Not My Small Diary #15

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Not My Small Diary #15 (both volumes)

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from Xerography Debt #28 Review by Julie Dorn
I always had a deep affection for NOT MY SMALL DIARY. I celebrate the concept, diversity, and talent captured in every issue. I know, seven dollars is a lot to pay for a zine. But this zine reads like a who’s who in the self-publishing world. Plus, NMSD is thick, fabulous and re-readable.

Every issue centers around a single theme, and contains high-quality comics, stories and artwork. Issue #15 focuses on brushes with celebrities, including Madonna, Morrissey, Mr. T, Brad Pitt, the Beastie Boys, Kim Deal, Roger Ebert, DJ Premier, Mark Harmon, the Dalai Lama, Ron Jeremy, Robyn Hitchcock, Yoko Ono and more!

Highlights: Max Clotfelter’s Mr. T story, Ayun Halliday’s snarky and cute list of celebrity sightings, Aimee Hagerty Johnson’s comic about Sister Wendy Beckett and Carrie McNinch’s (of THE ASSASSIN AND THE WHINER ) exchange with Tammy Faye Messner. (Posted on 8/12/12)
from Xerography Debt #27 Review by Fred Argoff
Issue 15 of NOT MY SMALL DIARY had so much material, it had to be split into two separate zines. The running theme is Brushes with Celebrity, and they’re presented mostly in cartoon/comic strip form. R.E.M. making an appearance at your school... Meryl Streep walking casually past on 59th Street“…unexpectedly getting a piece of Morrissey’s shirt… and, of course, “It’s a Brad, Brad, Brad, Brad World.” Everyone appears to have run into someone at least mildly famous at one time (except me; I never have, and I don’t know why). In any event, this is great stuff. I suspect that once you start reading it, you won’t be able to put it down. You better not; you might miss someone famous on the next page!
(Posted on 8/12/12)
from Xerography Debt #27 Review by Gavin Grant
Huge 2-volume collection of comics by everyone you’ve heard of and many you haven’t on the theme of “Brushes with Celebrity.” The contributors, believe it or not, are organized alphabetically, which for some 2 AM reason or other I find hilarious. There are comics by Donna Barr, Roberta Gregory, Ayun Halliday, Androo Robinson, and tons and tons of others. This is way more than $7 worth of zine; buy it before it runs out. (Posted on 8/12/12)
from Xerography Debt #27 Review by Joe Biel
I suspect that every other reviewer in this issue will review these volumes so I’ll keep it tidy. This shit is tight. Both volumes feature comic short stories by various artists about brushes with celebrities. The sheer variety is a big win and none fall completely flat. I don’t obsess about celebrities but I’m an anthropologist so it’s important to see how any other groups of people interact. It was hard to put it down.

This is perfect reading for the bus, the toilet, or before bed.
(Posted on 8/12/12)
from Xerography Debt #27 Review by Kris Mininger
Like indie comics? Like a bargain? Well, look no further — NMSD is here! Two volumes! Roughly 50 artists!

Roughly 140 pages in all! (I say “roughly” because I stupidly lent out my copy of Volume 2 to a friend before writing this review. Doh!) In this issue artists and storytellers weigh in with their personal tales about “Brushes With Celebrities.”

The results, as always with an issue of NMSD, are fantastic. And there is contact info for all the contributors so you can further explore the personal projects of the artists you really liked.
(Posted on 8/12/12)
from Xerography Debt #27 Review by Matt Fagan
I love reading NOT MY SMALL DIARY! The delight of anthology zines is variety; when every couple of pages brings you a new creator, you can count on variety even when everybody is writing about the same theme. The theme for this issue is “Brushes with Celebrity”, so you can imagine that when you ask more than 50 people to address that topic, you’ll get a lot of different kinds of stories.

Many of these comics will mirror the sorts of brushes with celebrity that you may have experienced. Completely random encounters on a city street or an airplane, or spying a celebrity as they do their shopping. The occasional celebrity interaction that might happen in the course of your job. Or that curious phenomenon of having a perfectly ordinary friend or acquaintance become a celebrity. There are plenty of these types of stories, covering situations from meeting a childhood hero at a scheduled public appearance, to bumping into Ron Jeremy at a Krispy Kreme.

What distinguishes these stories from yours or mine is perspective. These dozens of different artists with their dozens of different stories each have a unique perspective of what constitutes celebrity.

They all remember the details that were most significant to them, or perhaps embellish their recollection to be what they need it to be — just as you or I would, in our own way. This is why we love these stories. Most of us have accidentally encountered a celebrity, quite possible one whose body of work meant nothing at all to us — but didn’t we have to contend with the urge to offer some compliment or opinion? And surely all of us have at least imagined what we might say in a chance meeting with a famous person we actually admired. These comics entertain us with the funny, awkward, surreal, or inspiring stories… but they also entertain us because they inherently invite us to compare our own memories and fantasies.

To think about what we would do in their place.

The risk of anthology zines is the gulf of quality between one story and the next.

But NOT MY SMALL DIARY has matured into such a mighty engine of contribution that you never have to worry about what you’ll find between the covers. With 140 pages and more than four dozen artists, I liked almost every one of them! There was not a highlight to this issue; there was a score of highlights, and the terrific feeling that lingers after you finish reading something really good. I wasn’t just thinking about these stories. I was thinking about that time I kicked Limp Bizkit out of the café where I was waiting tables, because they refused to stop smoking in the no smoking section. I was thinking about the time I didn’t realize how very, very loudly I was speaking because I was so nervous around Shannon Wheeler. And the time I poked Jeffrey Combs in the shoulder from behind, and then ran away down the stairs before he could see who did it. That’s a good zine! It’s a good read, but it doesn’t stop when you put it down.
(Posted on 8/12/12)

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