14 April 2011


Reading the first issue of Beautiful Mess reminded me of why I love zines.  It is a doorway into the private thoughts of a sensitive teenager filled with photos, journal entries and creative writing.  It also includes a scatter of quotations from novels, which are perfectly chosen for each page of AF's writing, and it ends with a track listing for a mixed tape, which I think is awesome. 

My favourite aspect of this issue of Beautiful Mess is its refusal to follow a timeline.  It is made up of mostly journal entries from between 2003 to 2005.  Together, they describe a young woman who struggles with her place in both her own world and the world at large.  But, in the span of two pages of journal entries, they can jump with months of space between each one, thus showing AF as a person, showing how she has dealt with her life over the timeline of her actual life.

Also, the journal entries are not presented in a direct timeline from 2003 to 2005.  You could read an entry from 2005 and the next could be from 2003, defying the concept that the zinester's emotions or self-awareness must follow any kind of predictable unfolding.  In fact, at one point she writes, "I hate time.  I don't want to be linear."  Her style throughout the zine backs up this claim and makes me like and respect AF even more as a thoughtful, creative and intelligent artist.  Beautiful Mess Zero restores my faith in the art of the zine.