'Extranjero' is Spanish for foreigner, Kris called it that because he lives in Spain with Lola, his Spanish wife. Their zines are usually about life in Spain mainly from Kris's point of view, but Lola seems to contribute bits and pieces here and there, to get the 'insider' point of view I guess. But this issue is about their April 2008 trip back to the US and Kris's birthplace (he hadn't been back to the States in three years). Kris's writing is terrific, he's a very good storyteller. Lola's observations on how different the US is to Spain are also cool, like when she is dumbstruck by the excess of an American supermarket (and a morbidly obese woman leaning on her shopping trolley loaded with junk food), and how much sugar is used in food there. They also visit a massive hunting, fishing and outdoor store called Cabela's (I've heard of Cabela's myself, but only knew it as a videogame where you shoot wild animals) that is 250,000 square feet in floor size and contains multitudes of stuffed animals, not to mention a four-storey fake mountain dotted with stuffed bears, elk, deer, goats and foxes.
Elsewhere, Kris writes about some of the stranger foods enjoyed in that part of the States, like 'scrapple' which is pig offal mixed with cornmeal and flour (which strikes me as a cross between haggis and hash browns). Also 'pickled watermelon rind'.
My favourite story in this zine however is the one about Ed, a neighbour of Kris's parents. When Kris was a kid, he and his friend would climb a tree near Ed's house, Ed would come out and tell them to be careful, then go off mumbling and talking to himself about conspiracy theories, he would burst into song, and he would often grab his sketchbook and 'sketch all sorts of bizarre fantasy worlds (which usually included lots of large-breasted, topless dancing women!)' From Kris's description of his house he was also a textbook hoarder (see also the Collyer Brothers). And one time he ate some pizza out of a neighbour's bin then went and complained to them two days later because the pizza had made him sick.
Well, this is another great zine discovery for me so I'll be securing back issues as well as forward issues.