JumbleBee Zine: volume one hits US border – it’s awesome!

Remember zines? Actual paper magazine – with small circulation and usually self-published?  Well, I just got one delivered from Winnipeg – JumbleBee. It was very exciting.

The zine is produced by Lily O’Donnell. She was sick of submitting work into a back hole and decide to self-publish, which I think it how most zines start. She put out a call for submissions and received 12 submissions from all over the world. Submissions included art, stories, poetry and comic format. The theme is an honest and open response to COVID – How the hell ya doin’?

It is a snapshot of a unique minute in time from early 20 year-somethings. Many of located in Winnipeg, which has much more extreme quarantine rules than we have in Minnesota. College is online. Many jobs have been furloughed or removed. In Canada, those workers get livable support from the government. So for many artists, it’s a time of greater isolation than in the US but also greater support.

Artists such as Aislinn Livingston embrace the fear with her work “I’m just trying to hold it all together,” a drawing of a young woman holding parts of her face like puzzle pieces, which once removed show a flash of skull. Ryan Bryan Haughey shows the breadth and depth of what’s happen with a mosaic of historical images of people of all ages over sheet music.

Kate O’Donnell submits a work called, “Stuck at Home.” It’s a house unscathed on stilts in the middle of a storm. Dark clouds above, tumultuous waves and snakes below. It embodies the anxiety of feeling like everything is OK – for now. COVID is unusual because it is an enemy we can’t see – but we can feel like the foreboding weather in a storm.

Lily O’Donnell has a mini-graphic story that depicts what she misses from pre-quarantine life and what she has gained from quarantine times. It’s honest, yet hopeful. She misses concerts and travel; she has gained time to read, draw and turn fear of loneliness into appreciation of being alone.

Brittany Godin talks about her experience participating in a virtual art show. While she clearly appreciates the opportunity, it’s heartbreaking to hear that in the end, the online experience was not fulfilling. It’s a reminder of the opportunities we are missing because of the quarantine. To counter that down-letting, Teri Anderson has cross-stitched Robert Shuller’s line – “Tough times don’t last, tough people do.”

So in the end – turns out how the hell ya doin’? Is a pretty good question. The collection is well curated and it is a look at how others are dealing with these crazy times! It successfully creates a sense of community.

Check out JumbleBee to find out an potential publications and the opportunity to submit something.

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