April 23, 2015

Zine: We Are Not Who We Are

The truth (about our love for Mulder and Scully) is out there.

Names carry meaning and often the ability to convey a concise message. We Are Not Who We Are: an X-Files zine does exactly that, by accurately encompassing the tone of the television show while also leaving traces of the unforgettable theme song. As a fan and lover of The X-Files, I found this zine to present the characters in a manner that pays homage to their true selves while also exploring their perplexities.

Not only is the reader engaging with different artistic styles but also multiple paper textures, which gives the work another dimension that is not commonly found in zines. By engaging our sight and sense of feeling, curator Caroline Tompkins created a piece that is not only memorable but plays with the common theme of the The X-Files, which is that nothing is ever as it seems. Our lives are not in black and white but rather shades of gray, and We Are Not Who We Are stays with this theme through its variance of color, style, texture, and subject matter. The viewer can sense the fluidity of the show and get to know our protagonists—Stoic, meticulous Dana Scully and her FBI partner Fox Mulder, whose unwavering faith in his personal beliefs and commitment to the truth is depicted through expressive watercolor portraits and a satirical comic. The artists are able to make the characters' personalities shine through the pages just as the show is able to rock between perceptions of reality and the supernatural. 

The centerfold spread of the zine displays the quintessential phrase of The X-Files—"I want to believe"—which is seen on Mulder’s famous UFO poster. This phrase physically and figuratively hits at the core of the zine, which surfaces nostalgia for this cult classic while taping into something deeply human: the usage of artistic creation to express appreciation for something that is beloved. The desire to believe despite the odds, whether it be in the existence of extraterrestrial beings or in ourselves, was a never-ending current in The X-Files and is only enhanced and re-imagined through We Are Not Who We Are.

Buy your own copy of We Are Not Who We Are here.

Judith Jones is a writer, blogger and angry intersectional feminist from the South. When she is not reading feminist theory, making zines or eating donuts she can be found on Twitter and Tumblr.