Reviewer Revue – Ryan (Pocket Thoughts)

ZL – Hi Ryan, thanx for agreeing to talk to us!

Let’s start with a bit of an introduction, can you tell us your name, where you live and what site(s) and how long you have been reviewing?

RE – Hi, my name is Ryan, and I live in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.  I publish Pocket Thoughts zines and co-host the Zinespiration Chat with Craig [Atkinson] from Five O’Clock Zines.  It’s like I’m Regis and Craig is Kathie-Lee.  Don’t let him tell you otherwise.

ZL – When and where did you publish your first review?

RE – I think the first real Zinespiration chat was with Richard Larios from Feral Publication.  It was really rad, because after a year or so of reading his work and engaging in text messages via Instagram etc, it was just so cool to have a face-to-face video chat in real time. And really, it’s felt similar with all the zinesters I’ve interviewed since.  Like, how cool is that?

ZL – What kind of work do you review and what would you say are your two or three biggest comfort spots for work when reviewing?

RE – I make a point of checking out any and all zines.  I personally find different kinds of inspiration from them, even if the content isn’t something I’d normally be interested in reading.  I love other individuals’ viewpoints, but also from a design standpoint, it’s neat to see someone else’s creative process and how they may approach an idea or topic differently than I would, or another zinester friend of mine would.

ZL – Describe your approach to a review. 

RE – The whole point of the Zinespiration Chat show is to show off and promote zinesters’ work to those who may not ordinarily discover them. Most important during the chat process is that the guest feels comfortable being there – ensuring ahead of time that we’re pronouncing names correctly, using their requested pronouns, and also pre-discussing any off limits topics to not bring up.  Otherwise, the goal is that we all have some fun and some laughs and let the zinesters’ personalities shine thru.

ZL – What would you say are the key things a creator should do or think about when asking for reviews of their work

RE – A little research goes a long way.  Recently I had a band ask me to do a review of them in one of my zines, which is not something I do in my own zines, even tho there are lots of zines that specialize in rock-show and punk reviews as the meat and potatoes of the pages. I wish them all the luck in the world, but also, like, why are they asking me to review their band? I’m the dude who dressed up hot dog weenies in Halloween costumes, y’know?

ZL – Can you tell us about the review you’re most proud of and why that is?

RE – I dig ‘em all.  I just feel very fortunate to have gotten to know so many expressive and creative zinesters over the last few years.

ZL – Lastly, as Weirdo Brigade was an influence on how I’ve set this site up I thought I’d post this below!

ZL – Thanx so much for your time!

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