zine, [zeen] noun. 1. abbr. of fanzine; 2. any amateurly-published periodical. Oxford Reference


Monday, October 8, 2012

The Ken Chronicles #23

The Ken Chronicles
No 23, may 2012,
US $2

There are zines that you love. there are zines that you hate. there are zines that you love to hate. and then... there are zines that you hate to love. The Ken Chronicles falls under this last awkward category of gritted teeth and perverse enchantment. Two words: Papyrus Font. Shudder. But. I love that Ken, the retiree behind the legend behind the zine, uses Papyrus font. I mean it's perfect. Of course he does. He's a retired guy in the middle of renovating his computer room - he actually is. In so many ways Ken is this weird living breathing archetype of his demographic, and yet he's not, because how many older people do you know who make zines? Not family newsletters once a year for the relatives. Actual quarterly zines for sale or trade with the kids out there. He'll even listen to the compilation CDs people send him and provide considered published feedback. And he'll do the same for Judy Collin's biography. Of which, out of interest, he writes: 'Overall, it got to be a little slow moving and was way more detailed than it needs to be'.

Well, Ken, the same can be said about your chronicles. Like how you 'found an on street parking spot fairly easily, about four blocks away' from the fleamarket. Or how Ro wanted something stylish that would go well with the rest of the room. In fact the entire feature entitled 'The Den Renovation' is exactly what the title promises - and involves an actual blow by blow account of shopping for, and successfully purchasing, a large entertainment cabinet for the tv area. Probably way more detailed than what it needed to be.

Ken bores the crap out of me. Yet fascinates me at the same time. And you know what, Ken? Don't go changing. The coolest thing about his zine is that it truly is complete, unadulterated Ken. And this is what zines are all about - unique insights, honesty, expressing oneself freely with papyrus font without fear of judgement - creating your own personal paper soverignty as it were. So Ken's Chronicles? Are the coolest. You'll admire him for his flea market finds and personal research. You'll want to punch the wall as he provides condescending job tips for unemployed college graduates. But...one must love it all. Through the baffling old-person detail, the home photos, the friends called Bob, Doris and Betsy, the anecdotes of scoring a bargain, the movie and tv show and book reviews. One must love it all. It's a package deal. It's all 'Ken'. And so, I must say, Ken Bausert and his chronicles...rock. Just...keep them quarterly.

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