Your Mother’s Maiden Name

The crisp white cover adourned with a flower and cursive text is proof of the adage that appearances can be deceiving. Your Mother’s Maiden Name is not a fluffy zine; it’s actually a “question of mischief,” as modestly printed at the bottom of the cover. Who would have thought this was a zine about counterculture? I didn’t, which is why I’m surprised I gave it the time of day, and even more surprised that I kept reading after the first crappy short story about rotten socks. And I’m so damn happy that I did, because I loved this zine. For 18 half-pages, this zine has so much going on that I don’t even know where to start. The only thing that remains consistent is the theme of defying the mainstream cultural agenda (i.e. using rotten socks to deter people from malls, making mushroom ink and recycled paper to save the earth, etc.). One article that really struck me was about highly visible post-graffiti-art groups from Ottawa. Basically, the piece discusses a new sort of ‘sub-genre’ that has surfaced from the post-art movement, where the process, rather than the finished piece, is celebrated. A handful of major post-graffiti-art groups are key in the onset of this genre and the ‘art’ ranges from citing poetry over Wal-Mart’s PA system, to writing messages in soap on bridges only to have city officials accidentally–and permanently–sandblast it into the wooden planks. These groups thrive on taking what we deem as familiar, normal and acceptable and turning it on its head. Pop’s o’ Blue, a post- graffiti artist, suggests: “Consider new construction projects in town, and their supposed permanence. Try changing gravel hues just slightly–enough to have a subtle visual effect.” This guy possesses such an awesome covert-type of persona. I mean, listen to this: “If you want to contact me, my current drop box is on the landing of the stairwell to the toilets in the indoor courtyard by Canada House and the Parliament pub on Sparks. There are 2 mirrors with sorta benches at the base of them. The seats are made of wood, and one of them isn’t permanently attached. You can lift up the seat and stash written communiqu├ęs underneath.” Now, I don’t know about you, but I actually want to make the trek to Ottawa and check this place out! Post-art story aside, the zine also features a plethora of other goodies–it has stories, interviews, poetry and How-To articles that even include diagrams! I think we have a mini Broken Pencil in our midst, and I’m loving every minute of it. (Amy Greenwood)

IBID c/o 610 Bathurst Ave. Ottawa, ON L1G 0X8

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