03 April 2011

KISS OFF #8,9 & 11 [by Chris Kiss]

My favourite feature of Kiss Off is its descriptions.  Whether Chris is describing his friends, a city landscape or music, he paints a vivid picture that gives his subjects grand and mythical meaning.  Much of issues 8, 9 and 11 of Kiss Off are tributes to Ottawa, and reading Chris's descriptions of the neighbourhoods and venues suddenly made me feel unique for living here, for being a part of the zine's physical and cultural landscapes.

I think that I am entering a new phase in my life because I used to be charmed by the punk lifestyle that Kiss Off depicts: waking up to hung-over mornings with no memory of the night before; drinking excessive amounts of coffee and alcohol while looking for lighters and smoking cigarettes; searching for food and cobbling together a living with crappy jobs; and staying up all night wandering the empty streets.  When I was younger, these stories were inspiration.  I read them to help me get through the day, and I would go to sleep with them littered over the nightstand beside me.  Now that my body has rejected all forms of self-abuse and my goals involve husband and house-hunting while I dream of raising a family, the punk stories of Kiss Off seem adorably adolescent.  I worry that I will have to deal with such shenanigans from my own teenagers in the future, my mind recollecting stories from Kiss Off of Chris getting mugged at his local park in the wee hours of the morning after he had secretly escaped from his suburban bedroom.

Like any of Chris's zines, these issues of Kiss Off are impeccably designed in the fanzine style: type-writer font pasted above photograph and distorted backgrounds.  His writing is also a joy to read and every story succeeds in being entertaining.