Expozine 2008 by Julie Doucet

En automne 2022, Julie Doucet, artiste ayant participé au tout premier Expozine en 2022, a été invité au centre d’archives d’ARCMTL pour passer à travers les collections de fanzines. Elle a choisi la collection d’Expozine pour l’année 2008 et a réfléchi sur cette belle édition.

Crowd at Expozine small press fair in church basement, people looking at books on table

It was in 2008 that local publisher L’Oie de Cravan launched the second issue of their magazine Le Bathyscaphe. The magazine didn’t cover any news, but rather various literary and other currents kept underwater.

In 2008 the Fichtre bookstore was still going strong, and published this little wordless book by Zviane, Étirer un élastique. In its few comic pages, it very effectively describes a somewhat familiar situation of pre-love relationships…

The title of this “eco-anarchist zine” – that’s what it says on the cover – Mauvaise Herbe appealed to me straight away. Ecologist and anarchist, it is indeed! “Sun Youth: a cop-making mill” text and photo. Collective gardens section, for people seeking self-sufficiency and food autonomy. “Women and the Black Bloc” excerpt: “I want to destroy that which destroys me, to destroy that which aspires to destroy all life on this planet, and I refuse to play the role of diplomat or to accept any compromise (…). After reading what I’ve just written, many will think that I am a man. But they are eating shit. Sexism is everywhere, it seems…” On the back cover, a photo with a caption: “Vatican. Priests in a frenzy following the election of an ultraconservative as Pope”. No kidding, the photo looks like a bunch of young hooligans in cassocks, fists in the air. Amazing.

Teatime Part 1, a graphic novel “in progress” by stef lenk, is a small 16-page colour publication with beautiful illustrations. What appealed to me perhaps was that the drawing style, to a certain extent realistic but still organic, reminds me of some children’s book from my childhood. The technique seems to be pencil and watercolour, everything is in shades of grey and other muted colours. It’s a rainy day atmosphere, a lonely little girl who seems bored enters a sort of antique shop, she picks up a book from a shelf…the ensuing twists and turns are ingenious, surprising.

Julie Doucet young woman looking at publications laid out on a table

Julie Doucet @ ARCMTL novembre 2022

Doris #23 by Cindy Crabb is a solo zine, a sort of catch-all diary in which any subject can be addressed. One of which is menstrual extraction. In my ignorance, I’d never heard of this! It’s a technique to help women control their menstrual cycle and… everything else. Cindy takes inspiration from Rebecca Chalker and Carol Downer’s Women’s Book Of Choices for this rather in-depth feature, with sketches and all. This is followed by an interview borrowed from another zine with a woman (unnamed) who was involved in an abortion clinic defence group in the early 90s. The struggles of the time, the murder of abortion doctors… You can’t help but think of the present, the future when reading this (Cindy is American). Chilling.