Zine Review: Marked for Life #2

6 November 2007

Zine cover - Marked for Life #2

It’s easy to see why Sage Adderley describes the tale of her young family’s move to a new city as a “love story”. She and her husband, Garrett, seem genuinely to have fallen head-over-heels for Philadelphia during a brief visit — less than a day — during a family holiday.

Their excitement is palpable from the outset:

We parked and got out of the car to let the girls stretch and we began being tourist. We walked away from center city and towards the more residential area. We saw multiple community gardens, sides of buildings covered with mosaic tiling and city parks filled with children. My husband and I fell in love. We looked at each other knowing that we could call Philadelphia home.

There begins an exciting adventure as the Adderleys tumble towards their new goal, crashing through obstacles like finding work and accommodation, transporting belongings, and settling their young daughters in a new town.

Sage’s descriptions in Marked for Life #2 would make anyone want to live in Philadelphia. She sees a place of history and culture, with free concerts and community gardens, churches and bicycles and craft markets. Her daughters, Emily and Bella, have made new friends and enjoy visiting the Philadelphia Zoo, which Sage regards as “[t]he best zoo I have been to.”

Love stories can be tedious if all we hear are the lovely things the besotted says about the object of their affection. A good love story recognises that there are two parties to a relationship, and gives us an insight into both. The real joy in reading Marked for Life #2 is in learning about Sage’s ideas and hopes for her family. Her love for Philadelphia is not for its streets and buildings, but for its multicultural community and the opportunity it provides her children to learn and play and grow.

These issues were raised by Mike Kraus in A New Tomorrow #23, through his introspective consideration of the role of place in his life. Sage doesn’t slow down much to reflect in the cautious way Mike does — she is too busy with home-schooling and concerts and family visits and proselytising Philadelphia — but the two zines sit very comfortably together, and I recommend reading both alongside each other.

My own plans to move to another city with my partner are still some months away, our train fares are paid, and we have signed on to start new jobs when we arrive; yet I still feel apprehensive about leaping into the unknown. It is very reassuring to read about a spur-of-the-moment intercity move that has been so successful, and that has made Sage and her family so happy. I will be keeping Marked for Life #2 near to hand to remind me that these ventures should be more exciting than scary.

Sage Adderley, Marked for Life #2, 1/4 size, 32 pages.
Split with No Better Voice #30. Available from Sage’s own Eye Candy, as well as Stranger Danger and Paper Trail.

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