A.j.'s call for contributions to her Six Categories zine went more or less like this:
In the beginning of the novel Microserfs, Douglas Coupland has each of his characters list their dream Jeopardy! categories, fields of expertise such as "Career anxieties," "Cats," "Psychotic loser friends," and "Macintosh products." I can’t remember much else from this nearly twenty-year old novel, but these character "introductions" remain stuck in a shadowy corner of my memory. I’ve mentally made lists of my ideal Jeopardy! boards, with categories like "The Simpsons, Seasons 1 to 8" and “Postage” and "Job Dissatisfaction."
It's your turn to list your six ideal Jeopardy! categories that showcase your unique knowledge, quirks, neuroses, talents, habits, whatever.
The twenty five lists that she compiled (mostly if not exclusively from zine folk) are ridiculously funny and silly and dorky and brilliant. My favorite contribution, from Davida Gypsy Breier had me at "Cat Vomiting Noises." Now I realize that's lowbrow, but what you have to consider is that Davida is actually an expert at discerning what various cat vomiting noises indicate about your darling kitty. You also have to imagine the celebrity cats Alex Trebek would invite to do the noises.
Most, if not all, of the lists have at least one revelation of the writers extreme geekitude. Mine, for example, includes "Library of Congress Subject Headings." Many of the lists are zine-centric, and with a fair amount of librarian contributors, many are biblio-centric, as well.
As always in a zine by A.j. "Zine Structures" and "Pushing Low-End Software to the Limit" Michel, it's beautifully produced--plain, but appealing cardstock cover; smart, legible typefaces, and a smart introduction. Yours for $2!
It would be great if next year's Portland Zine Symposium Jeopardy! game chose their categories from A.j.'s zine.