Jonas's zine is addressed to his son, which is super interesting to me in that I don't think most zinester's make such deliberate choices about voice and audience. And yet, the kid isn't the one reading Cheer the Eff Up.--at least right now.
This is going to stay with me--when Jonas is bored at work, he imagines zombie attacks. Does this make him highly imaginative or dangerously depressed? ;)
The zine's aesthetic is plain. Black handwriting on white cover. Most of the pages are black cut and paste white squares with black text. There are a few graphics, but not many. It's like speech or thought bubbles in comic strips, where it's dark, like in a tunnel, or something has happened to render the cel blank except for the text. In comics, though, the cel isn't an entire 4.25"x5.5" page, where the bubbles are placed on the page on a crooked vertical. For four pages after the middle, where he's writing about a long-lost friend he switches to white pages. Is he trying to turn the light on in his tunnel?!?
In issue 6 Jonas writes about resisting being defined by external markers like marriage, and yet (and so?) his zine is about self-defining his life. The visual style bears that out. He's willing to put in the work--all that cut and pasting of text takes time and concentration. He also writes about his childhood scrapbooks. I would have loved to ask him more about those at our Chicago Zine Fest panel this past weekend. He says of his self-documentation that he's "clinging to everything behind me." That's so deep.
You can order Jonas's zines from many fine distros.