Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dodgem Logic #1

Alan Moore's new zine is a bit of a strange beast. The famously recalcitrant comics writer has started, with a large cast of other players, this magazine that is more or less about life in Northampton, but is also about community activism, music history, recipes, and comics (a little bit).

Design-wise, the book reminds me of early issues of Wired or Mondo 2000, where you couldn't always read the text for the fractally-psychedelic backgrounds, and that gives this a slightly dated feel (looking over that sentence, it looks like I said this book is illegible, it isn't, but I kept expecting it to be).

To get a sense of the diversity of the articles in here, let me give you a list of just the things I enjoyed most while reading it:
- Moore's history of underground publishing
- a comic about guerrilla gardening
- the 'Daily Mustard', a two-page parody of news magazines
- an article about a couple who tried to spend no money, and dumpster-dove for food
- Kevin O'Neill's weird-ass picture of alien sex (I think that's what it is)
- Josie Long's comic about love
- 'Notes from Noho', a supplemental section that featured fiction (I think) and reporting about Northampton, including Moore's piece 'The Destructor' about the lack of services in the area that became the catalyst for the whole magazine
- two columns on the NHS, the British National Health Service
- Melinda Gibbie's (Alan Moore's wife) column on feminism

Not bad for a thin magazine. I had no interest in the articles about music, although there were a couple of good tracks on the cd that was included with the magazine (who are P-Hex? worth looking for...). The comics were too much like the gross-out 60's underground books that I think we should have moved past by now. The recipes (yes, there are seriously recipes in this) and craft project (turn old ties into button-holes?) were odd inclusions.

In all, this is an interesting project, and I wish them the best of luck with it. I imagine it will be difficult to get subsequent issues in Canada, but I'm interested enough to grab whatever I can find.

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