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

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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Minor Leagues #2

Minor Leagues #2 – Simon Moreton

published by lydstep lettuce -  October 2016

A5, landscape, 88 pages, cardboard covers. 

£4 / or £18 for a four issue subscription


There are many things I love about my girlfriend, one of them is how much she loves December. She gets excited about New Year's Eve and Christmas of course, but she loves this time of year because it is when people publish their favourite books of the year lists. She LOVES those lists. 

Why am I telling you this? Well, back in April Minor Leagues #1 arrived on my doorstep, and it is definitely on my own list of the top 5 best things I've read this year. And now issue #2 has arrived it's going to nudge something else off that list (unless I can convince my girlfriend that two zines count as one entity).  

I don't want to repeat myself so check out the review of issue #1, and you'll know why I love Simon's work. Issue #2 continues in the same vein. What sets Minor League apart from a lot of zines is that it gives itself space and time (over 80 pages) to linger over fragments and details, an antidote to the textual rush of social media. 

Issue #1 dealt with death and loss, Minor Leagues #2 raises issues of grief and helplessness: grief after death, but also the grief of losing friendships and relationships. It also reflects the grief and despair most of the UK has felt this year. That all makes it sound like a heavy read - it is not. There is a gentle quality to Simon's work, a tenderness, and a reaching out that is hard to express in words. 



For me, I think part of the strength of Minor Leagues is that it also expresses the struggle inherent in making a zine - the difficulty in breaking the inertia that can so easily stop you creating anything, particularly in the current cultural climate. After what 2016 has achieved we need zines like Minor Leagues more than ever. 


Buy issue 2 of Minor Leagues here: http://smoo.bigcartel.com/product/minor-leagues-2

Or visit smoo.bigcartel.com for subscription options. 

Review by Nathan Penlington


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