Zine Reviews

Zine Review: Small Potatoes 3

Small Potatoes 3
Keira
https://www.instagram.com/k.huolohan/
https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/ZinesByKeira

Small Potatoes 3 is an A6 size full colour perzine combining life stories, art, poetry, and more.

I’ve come to apprecaite a good intro to a zine more and more, and Keira has written an excellent intro to this zine that engaged me and made me feel curious in the first paragraph:

I am a person who is sick and tired of thinking about how sick and tired they are of being sick and tired. I am a person who has been alive 28 years but living for only a handful of these.

Keira’s writing voice – a voice I have come to know as one with compassion and gentle mystery – continues through the zine as they write about learning to drive, gender change forms, creating community, zines, and dissociative identity disorder along with sharing poetry, drawings, and recommendations. Small Potatoes 3 involves a lot of emotions, but Keira’s writing voice stays steady throughout.

The part about gender change forms is an interesting, albeit sad and frustrating, look int government biases, narratives, and even economic exclusions when it comes to obtaining gender affirming identification. I feel like Keira has touched just the beginning of the topic here and suspect there will be many more zines to come about these journeys.

This zine has quite a few things that made me respect Keira and what they are doing with their life and in the world. I couldn’t help but smile when Keira’s drive to create community and a safe place clearly showed through not just in writing the words but also in writing about what they have done so far with various get togethers and activity days.

What I really had to admire was Keira’s honesty. Despite having an initially negative, ableist reaction to their sister telling them she had dissociative identity disorder, Keira not only called out their own behaviour but defined ableism so as to be clear why their reaction was not a good one. I think it takes a certain kind of bravery to call yourself out on things.

The writing about dissociative identity disorder was a read that made me feel like I had just been given something special and precious. Something especially personal not just for Keira but their sister as well, who actually joins in the zine to write a bit about it. (Love that!)

I quite like the look of this zine – use of colour but as an accent and not anything overwhelming or that takes away from anything else. Keira is trying out new paper, a new font, and other things in this issue, and I love the idea of a zine changing and growing as the person writing it changes and grows. Even better, there are good reasons for this like accessibility but also learning to become more comfortable with empty spaces. The latter speaks to an interesting use of the perzine: documenting self-challenge.

As a quick side note – looking at some of Keira’s sketches made me think they might be interested in designing a tarot deck some day…

All up, Small Potatoes 3 is another excellent zine in the Small Potatoes series that makes me eager to read the next one. I feel like Keira has really found their footing in regards to opening up in both writing and art but in medium as well. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next.

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