title: Larry (issue 4)
creator: Lee Taylor
date: Spring 2011
web: Lee Taylor Illustration
When it comes to perzines, I find I always end up reading something I can identify with within the pages. Whether a small observation or a minutely grand embarrassment, it’s almost like it’s mandatory that you’ll come across something internally familiar through someone else’s life. The more personal zines I read, this one included, the more it seems to me that other people may not feel things as differently from us as we may think.
On the surface, with it’s plain white cover and pages of sans serif font, Larry looks simple and straightforward in design. But it’s laid out in a way where the paragraph alignment and spacing highlight Lee’s detailed sketches. Whereas the text looks all cluttered on the page, the empty space opens up to reveal the accompanying sketch. I quite like how the whole thing is done. The smaller stories are broken up in multiple columns a page so that separate anecdotes can be stacked together to look like a continuous whole while intermittently broken by the handwritten title of the next story. The pragmatist in me found that a very efficient use of space.
Technicalities aside, Larry is equal parts visual and text-heavy. The writing is articulate and thoughtful, qualities that make for enjoyable reading as you get more detail and insight into the who and how of the speaker. The illustrations are such that you don’t need to imagine the street or building about which he’s writing. I actually found myself imagining out of habit only to look at the page again and wonder why when he’s drawn out the exact street and even the people walking on it for me (which were actually much nicer and more quaint than whatever I was picturing). Because of Lee’s particular style, the drawings alone are interesting to read and examine independently of the text. With lines in a defined scrawl, his style is slightly surreal and very photographic. The illustrations are realistic but askew, like looking at a warped photograph or recollecting something in memory: something slightly different from what you know to be the real thing.
In terms of content, stories range from the anecdotal to instructional art tips to more personal things like social anxiety and the uncertainty of life after graduation. And there are a good number of them, too, which makes me think this would be a great zine to carry around and read during commutes, pausing between stories to look out the window or make room for boarding passengers.
nibbling: on an empty stomach