How to review a zine refreshingly: Stack Gang by Orbital Intelligence LLC

Stack Gang is one of my favorite zines.

I read Stack Gang over the last few days. 

Really love it.

It had me laughing.

I looked crazy.


To briefly give you an idea of my zine preferences and the degree of my fondness toward Orbital Intelligence's zine Stack Gang, here is a link to some of my favorite reads of 2022. 

To me, Stack Gang is an extreme zine.

It has crying, shouting, screaming, and destruction.

The writing in Stack Gang felt so unusually real to me that I kept wanting to look away from the zine the first time I read it. 

The art in the zine made me feel expressions, mannerisms, strained eye contact, and hear ambiguous noises.

As I read this alone in my room, on my Macbook, if felt like I was in a social situation.

Anyone who runs this game would end up joking often and dislike complaining or talking about themselves.

I related to this zine big time and was surprised and moved by the end.

The ending was like reading a story or poem that ends at the bottom of the page where I'm supposed to turn the page, then turning the page and learning I already read the last line.

This is one of my favorite experiences in reading – to be surprised by an ending that, in retrospect, seems inevitable and satisfying – and Stack Gang provides it extremely. 

Stack Gang is extreme and special in a similar manner, to me, as a group of fiction writers that journalists and other writers labeled "minimalists" in the 1970s and 1980s. 

It's extreme and special in terms of what it's about.

In the introduction to an issue of Mississippi Review focused on minimalism, Kim Herzinger, in 1985, carefully considered what minimalist fiction was about:

If "minimalist" fiction is "about" anything, it seems quite often to be "about" endurance, tracing the collision of the anarchic self and its inexplicable desires with the limitations imposed by life in the world, with special attention paid to the moment when the self confronts its limitations and decides to keep on going.

After noting that many minimalist stories began with characters experiencing "some kind of disconnection" followed by "their inevitable desire for fullness or fulfillment which is found to be impossible or inadequate," Herzinger, in a moving passage that, for me, applies to Stack Gang, observed:

The characters invariably face the impossibility with a kind of touching sturdiness – often suggested by calm or silence – that seems to me both accurate and revitalizing, something like human beings behaving rather well. They may not shout, they may not change the world or entertain any illusions that they can do so, but they are not, it seems to me, beaten.

Physical copies of Stack Gang can be purchased from Spear Witch here.

(if you'd like to support me there are links on the right to purchase my zines)

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