Ground is the first zine in a sweet comic series about love, life, and working in a coffee shop. (Spoilers: I love it.)
I couldn’t help but be taken in by the physical qualities of this zine straight away. The cover is made of what looks like recycled paper (I’m pretty sure it is…) and is bound by string wound through triangular-shaped holes in the spine. The square you see on the cover in the picture above isn’t something stuck onto the cover but is actually a square cut into the cover.
I could get into the possible thematic implications of cutting the square into the cover to reveal some of the first page, but then I begin to wonder if I’m getting a little deep into it right from the get to.
With such pleasant expectations set up by the physical side of the zine, I began to wonder what I would find inside…
The humour in Ground is a ‘softer’ humour that I enjoyed. There were little things that made me smile and care about the characters as well as things that felt like ‘inside’ jokes for working in a coffee shop but that I still understood. (‘Can I just have a normal coffee?’ made me smile.)
The art in Ground is lovely with attention to detail and a lot of soft lines involved. You are introduced to the characters involved by getting a peek into the work lockers. I’m a bit of a nosey nelly, and I really liked that choice for introductions. I also enjoyed how Lee used both single panels as well as single pictures over multiple panels.
[Picture shared with permission from Lee Taylor]
(Just looking at that pour makes me want a coffee.)
While it’s definitely a beginning – a chapter one, if you will – I like that it didn’t just cut off in the middle of things. There’s certainly more story implied, but this first zine has a beginning, middle and end. I definitely want to read more, but I’m not left feeling rudely interrupted. At the same time, everything is set up for a series ahead.
All up, this is a lovely zine, and I already know that I want the whole series from start to finish. I recommend checking it out.
PS. I try to regard a zine in and of itself. That being said, this zine did come with a loyalty card on which you can stick letters that you collect by buying the Ground series zines. I really love this idea in and of itself, but the fact that it ties into the coffee shop theme makes it even more fun.