Tuesday, October 22, 2013

ZIne Review: Piltdown Lad 8.5

And every one of those words rang true
And glowed like burning coal

-         Bob Dylan, Tangled Up in Blue

Piltdown Lad 8.5
The Cult of Teddy Ruxpin
Kelly Dessaint

For the first dozen pages of The Cult of Teddy Ruxpin I thought I was reading a word-for-word account of my adolescence. My parents were Christians and I remember attending numerous “revival” meetings – the shouting preachers, hellfire and damnation, Jesus as the only bridge to salvation, the call to be born again, the magnetic tug of the crowd as people leave their seats to push up front and be blessed, the ceaseless persuasion to conform, the mesmerizing speaking in tongues, the baptism of fire.

Through his writing, Kelly captures the mixed emotions of adolescence, the mixed motivations, feelings, and thoughts that besiege us in the spaces between childhood and adulthood. The Cult of Teddy Ruxpin is a story of rebellion and personal evolution. Like most of Kelly’s zines, this was a “read straight through” session – cliché as it sounds, I literally could not put this zine down until I was finished reading. Then I started at the beginning again.  

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