Saturday, February 10, 2024

Caboose #14: My Canadian Boyfriend
by Liz Mason ( This bookzine is a series of essays by zine maven Mason, the Queen of Quimbys, and it is a bit of a masterpiece, tracing her pre-teen obsession with the Canuck King of nocturnal tinted-eyewear, Corey Hart. With a Queen and King on the table, we need an Ace, and Mason has an ace on her sleeve (OK, up her sleeve, not on, but rhymes is rhymes) in that she was able as a grown ass lady to be just as obsessive about researching parasocial relationship studies as she was about finding Corey quotes in 1983 teen mags. This squarebound page-turner definitely satisfies the fun superfan, retro, cringe vibe by vividly recounting and reprinting her fanmail adventures with Corey’s mom, her scores of collectibles (posters, penpal missives, cardboard standups), and her barely pubescent fan fic fantasies. But because she is completely sincere, and still loyal to North America's third string Corey (but first String All Star in Canada, and in as least one bedroom of Downers Grove), this is not about a guilty pleasure vibe, but about pure pleasure. Her superpower here is keeping the same loose, joyful jokey writing when analyzing studies of how teen fan obsessiveness functions, how it has changed in the age of social media, and what Corey’s reply to Liz’s Facebook post of her teen poster display really means. Even though I cannot recall the song “Never Surrender,” I have to give it up to Liz’s Caboose.