44 pages, digest, $? by James Andre, sam_drane(at)hotmail.com + milkshadow.wordpress.com
This terrific zine is James's story of his time spent working in an adult bookstore. Soon after he started working there his friends called to congratulate him on scoring the perfect job. But you don't even get far into this before realising it was anything but. Dealing with crank calling kids, a drug-fucked douchebag who is so curious about a fake vagina he takes out his cock to give it a test poke, and a filthy-singleted psycho who comes an inch away from punching James's head off when he thinks he stole a fifty-dollar note he put on the counter (at the last minute the guy found it under the porno tapes he had selected). By the end of it, it seemed to me the only reason to work at a job like this is for material to write about (if you survive it, that is. Haw!)
XXX Neon Sign is intense and so compelling I read it in one sitting.
One thing about the layout - the text on each page is very thin vertically, the way poetry is sometimes written. Before I read it, it seemed like a bad decision. The zine is 44 pages but the story could easily fit into a quarter of that. After having read it, I think the layout worked. It seemed to create an urgency, and maybe it captures something of the twitchy tunnel vision that seizes those searching through porn. (I don't know anything about that...)
Finally, the cover and inside front cover art by Bobby N. is really cool.