Publisher: Bureau De Books
The overall greatness of zines as a medium (and I hope I don’t sound too pretentious by saying “as a medium”) is down to the variety it offers. Saying ‘I’m into zines’ may give some hint about a persons ethics –but other than maybe they are a bit DIY you don’t really get any idea of what they like; cooking, fiction, animal rights, who knows? I am ‘into zines’ and as a result I tend to end up reading stuff not completely within my standard interests simply because it’s presented within the zine format. This is one of those zines, or rather it’s a ‘chapbook’ which is apparently what short-fiction zines are sometimes referred to as, filling the gap between a zine and a book in terms of professionalism.
It’s the first product to come out of Northampton based publishing posse ‘Bureau De Books’, a collection of creative folks who have big plans to keep producing these chapbooks and spread their brand of ‘humorous short stories’ –for want of a less rubbish description. It Is Not Possible To Make A Mistake is a collection of these stories coupled with the odd illustration or comic – all anonymous save for a list of “mostly good people” in the back page. The only member I have any familiarity with is Chris East who you may or may not have seen performing tunes under his Winston Echo alias, although naturally I can’t comment on his individual contribution as I don’t know which me wrote!
I can however comment on a couple of my favourite pieces, one of which is an awesome short piece about a bee from the perspective of a human and then the bee itself, and a short comic about the last two people on earth. Both have a similar theme that runs through most of the pieces in the zine, fairly heavy or tragic subjects dealt with a kind of melancholy humour. Which makes this volume a really good read. I reckon stay tuned in to what Bureau De Books is up to in the future for sure.