I wasn’t sure if I should review it given that fact, but I think I’m not too biased to give an opinion that’s not influenced by my participation.
If anything, the content itself – mental illness – makes me more biased than my participation. Hehe.
Hello My Name Is: A Zine About Living With Mental Illness is just that. It features a collection of people who introduce themselves, their mental illnesses, and how they don’t let those mental illnesses define them.
I feel like I am doing a disservice to the zine by summing it up like that because I know, not just from contributing or personal experience, how huge and import it can be to stand up and talk about your mental illness. That it is on paper makes no difference to the impact it has for the person sharing.
It was lovely to read people sharing the ways they perverse. There were also differences in the way people responded to the prompt, which I found interesting. (Tell five people to do the exact same thing and you’ll still likely get variations.) I loved reading about how people ‘beat the stereotypes’ and yet there was no anger or resentment in their words.
Aesthetically, this is a simple (no negative connotations attached to the word) with a picture and a paragraph per person. I think, however, that this is perfect for the content. The whole point of this zine (I think) is to show that people with mental illness are still people. They don’t need to be dressed up or changed for the sake of being appealing to the masses.
Neither does this zine.
I hope to see more of this. The shortness of responses appeals, the content appeals, that you can see the faces of the people who are introducing themselves only adds to it.