in a work without a linear narrative.

The writing itself is occasionally overwrought– presumably, it was quite cathartic for the writer, if not always for the reader. Rutherford inhabits the space between everyday life and fabulation, and his scenarios are sometimes off-key: “Life would be so exciting with more purely unplanned explosions, like a gas leak in a laundromat. Underwear and broken glass and quarters everywhere.” Hypothetically, this is a beautiful, potentially even sublime image, but it is difficult to appreciate because it immediately brings to mind suicide bombers.

Rutherford is far more effective when less portentous, recounting an epiphany about matchsticks or, here, describing an irrational fear: “Sometimes when I am swimming in very deep water I suddenly become afraid of heights; frightened of the water instantly evaporating, with nothing left between me and the rocky lake bottom except fish at all their various levels. (Daniel Marrone)

zine, Milo Rutherford, milorutherford@hotmail.com, itwasmeteors.com

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