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“Sometimes Human Issue #2” is a simple reminder that your feelings are valid regardless of what others say

Sometimes Human Issue #2

Perzine, Crash Reynolds, 10 pgs,utopiabycrash.etsy.com, $4

To be 鈥渟ometimes human鈥 鈥 it鈥檚 an admirable goal. Sometimes human, sometimes cold and distant, and almost always over-whelmed. The second issue of this perzine is about coping with mental illness, documenting feelings of uncertainty and emotional stagnation.

It鈥檚 not an arthouse memoir, nor a portrait of the artist perzine that鈥檚 been cloaked in layers of abstraction. Instead, Crash Reynolds prioritizes the emotional over the purely aesthetic. What results from this prioritization is an engaging work that reveals its insecurities in earnest through personal observations, notes, and random thoughts.

Reynolds writes, 鈥淒ear reader, I feel all my chances changing. In a way I can not properly explain. Uncertainty but not fear. The step in between not believing in myself and trying to figure out how to process. And I guess that鈥檚 something.鈥 Sure, the reader is addressed here, but there鈥檚 something about the way this zine is presented that makes you feel like an unwanted observer. Maybe it鈥檚 the handwriting. Maybe it鈥檚 the random doodles. Or maybe it鈥檚 the lined diary pages. Reynolds continues to speak about panic attacks and 鈥渟tupid illogical mental fucking illness trying to win.鈥 There鈥檚 a hand-drawn panic button, but it鈥檚 not your place to push it. You don鈥檛 have that control. How do you cope when you feel powerless? Different personalities cope in different ways. Reynolds adds that bystanders will always offer their patronizing two cents. They say,鈥淐alm down, it鈥檚 no big deal. Don鈥檛 worry so much. It doesn鈥檛 matter.鈥 To which Reynolds responds, 鈥淪crew everyone who tells me to calm down. I am trying my best!鈥 There aren鈥檛 any concrete answers or neat check-lists of coping strategies in this zine. The reader, much like the author, is left uncertain and uncomfortable.

As a reviewer, this is one of those zines that almost makes you feel bad for evaluating, because it feels like you鈥檙e prying apart the author鈥檚 vulnerabilities. After all, the reviewer will forever be an unwanted bystander. On the other hand, it鈥檚 a nice reminder that art, no matter how creative, is emotional at its core 鈥攁nd reviews should respect that emotional core. Yes, even reviewers are sometimes human. So, I鈥檒l sign off on this one, echoing an important message from the author: 鈥淵our feelings are valid.鈥滭/p>

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