“My Working Life (or, how customer service ruined me)” by Kelly Froh was published in 2011 and is a 20 page, half size zine. It goes through the author’s working life from High School through 2011, and talks about various jobs that she had which slowly made her unable to withstand customer service. It’s interspersed with small drawings of the author at various stages of her life, but is very lightly illustrated.
Since it’s an overview of all her jobs, all of them are touched on briefly, with details of what make work life so unbearable, and how rare a good boss is. At one point she works for Greenpeace, where my partner worked (though in a different state), so he found that part extra interesting. For the most part she works at various movie theaters, Waldenbooks (remember those?), and art supply stores. What was missing for me is more about the author herself, but the zine covers quite a large period of time in 20 pages so I’m sure something had to be cut. The writing style really held by attention, too. It’s a long read, but I kept coming back to it every time I had to put it down, and even read it while struggling to eat an egg salad sandwich (one of nature’s most difficult to consume sandwiches).
Kelly Froh Website
Kelly Froh’s Etsy Shop
After a long hiatus the Squirrel Haiku Zine is back in stock! Now on special edition light blue paper aka the only kind of colorful paper I had available. This is my favorite zine I’ve ever made and I’m hoping over the summer to have another edition of the haiku zine up. I also added the zine “Best Job Never,” which is 99% complaining, to the shop. If you buy both I’m sending a bonus mystery zine. Wholesale is also available on this little beaut. Also, do people still say “beaut”? Something for me to contemplate tonight I suppose.
When my dad came home from this year’s Chicago Zine Fest one of the souvenirs he brought me was Cat Getting Out of a Bag and Other Observations by Jeffrey Brown. It is what it seems to be, a cute collection of one-page cat stories, and it’s adorable. There’s something rather zen about the plot-less comic and the illustration style is perfect. The pages are punctuated with what I assume are marker renditions of actual photos of Brown’s cat Misty. There’s something about these that make the book feel more personal and the whole book – despite it being published by Chronicle – has a very “zine” feeling to it. I especially liked the zoomed in panels of the giant cat pupils when Misty is about to do something crazy. Accurate.
Pikaland’s ongoing project, the Good to Know zine series, is so good that I wish that I had thought of it myself. It’s a compilation of advice that artists, crafters, and hobbyists have volunteered for publication. I can’t speak for other contributors, but I feel like it’s a lot easier for me to be honest when my thoughts aren’t going to be indexed by Google or screen-capped by weirdos (you know who you are). Of course, zines were my first project and the first place that I got to be really bluntly honest, sharing gossip that I had no right to share was a regular thing, and instead of getting mad people were just excited to see their names in print. I’ve changed a lot since then (hopefully), but my love of zines and my comfort with them never goes away.
This issue is especially good because it addresses fear, something that people rarely talk about. I feel that it’s important to be able to share things like fear, doubt, unhappiness, etc. with people in your community. Too much of our online lives are spent trying to be Facebook-ready, making life look like a string of parties, promotions, successful haircuts, and inspirational quotes. Instead GTK is about support where it’s really needed. My favorite missive is by Aijung Kim who struggles with many of the same problems that I deal with. Simply stated: reading GTK #10 made me feel good about my community and I highly recommend picking it up!
PS: Join me in contributing to Issue #11, won’t you?