We Make Zines

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32 pages, half size
$2 US, $3 outside US, trades accepted
Ashlee Swanson
8150 W 30 ½ St. #306
St. Louis Park, MN 55426

For those of us who trembled at the thought that there was no replacement generation of zine-creators, think again. Ashlee Swanson's excellent zine on the confusing, twentysomething experience is a fine representation of the next generation of zinesters.

Ashlee captures that feeling of random, drunken-free-fall life. It's the oddly-in-between-time, when one isn't a teen, and isn't exactly sure who or what one is. I am still waiting for this period of life to come to an end, but I am a very slow learner. Ashlee shows us how she stumbled her way through her first years living on her own, and what she experienced as she learned about herself through her relationships with others.

Hand-lettered, slice-of-life style makes you feel you really know the author at zine's end.

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Regeneration #6

Ashlee and I have been on again off again pen pals for awhile now, and I always look forward to getting a letter in the mail from her. This last one came with a copy of her latest zine, which has a lot of the same great qualities as her last few issues. I read a lot of zines, and per-zines are still my favorite. I love to read about other people’s lives and try to understand where they’re coming from. Issue number six is full of stories (mostly hand-written, some typed) sort of documenting the escapades of Ms. Ashlee and her ever-changing lineup of friends and accomplices. It’s sort of a run through of what she’s done over the past 4 or 5 years, a time period that covers her from age 18 to age 22.

That’s a funny set of four years for most of us, and usually includes drinking, parties, and exploration. She runs through it all, almost like a list: “I lived here, I met these people, we did this. Then I moved here, and did this. Then I dated so-and-so.” It’s great, and entertaining, but almost seems as though it is more for her benefit than ours. She’s documenting her life, which I totally understand. I write the per-zine PROOF I EXIST, after all, and this issue of Regeneration reminds me of a couple issues of my own. You don’t want to forget all these crazy times so you write them down. Ashlee not only has the intelligence of a great writer but a great big heart as well. She just needs to work harder to combine those forces. I want to know more than what you did, I want to know just exactly how awesome or heart-wrenching it was. I want to know how the boys broke your heart, the loneliness you feel, the anxiety, the triumph. She starts to get into it at points, but needs to push it further.

Still, a cool zine about Ashlee’s life! Pictures of her friends, adventures that she’s had. Hopefully she’ll keep making zines forever, she has a good feel for it. This issue is half size and 32 pages long (She numbered them correctly! Most people don’t!)

Email Ashlee at asregeneration@yahoo.com

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Regeneration #6: This perzine consists of an overview of four years' worth of Ms. Swanson's life and relationships, illustrated with photos of the people involved. The stories themselves are not particularly remarkable, but the writing is straightforward and crisp. Recommended for diary junkies.

review from zine world [ http://undegroundpress.org ].

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