title: List (no. 15)
creator: Ramsey Beyer
I remember when I first heard of this title when it was mentioned to me in passing by a stranger. A few months later, by unrelated and unexpected chance, I received some old, unwanted zines that turned out to be past issues of this same title. Funny and ridiculous how coincidences can come to happen.
List is normally a reflective recap of Ramsey’s year: lists of important events and of stepping stones experienced and learned. But it’s also everyday moments in the form of comics and itemized revelations about her disposition and persona (insecurities, who and how she aspires to be). It’s all very personal, meaningful, and candid material. And it’s knowing the weight behind these elements that, by the time you reach the last few pages, make you feel like she’s someone you intimately know and by whose side you’ve been through the rough patches of her year.
For longtime readers, number 15 is a big mile marker in Ramsey’s ongoing life through adulthood as it’s the first zine since her big move to Philadelphia from Chicago. For the first time, she set off to an uncertain milieu without school or relationship or any other motivator save herself, and therefore into untested waters in several ways (echoed in the issue’s front and inside back cover illustrations).
The biggest change I noticed in issue 15 is how she has switched from the typewriter to using a self-made typeface modeled from her own handwriting, which allows it that congenial handwritten look while lending it the uniformity and consistency of a font. Neat and tidy without the sloppy look handwritten zines can sometimes have.
One of the qualities that makes her style so appealing to readers is the earnest honesty with which she documents herself. Within these lists and annotations, there is a palpable and honest effort to realistically assess herself and her situations. She wants to be objective and genuine not only for the sake of her readers but also to affirm, motivate, and improve herself. Something so personal and frank at the core that it surreptitiously translates as endearing and admirable.
sipping: coffee and green tea
chewing: thyme eggs and cheese on toast