If famed exploitation filmmaker Jess Franco had been a young, queer Midwest writer then Aversion: A Zine of Therapeutic Vignettes may have been something that he might have dreamed up. But it is the talented Aaron Eischeid who actually offers up the first chapter of a very spooky and hallucinogenic world here.
In the first segment of this ongoing series, Eischeid introduces us to Owen, a confused youth who finds himself encountering a possibly lethal librarian type, a monstrous eye, a dead deer and an extremely invasive therapist. Presented as a stream of consciousness study of the horrors of conversion therapy, Eischeid finds wonderful details to concentrate on here – a fascination with a mother’s pearls, for example. The sudden surprise of Owen being caught in a sexual encounter with a classmate is delivered both with real life poignancy and bit of the fantastic, as well. All these elements add up to something original while retaining the bizarre and dreamlike structures of the Euro cinema of Franco and so many others.
Featuring potent yet simple artwork by Oats Redding, this first installment is printed out almost diary style, in what seems to be Owen’s own handwriting. Creative touches such as these should make readers of this newfound adventure eager for new chapters.
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Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!