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


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

In Loving Memory of the Spam Obituaries

In Loving Memory of the Spam Obituaries

by Russell Barker


A5, black and white, 12 pages

Back in 2006, after a deluge of spam from purportedly from oddly named people – ie Manitoba M. Parsnip, Enthusing U. Ming, Halibut Showpiece – Russell (of Lunchtime For The Wild Youth fame) decided to do something using the emails. Rather than the common route of writing back in a ‘hilarious’ way, he took a more absurdist approach by writing obituaries with his wife for each name. Metaphorically killing them off as soon as possible.

The obituaries were posted on a blog under the pseudonym William Ridenhour, which soon caught the attention of other blogs, shared and linked, leading Russell to be interviewed on Canadian radio. The blog lasted only three months before they grew bored of writing it, but those entries have taken on a new life in this zine.

The zine is simply produced, but enlivened by illustrations by Russell and Helen’s daughter Robyn. It is silly, funny, and as absurd as you’d expect.

Review by Nathan Penlington.

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