Zine Review: Disconcerting 8
Disconcerting 8 is a perzine written by Janell Hoong from Singapore. It is quarter sized, black and white, and 76 pages. I have been treated to a couple of zines from Janell already, including Disconcerting 6 & 7 and Thank You, Mr Gondry I & II. Hands down, up and in the air, Disconcerting 8 is by far my favorite at the moment. Dear Janell, I think you are now Janell Version 2.0 or something! Your writing has changed a lot. She talks about the life of an intern, dreams of being a barista, a small relationship at the pet store, quasi dating, braces and much more (precisely 17 topics!). After having read her zine, I feel like I just watched a film about Janell and it was full of awesome montages with tweed pop music. I enjoy the way her stories begin and conclude, and it usually makes me go “awh.” She’s also a huge fan of Michel Gondry and you can definitely witness the influence in this zine.
It makes me laugh out loud when she describes people honestly, yet still with an air of politeness. “In addition, he is always wearing jeans that are too tight for him, for me, for flamingos. Often I’m embarrassed to look below his waist. Then again, I’m not supposed to look below his waist.” I can guarantee you there’s a lot of humor to appreciate in this zine. There is also a good chunk of sentimentality and endearing stories. “Sad Boy,” makes my heart churn. It reminds me of that Death Cab for Cutie song, “Steadier Footing” so much! The story and the song both illustrate nostalgia so well to me.
Anyway, I don’t want to spoil any more of the zine. I think it’s one of my favorite zines right now, along with Aubade. I recommend it with a good cup of tea! You can order it from her etsy here. I just want to sign off with one of my favorite lines from the zine. It is something I’ve been trying to say, but haven’t quite gotten there yet: “Sometimes writing this zine is like talking to a darkened auditorium. There will be people who will be listening but you never see their faces. Sometimes it feels like I’m talking to myself again.”