Zine Review: zine2018

zine2018 is a year-long zine project by graphics and game designer Nathan D. Paoletta which tackles content through a personal lens based around a monthly theme corresponding to the time of year. Eleven issues (January through November) have been published, with the twelfth and final issue probably coming out right at the end of the month, if the pattern holds true. zine2018 is a kind of window into Nathan’s life, work, and struggles, providing material that is both thought-provoking and relatable as a reader and fellow human being.

zine2018 is published both digitally in PDF, and in print, primarily through the creator’s Patreon, with copies being sold wide a week after being distributed to patrons via the creator’s own website. I have only read the digital issues of the zine, though from photographs on the site you can tell that the print copies are excellent (I’ll be ordering mine soon). I love what Nathan does with his zine covers; the design is simple, but the words hidden in the dot patterns hint at greater meaning in connection with the theme and the content.

I discovered zine2018 about midway through the year, after being infected with the zine bug by Hubris, and I immediately joined Nathan’s Patreon to get access to the released issues and support the ones to come through the rest of the year. Nathan is quite open in the pages of the zine, presenting his life through each issue’s theme in thoughtful essays along with some of his artwork and games. As a reader, I get a glimpse into the creator’s life and see that his struggles are my struggles, that we’re not alone in this roller coaster we call life even if sometimes we feel we’re the only one in the car.

zine2018 has been a very interesting project to follow, and I get excited with the release of each issue. I know that it hasn’t been easy at times for the author to keep up with the work of a monthly zine in addition to all his other work responsibilities, ongoing projects, and personal life, and that makes me appreciate the work put into each issue more. It’ll be interesting to see what will happen in 2019 once the yearlong experiment is done with.

If Hubris got me into zines, zine2018 inspired me with its personal content and with the courage it takes to be so vulnerable in a public forum. It also showed me how a zine with personal content could look like, which in turn inspired me to create my own zine in the format that it now exists in. For this, I am forever thankful.