Zine Reviews: “Footloose” and “go by bicycle”

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Two zines recently made their way to the IMC that I thought would be perfect
to review together, because both take
different approaches to the subject of
travel. “Footloose,” a locally-produced
zine by Sarah Lazare, is a travel journal
that follows her through Mexico and different
parts of the United States. The
other zine is “go by bicycle” #2, which
addresses car culture, and offers the
reader information about different alternative
transportation projects occurring
all across the world.
Though only 15 pages, “Footloose” is
one of the best travel journals I’ve ever
read. From the very get-go, the reader is
sucked in by the author’s beautiful use of
language – vivid sceneries are created by
L a z a r e ’s cut-and-paste narratives.
The reason I couldn’t put down this
zine is because Sarah only gives the
reader snippets of her journal – each one
delicately chosen to give only a taste of
what she experienced. The whole time I
sat reading the zine, I kept thinking, “I
want to know more. I want her to tell me
the whole story. I want to meet these
people.” In reality, I want to read her
entire journal!!!
Forty miles south of San Cristobal,
Sarah stayed with a farmer in an indigenous
farming town. She describes some
of the people she met while staying with
him: “he took me around town today,
introducing me to some of his friends. I
met three womam potters who, as eh
explained, refuse to have husbands. They
were sitting in front of a store, sculpting,
talking, laughing. They greeted me with
such female comradery – patting me on
the back and smiling so big…” The way
Sarah describes this and other scenes
really makes me realize how many different
realities and cultures there are in
the world. This zine allowed me to live
vicariously through Sarah’s perception
of these realities.
I truly enjoyed the layout of the zine –
the text overlays timely photos and
drawings, and are placed so that the reader
can easily distinguish the different
images that are presented. Sarah moves
back and forth from travel-like journal
entries to reports on the various protests
she attended (Cancun and Miami), which
is really effective in allowing the reader
to imagine what Sarah isn’t telling us. I
hope that Sarah decides to continue to
travel, and decides to publish more of her
journals. At the end of the zine, I was
salivating for more of her writing, and to
go and travel the world, myself!
“go by bicycle” #2 is a totally different
experience. Equally as engaging, this
zine provides the reader with an insight
into the many bike/pedestrian-centered
projects that are being implemented
across the world.
In New York City, for instance, a
group called “Vision42” is organizing a
campaign to turn 42nd Street in Manhattan
(one of the most congested streets in
the city) into a light-rail / pedestrianfriendly
avenue free of cars. Scott
Larkin, gbb’s creator, includes in this
zine an intense interview with one of
Vision42’s organizers. I’m in awe of the
immensity of the proposed project,
which organizers say will cost around
$200 million – only 1/10th cost of an
extension to the #7 subway (which is
also being proposed by the NYC deputy
Larkin also includes articles on a London-
based policy to limit cars entering
into the city, China’s new policy to make
streets more Westernized by bringing
more cars into the city, and Walt Disney’s
idea that the “City of Tomorrow”
should be more pedestrian-friendly, and
less car-centric. This hodge-podge mix
of writings is enjoyable more for the
information it purveys than for its literary
quality. Its simple design makes the
information easily accessible to any
reader, and will certainly pique the interest
of any bike enthusiast or anti-car
If you’re into traveling to far-away
lands or just down the street on your
bicycle, I’m sure that you’ll enjoy these
zines just as much as I did.
“go by bicycle” #1 & 2 are now available
for check out to members at the U-C
IMC zine library, and are catalogued
under “politicalzine.” Sarah Lazare’s
“Footloose” can be found under
“perzine.” Both will be featured with
other newly-catalogued zines in the front
of our library for your reading pleasure.

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