This may shock some of y'all, but I don't always love zine books, that is zines issues collected or even somewhat repackaged. Exceptions include Zine: How I Spent Six Years of My Life in the Underground and Finally...Found Myself...I Think by Pagan Kennedy and Pete Jordan's Dishwasher. Zines are meant to be read episodically; there needs to be some time between issues. I also don't think they all clean up well. They don't all belong in book form, all neatly bound and with consistent margins. I felt the same way about just about every show I worked on at the Public Theater that transferred to Broadway. The shows lost their intimacy in a large house with high ticket prices. Give me a $2 zine over a packaged anthology or a $10 black box play over a spectacular production with moving scenery every time!
I preface my review of Nicole Chaison's Passion to let you know where I'm coming from. I wanted to love it, but I didn't. I liked it, and I bet if I read the zine versions of her stories, I'd love them. One thing I really admire about the book, that I suspect isn't present in her zines is the illuminated manuscript approach, even though I found it confusing at first. Each page consists of minicomics illustrations on the side and text in the center. My problem was that I didn't know what to read first. I eventually found that it was better to read the text and then the art, but sometimes that meant the footnotes would be out of order. Yes, I said footnotes, an element that I found endearing.