First, I’m going to apologise for the pictures to come. I am usually really good with wielding my camera phone, but, you know, stuff. Plus, I totally snaffled the picture above from Jess Freedom’s Etsy store because I cannot find the pic I took of the cover. 🙁
The first thing that is going to stand out to you about this zine is COLOUR! There is so much colour on the cover, and I love it. Here, check out the back:
I opened that beautiful cover to find that the interior pages had been printed on some lovely higher-than-usual GSM paper. It was that little bit smoother to the touch, and I felt like I was getting into magazine territory. Then I came to flip through the pages and realised that that was an accurate thought indeed.
How to Save Your Life for later is filled everything from recipes to poetry, thoughts on parenting to Jess’ interviews with herself (fun idea!). This is not a zine you sit down and read in three minutes (nothing against those – I love them, too!). Even having flipped through the pages, I was still surprised at just how much Jess had crammed into this zine about life. At the same time, I didn’t at all feel like she had too much to say or that too much had been put into the zine. It all… worked.
She talks a bit about intuitive eating and parenting – two things that are way out of my spectrum. That being said, she wrote in a style that kept me reading about these things anyway. Sure, I don’t have kids, but I began to wonder: if I did, would I let them watch TV? How would I feel about that? I have food issues like you wouldn’t believe and am SO not in a place to approach intuitive eating, but I found her thoughts around the practice/philosophy interesting.
At no point is Jess Freedom afraid to state her opinions on things, and I really admire that. My writing/typing is always riddled with ‘a bit’, ‘a little’, ‘perhaps’, etc because I am not a confident person. So I really take notice when someone is able to put things on paper without leaving those ‘wiggle room’ types of phrases. I wasn’t always right on her bandwagon, but I appreciated her presenting her ideas with such strength (but none of that MY WAY IS THE ONLY WAY stuff you see elsewhere).
If you’ve read my reviews before, you know that I can go on and on about contact details. WELL. Talk about the Holy Grail of contact pages. Even my blurry photography doesn’t mask the awesomeness of Jess’ contact page.
There’s even an order page!
All up, I really enjoyed my experience reading this zine. There is a stack of content, an admirable amount of cut/paste/draw work involved, a wide variety of things to read about, a table of contents! While I do feel this zine lends itself more to certain crowds, there are definitely lessons in zine-making to be found for all zine makers.