Friends of mine are aware that I can be a sponge for information when I’ve stumbled upon a new interest or hobby. So when zines found me, I searched for any historical information I could digest. None of the fleeting mentions of “Inky” in the pages of long time zinester’s writings, adequately prepared me for my first adventure with THE EAST VILLAGE INKY.
If you enjoy a conversational perzine that refuses to grant you a moment to inhale, backed by an experienced, confident writing style, sprinkled with whimsical illustrations then waste no time contacting Ayun to get on her subscription list. A testament of quality can be pointed to by longevity and you have to imagine Ayun has settled comfortably into a stride that works quite well. Unassuming in appearance and hand-written from cover to cover, I have a sense of why INKY has become a staple in the zine community. It’s a semi-controlled rambling personal letter written to me, a bloke lucky enough to find a copy in his mailbox.
Beginning with hilarious suggestions on “How to become a writer without sticking your head in the oven, drinking yourself through your bank account/liver and/or bludgeoning your significant other to death with his own award-statuette 101,” followed by a heated dissertation about the documentary Babies, and landing with Ayun’s appreciable “complete script for play-at-home theatrical fun”-version followed by a slew of poll comments from “Big Women” about their favorite “Little Woman” and why. It ends with “Pilates Scandal Exposed” and instructions on creating a monster—a Kombucha monster! (I had to look this one up.)
New to Ayun’s writing, it took me a couple of pages to catch up with the pace (“did that paragraph span five pages?!”). After getting into the groove, it was enjoyable storytelling at its best. An editor would whittle-down these great sentences into today’s short-attention-span-fodder, but this is why we love the zine format. Providing more interest to the story are appealing illustrations found on every page.