Zine Review: Goofbook

R.L. Wallace - Goofbook issue 4
(Gonk Publishing 2012)

If you’ve heard any of R.L. Wallace’s cassette tapes, you’ll have a good idea of what his zines are like: gritty and minimalist, but ultimately charming. I’ve received a few publications from Wallace over the past year, but my favorite by far is Goofbook, a low-key look into Wallace’s day-to-day life told through scribbly pen-and-ink drawings and short, typewritten captions. Wallace draws himself as some sort of cross between a bear and a hamster, and Goofbook chronicles the confrontations between his optimistic, often naive, avatar and the apathetic attitude of the nameless characters he encounters. In contrast to Wallace’s simple features, the other people portrayed in the drawings are frightening creatures that resemble aliens. Though these strange characters are sketched in greater detail, the three lines that make up the protagonists’ face convey much more expression, not unlike Charlie Brown’s face. Wallace’s writing is easily relatable and he slips plenty of good music references into the artwork. Fans of King Cat Comics will dig Goofbook. It also kinda reminds me of Hyperbole and a Half. Send $2, a tape or something of that nature to:
R.L. Wallace
2700 White Ave. #3
Chico, CA, 95973
(Don’t forget to ask for Goofbook!)