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


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Cheeky Monkey

16.5cm x 24cm, 32 colour pages, colour cover.

£3.50 p&p

One of the great things about zines is that they can be about absolutely anything. Having said that, I was rather taken aback recently when a guy approached my stall at Leeds Zine Fair and handed me what appeared to be a zine geared towards children.

Cheeky Monkey follows its eponymous character and his raccoon sidekick on their bizarre, occasionally psychedelic quest to uncover the truth about unseen character Ali-Ra-Ra, and why he’s pestering the entire jungle community for avocados. The story manages to be zany enough for kids to enjoy, whilst remaining sufficiently wholesome to keep their parents happy.

The creators (Fred Morris and Dominic Linton of King Louie's Lab) have clearly done their homework with Cheeky Monkey. They’ve borrowed devices from kids’ television programmes and made them work on the page. The narrative voice is reminiscent of the speaking style from currently popular cartoons such as Peppa Pig or We Bare Bears, and the main characters pose on the back cover like they’re in the opening credits of a kids’ TV show.

It’s a good effort from the South London zine-makers, especially considering that they’re treading new ground in marketing their zines to children. With luck, Cheeky Monkey could be a gateway for younger readers discovering the world of zines.

Cheeky Monkey is available for purchase here.

Review by JL Corbett.

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