This is a semi-professional zine printed by Pioneers Press, and it is beautiful. It’s a 1/4 size zine with a soft wrap-around cover, but the inside is old school zine: handwritten with cut and paste images. Julia Eff also includes doodles, illustrations, and a few comic strip sections into the mix. The look is so cool I almost want to hand-write my next zine, except if I did it you wouldn’t be able to read it!
I love a beautifully made zine, but even more than that I love a well-written zine, and Eff’s voice is so real and funny and true. I actually laughed aloud multiple times on the NYC subway where I was reading it, so absorbed in the zine it didn’t matter if I looked like a crazy person. Eff also writes about my favorite topic these days: gender expression (and identity). Eff ID’s as having no gender, or neutrois, and describes their experience of interacting with friends, strangers, a therapist, penpals, etc, and trying to be understood as they are. They also include a visceral description of what dysphoria feels like in the moment. My hands down favorite aspect of this zine though is Eff’s sense of humor. For me, and I think for a lot of people, navigating an either/or gendered world while not relating to a binary gendered self can be frustrating, lonely, and really depressing, and it’s easy for a narrative about that experience to become a living, breathing embodiment of depression. Eff’s sense of humor allows them to take their power back by being in control of the joke. Even though their sense of humor is often self-deprecating, the joke is never on Eff; the joke (it seems to me) is always on the world we live in, on anyone not elevated enough to understand Eff. Major thumbs up.
Get your own copy HERE.