20 Bus #9
by Kelli Williams

Kelli Williams has been doing her 20 Bus series for a while now. Issue #9 is the last of her bus stories, she says; #10 is to be others' stories of mass transit, and then 20 Bus will be no more.

Which is, really, a shame. I'm sorry that I didn't get in on this phenomenon at the beginning -- it's really something special. Issue #9 includes gems like hitting on the bus driver, how to woo women riding public transit (which range from the cryptic to the downright bizarre), and traveling bus stories from places like Portland, OR. All of the art is clipped from varied sources, including old movies set in buses, and bus schedules.

It sounds chaotic, especially in a quarter-sized zine. It is -- in places. Kelli, though, has an artistic eye. She knows the art of placement and uses it, interspersing pages that are mostly pictures with those that are mostly text, and it works.

Because I'm a perfectionist, I have to make a note of this: the production quality on any of Kelli's work is great, but I was really impressed with 20 Bus #9. All of the pages line up, there's very little bleed, and her layout is great. The perfectionist side of me stood up and gave a little cheer.

As far as value goes, too -- this zine is given away on city buses in San Francisco, but for the rest of us, it's a whopping 20 cents U.S. Well, 20 cents and a stamp, but you still can't beat that with a stick. It's perfect reading for when you're ... well, caught on public transit. Send orders to 20 Bus, P.O. Box 170612, San Francisco, CA 94117.

[ by Elizabeth Badurina ]