Thursday, March 24, 2011

Loserdom #21

One of my favourite things about reviewing things for this blog is that I read so many random things, and sometimes I am completely and utterly blown away by content I did not expect.

That is the case with Loserdom #21. I'd read some issues before, but nothing prepared me for the massive (over twenty pages!) history of the Dalkey punks that appeared in this issue.

Dalkey is a village suburb of Dublin in Ireland, and it doesn't seem like that exciting a place to live. Anto grew up there, and remembers being a little kid in the early '80s and being both scared and fascinated by the punks he saw hanging around town. Almost thirty years later he's tracked five of them down and interviewed them about what being a punk in that time was like, how they got involved with the scene, what music they listened to, how they dressed, where they hung out, how the group came to an end, and what they're up to now.

It is an incredibly epic piece of journalism, and feels more like the basis of someone's thesis in folklore, anthropology, sociology, or history than an article in a zine. It's a fascinating piece made all the more interesting because of the real emotions that the interviews conjure up in people. You can feel the joy and fun that these people had back when they were kids, and then, in the most brutal and unexpected part, there is a tragedy. I don't really want to spoil what happened, but it was a big enough thing that it was mentioned in newspapers at the time (which have been dug up, photocopied, and included here).

Even if that was the only thing in Loserdom #21 it would be worth picking up, but this is a massive zine and there's loads of other stuff too! Comics about riding bicycles, an interview with a woman who's been busking in Dublin since 1985, and more. Not all of it appealed to me, but that's always the case with anthologies, and I think this is definitely worth checking out.

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