Check out my reviews of all previous issues of By the Skin of My Teeth in the Zine Review Index
I went back and forth on whether I should review two zines in one review. I want to state that I don’t mean any disrespect nor do I want to come off dismissive of either zine by putting them together. I made the decision because the zines were made in rapid succession, and even the zine maker calls issue 4 a part two of sorts.
By the Skin of My Teeth issues three and four follow Sarah’s journey through depression and mania within a private health care facility. I was curious on two fronts with these zines because I’d never used inpatient mental health facilities (I’ve always been too scared to), and I definitely haven’t done so in the private sector. I liked that she talked a bit about the differences between private and public.
I identified a lot with some of the depressive aspects Sarah went through but moreso the mania. The lack of being able to concentrate. I hate that, too! Three and four were like two sides of a coin with three being about moving past depression and four focusing more on managing the mania that followed.
While I did identify a lot with things, these are definitely zines that are more on the diary side of things. She does talk to you, the reader, but there are more rambling thoughts, repetitive mentions, and fewer breaks that can make for slightly jolting reading when the next paragraph happens hours later. That being said, it’s still a slower read than most zines. The fact that both of these are 64 page zines make these things stand out all the more.
If you like ‘stories from the ward’ then it might be right for you. Otherwise, you might find it lacking the variety that would otherwise keep you reading.