Tuesday, April 27, 2010

AVOW #22

AVOW #22
$2 Keith Rosson 1615 SE Main St.,
Portland, OR 97214
Avow has been around for a long time. I picked this one up the other day when I was on a work-related road trip to Portland and had a few hours to check out Reading Frenzy and Powell’s. This is a collection of stories about Keith’s life. To be honest, this zine started slow for me, I had a hard time getting into it. This wasn’t due to a lack of talent on Keith’s part, I immediately recognized his talent for the written word, but for some reason I couldn’t connect to the first three opening stories. That having been said, there are 12 stories in this zine and from the fourth, “Our Children’s War” on, I was hooked. At times this is a hard zine to read in that it deals with a host of painful issues, foremost of which is the death of his father. It also deals lost love, mortality, substance abuse, and child abuse. Keith’s writing is insightful, engaging, and he has an uncommon knack for bringing the reader into whatever scenario quickly and personally. This is a heavy read that regularly made me uncomfortable, angry, and even happy, often in the same story. But this zine isn’t entirely about the horrors of the real world, case in point is the hilarious story, “Tim Armstrong is Porn” which is quite possibly the funniest thing I’ve ever read in a zine. It explores the insecurities that many of us feel when buying things that may inaccurately stereotype us by the various employees behind the counter. I could relate all too well. This is a fantastic read.