|The author's fiancé drew the covers of #3 and #4. Very much worth pointing out.|
Funwater Awesome #1 through #4
By Zach Mandeville
About ten years ago, I was thinking about the recent construction of commercial lots in Yelm. Actually, everywhere. I remember laments about strip malls, Safeways, surrounded by parking lots, people saying the construction lacked character.
I wondered if that was an inherent quality or if character grew over time. From Zack’s point of view, the architecturally plain setting of strip malls and apartments in West Olympia are alive with his memories and emotions.
Funwater Awesome, while centered on Tumwater, is a long reflection of a young person’s attachment and relationship with urban northern Thurston County. While Zach speaks almost solely as the local being “Funwater” (Tumwater), his stories and essays are seamlessly set throughout the contiguous Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater community. His introduction and construction of characters
It's shocking to me how much Zach reminds me of Douglas Coupland. Actually, almost the exact opposite of Douglas Coupland, a mirror image. Alex and the Giants from Funwater Awesome #2 seems the flip in mood and telling (while maintaining the same fresh style) of the doom and dread of Coupland’s Life after God. Zach’s father character in Giants could practically be Scout in the final story of Coupland’s God, years after submerging himself in the forest stream pool.
Funwater #3 and #4 (release simultaneously in summer 2009) show a lot of promise not just for the zine series, but for Zach as a writer.
The fiction elements are the opening chapters of what I hope is still a forthcoming book length book called My Brother! This work maintains the hopeful Coupland-esque elements of Funwater #1 and #2, but enough hand holds to keep a story going for the length of a book.
I'll leave you to read the non-fiction parts of #3 and #4 when you either buy the zines or check them out from the library (information on that below). But, they’re a great mix of actually useful information and history for any resident of Tumwater. But, I'll at least offer the best selection from the non-fiction portion of #4:
Tumwater was born then, as they built their homes along the Deschutes River. Funwater was born when someone put a decorative curtain across a knothole in their log.Also, one last note. Zach’s fiance (wife now?) drew the cover of #3 and #4, very much worth pointing that out. They’re great.
Here is also a nice one minute zine review of #2.
Funwater Awesome #1
To buy: zachboyofdestiny *at* gmail *dot* com
To borrow: http://bit.ly/LPKTVQ
Funwater Awesome #2
To buy: http://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/zines/3141/
To borrow: http://bit.ly/MMJXP8
Funwater Awesome #3
To buy: http://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/zines/3142/
To borrow: http://bit.ly/LqNVLF
Funwater Awesome #4
To buy: http://msvalerieparkdistro.com/zines/funwater-awesome-4
To borrow: http://bit.ly/LqO3ed