Wishing Well |
by brooke elizabeth
From the vellum covers to the orange paper to the absence of anything other than content, Wishing Well is something more than just a zine. It still has the elements -- the photocopied, hand-done, personal content -- but it's something more. It's like a low-tech artist's book, with a direct line into brooke's head, where the streams of consciousness flow concurrently.
On each page (or, in some cases, every few pages) brooke has chosen to drop a feeling onto the paper in words. Whether that's a call from an old boyfriend, the feeling of climbing a hill, or the peace of nature -- it reads like the roots of poetry instead of the average perzine style.
Better, she includes print-quality photos that she's taken that accentuate the feeling she's trying to convey. Many times, these photos take up one whole side of the paper, while the other side is the poetic writing I spoke about above. It's a heady experience to read through this zine -- like being in a very young museum in a gallery in someone's mind.
My only (small) complaint is that it seems that very little care went into the actual creation of the physical book beyond the layout. The cover doesn't quite match up in size, the pages telescope, and in some cases, don't line up. Although zines are more informal than an artist's book, for example, they don't need to be thrown together, either. Content may be key, but presentation counts. With something that's this beautiful on the inside, a little more care on the outside would have made it one to hold onto for years. As it is, it's still a must-own, but it grates on my nerves a little when I see the mis-stacked pages.
That said, the best thing about this zine is the photos. Several of them, though they seem incongruous, are stunning -- one of a file card cabinet has a hazy sort of mist over it that is intriguing. Another of playground equipment standing bare is compelling. Her photos are just as engaging as her words -- and that's saying a lot.
$2 seems like a lot for a 1/4-sized zine, until you get ahold of Wishing Well. Then it's money well-spent. Send payment to brooke at Box 1803 GC, Gettysburg, PA 17325.