Don't tell anyone, but I snatched I Saw You from the NYC Zine Fest fundraiser. Julia deliberately left it behind when she split, and, well, I was grabbing my zines from the merch table, and, uh… I justify my action with the knowledge that I will give the book away, perhaps to someone else who was at the benefit. Julia, claiming she was only a comics drawer and no writer, gave a great performance of two well-written essays at the zine reading, so I was curious what her work was like.
She actually only has a couple of comics in this anthology of illustrated newspaper and online missed connections ads, but they're perfectly charming, as is her introduction, and I assume the clever idea to have the (alpha by first name ♥) bios all be personal ad style. For example:
You: most beautiful woman in the world
Me: great personality
The comics are funny and clever, and sometimes poignant. The one that moved me the most was "Whitmore Ave," by Maria Sequeira. The illustrated ad begins, "Whitmore Ave is long gone and so are you, Alexander. I miss you very much." and ends, "Goodbye for now." Sequeira's style is more weighty than you necessarily expect from comics, dimensional and nuanced, and like, really really well-drawn. That is no crack against comics artists; I'm just saying the work often has priorities other than high art.
Other highlights for me were seeing names familiar to me from zinedom, including Alec Longstreth, Cathy Leamy, Gabrielle Bell, Greg Means, Jesse Reklaw, MariNaomi, MK Reed, Sarah Morean, and Sarah Oleksyk. There are probably more, but generally I only know women zinesters (All of the women listed above are represented in the Barnard Library Zine Collection.)—and Greg through zine librarianship, Alec through Greg, and Jesse Reklaw through his zine Applicant, which I received as a promo from Microcosm.
My favorite comics from the collection are the original ones (not based on an existing ad), and those that are loving and sympathetic, which most of them are, rather than ridiculing, which is the case with a few.
PS First dibs on the book to Aliqae, Alycia, Deb, and Susan, but if none of them wants it and you do, send me your postal address.