This is a zine with real body and a sense of place and it’s a bargain at only three bucks. One of the first stories is about a woman who plants petunias outside her stoop and instead of being seen as an annoying incomer she slowly starts a new block fashion. There’s a line in there about tiny Christmas trees that still makes me laugh. All the pieces go back and forth between the insider’s and outsider’s perspective on Baltimore and on balance it does seem the city is picked on more than is fair given how many people love it. (Posted on 8/10/12)
It’s been a while since I’ve read an issue of SMILE HON. I confess, it sometimes doesn’t make it to the top of my pile right away, since it tends to be short on comics, spaceships, monsters and zombies. But when I get there, SMILE HON never disappoints.
Collecting stories of Baltimore from all sorts of contributors, this zine continues its mission to paint an ever-expanding and infinitely colorful portrait of Charm City. There are nostalgic romps from Baltimore childhoods, unique theatre experiences, work stories, portraits of local characters, love stories, and bar stories. Like you’d find anywhere, really.
But there’s something about Baltimore that engenders a special pride in its residents, and it makes these stories special. It makes SMILE HON special, an ongoing document inspired by the love of a great American city. If you can read an issue of SMILE HON, YOU’RE IN BALTIMORE and not want to go to Baltimore, well, then I bet that Baltimore doesn’t want you anyway.
(Posted on 8/10/12)