You're sitting on the subway and you notice a piece of paper with writing on it at your feet. You realize that this lost scrap is actually a note. That's when your imagination begins to work. Is this an intimate correspondence between two people you don't know? Is it a love letter? A 'Dear John' letter? An angry 'fuck-off' letter? Hell, you may even know one of the two parties involved in this communique. So do you ignore it? Of course not, you pick it up and read it. You even create your own back-story to give what you're reading a context. You may be right. You may be wrong. But you feel anxious, excited and maybe even slightly guilty. Because what you've done is incredibly voyeuristic. You've stolen a glance into someone else's life. You've seen something you were never meant to see. And dammit if it doesn't feel good.
Well, those sorts of lost, or more appropriately named 'Found', items comprise the subject matter of this new zine. People from around the country mail their 'found' scraps in to Davy Rothbat and he compiles them into this compelling, guilty pleasure of a zine.
While the concept is not entirely original (see the book FOUND IT: EVIDENCE OF THE HUMAN CONDITION), it's still fun. Because once you start reading found items, you want to read more and more and more. It's addictive and satisfying (basically everything you look for in a great zine). Rothbat goes the extra step here, with handmade covers that are constructed out of found items, giving each single copy a different feel. The interiors have that lo-fi approach of scraps of paper thrown down on a photocopier/scanner, which serves to accentuate the 'foundness' of the contents. Plus, each contributor is given the opportunity to introduce their items, which give back-stories to the items or even analyses as to the significance of the found items.
FOUND MAGAZINE is a great first issue of a zine, and a must-have for anyone who picks up those found scraps of paper you know weren't meant for you to see.
(Posted on 9/26/12)