Friday, July 29, 2022

A Creative Community: Pocket Thoughts Annual #2

Pocket Thoughts Annual #2 (2020)

Kingston, Ontario, Canada-based Ryan Ewing’s Pocket Thoughts Annual is a yearly collaborative zine featuring pages of art, comics, poetry, and writing by other zine makers from around the world. Consider it a minicomics or zine sampler, or an amateur press association approach to making art-oriented zines. It’s a project parallel to his zine Pocket Thoughts, which offers similar content—artwork, comics, photography, poetry, and prose—created by Ewing himself.

This edition, which I received from A.J. Smith in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, one of the contributors, features work from 15 creators around the world. Most sell their zines via Etsy, and those who don’t are active on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Checking out their online shops, it looks like creators represent Australia, Canada, and the United States. Not all are still actively selling (in fact, Smith isn’t any longer, which is a shame), but hopefully they continue to make zines.

All of the contributions are minicomic-sized pages, with two half-page submissions. Some combine text and image, and one is text only. Material addresses themes of inappropriate intimacy and relationships, self-medication, COVID-19, mental health, the afterlife, DIY media, the power of art, education and parenting, and the contents of our personal space.

It’s an interesting walk through a community of creative friends and people who probably trade amongst themselves. Some contributions are fun and funny, and some might provoke thought or evoke an emotion. Pocket Thoughts Annual is a great introduction to creators you might not have encountered otherwise—and now you can contact them directly to explore further. It’s also a good gauge of the kind of material Ewing appreciates and enjoys.

This edition is available for about $5 as part of a bundle of issues #1-5 from (look for Pocket Thoughts Annuals).

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