April 29, 2015

Zine: Cherry Mag #8

The eighth issue of Cherry brings it all home. 

While most zines are short in length, the eighth issue of Cherry is 104 pages and bustling with the work of young women – each entry is a glimpse into teenage life in some way. It opens with an editor’s letter written by Beth Dunne which offers an introduction to this issue’s theme: Home. Beth explains how she views home in many different ways, and throughout the issue many original interpretations are presented in various mediums.

In my opinion, Cherry's greatest offering is its photographs. They are presented on nearly every page, from the background on the editor’s letter to photo sets. I like the way the zine uses white text over a photograph to seamlessly incorporate the medium, and the way they use one photograph across two pages—something that would be harder to accomplish in a print zine. I also admire the way Cherry uses one photograph as a background for a photo set. This allows the focus to remain on the photographer’s work without wasting space with a color background or using one that would distract from the photos. These appealing visual techniques would be nothing if the photographs themselves weren't equally as pleasing. Each presents the photographers expression of home, including friends, cities, and forests. Since the zine isn't limited to contributors from one specific region, there is a broad range of perspectives presented. Suburban areas to wildlife and urban areas are offered, showing how home can be found in a multitude of places, usually with the help of friends.

I also really appreciate the writing in Cherry. In “Feelings of Home” Sophie Wilson chronicles a night spent with friends, divided into sections using various songs the group listened to. I could hear the songs while reading about the progression of the night, which made me feel more strongly connected to the story. The characters mused about moving away, but the real connection to the theme didn't come until the end of the story when Sophie expressed how at home she felt with her friends even after they had left her house. There is also collaboration with the feminist film blog Screenqueens in which contributors each explain the films that remind them of home, ranging from American Beauty to Goonies. “Adventures of Anthony,” written by Anthony Fox, a transgender teen, explains the problems behind the phrase “feeling at home in your own body.” The scope of writing, experience, and photography within Cherry definitely makes the zine a worthwhile read. 

Read Cherry Issue 8 here

Rachel Davies is a Canadian teenager and the founder of a zine called Pop Culture Puke. In her spare time, Rachel likes to tweet about Kanye West and Greta Gerwig here.