08 April 2011

LARCENY 23 [by Shaun]

In Larceny 23, Shaun is bitter, sarcastic and rude, which is his charm.  Throughout his grumpy diatribes, however, there are glimmers of vulnerability and sweetness.  Perhaps I love Larceny zines specifically because they are this mix of a bad mood with a sensitive heart.  Like most girls, I am a sucker for a bad boy and Shaun's attitude and writing certainly press hard on my boner for a bad-ass.

What makes issue 23 of Larceny especially unique is that it includes Shaun's coming-out story.  At this point of my life, I am sick of coming-out stories.  When I first came out, yes, they were necessary food for my survival and development of a positive self-image.  Yet, after over twelve years of reading them, they get terribly repetitive: guy discovers feelings of same-sex attraction, hates himself for it, hides from society and then has a revelation to tell everyone he's gay so he can shamelessly be intimate with other guys.  Rinse and repeat.

Shaun's version, in contrast, is full of twists and turns, girlfriends, muscle magazines and a summer of sexual discovery with a guy friend.  I especially appreciate how he discusses his self-discovery, like he's talking about this geeky part of himself that he has to accept.  By the end of the zine, he remains somewhat uncertain about his sexuality, and I find that refreshing.  He doesn't need to be waving a flag or wearing rainbow-coloured friendship bracelets to complete his identity (both of which I've been known to do, so no judgement, y'all).  He's just a young guy making sense of his own life.

Graphically, Larceny 23 is punk fanzine magnificence.  It is typed out with an old-school typewriter and has rub-on numbers denoting chapters. The text is pasted over interesting backgrounds that comment on the stories, and the zine is full of re-appropriated images with commentaries and song lyrics pasted on them.  Shaun gave me permission to reproduce this zine, so, if you want a copy, feel free to email me