Saturday, February 23, 2013

Piltdownlad #4 - The Nasty Oh-Dear

By Kelly Dessaint and Walt Hall
PO Box 86714
Los Angeles, CA

I remember when I read the second issue of Piltdownlad  I wondered if the story it told was true or fictional. In this issue Dessaint says that they "understand how distracting it can be for the reader to not know whether a work is fiction or if it's autobiographical", and how they combine the two because they "like a good yarn, regardless of how factual the details are".

Despite this, the intro goes on to say that the stories in this issue are, apparently, all true, admittedly with dialogue created after the fact. However, in this case I kind of wish for the inability to determine whether a story is true or not, because some of the subject matter included in this zine is pretty distressing, if told in a way that made me want to know what happened next.

The tale in question concerns foster homes, child abuse, mental hospitals, and other stuff of that ilk. Dessaint pulls the trick of starting at the end of the story (or at least the middle) with him and his brother arriving at a foster home. You know that something has to happen for them to have ended up there, but you don't know what it is. Dessaint moves back and forth through time, effectively teasing the reader until the truth is revealed. It is, as I said, upsetting in regards to what happens to the people in the story, but at the same time it ends with such a teaser that I want to find out what happens next.

Also included are a writeup about the 2012 LA Zinefest, an account of being a punk fan in the 1980s and tracking down records, and a bunch of zine reviews (including a review of one of mine). It's all well written and well put together, and I would read more issues if I had them.

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