Ottawa Zine Off! Zines #1: jesslyn delia smith & Jamie Gagno Welcome to Beautiful Ottawa

The 4th Ottawa Zine Off! happened last night at Pressed, and I think we had easily the best set of zines yet (even though I’ve only read three so far). Anyway, I thought it would be cool to recognize the effort people made to share their stuff, so I’m going to try to do a mini-review of every zine I got last night, which was most of them.

Here’s the first one:

jesslyn delia smith and jamie gagno ottawa zine

Welcome to Beautiful Ottawa
jesslyn delia smith and jamie gagno, 10 pages

Ostensibly a touristy guide to Ottawa attractions issued by the Courtyard Marriott Hotel, your first tip-off that something’s a little askew here (aside from the fact you presumably got it from a zine off and not the Marriott) is the “© 2047” snuck in at the bottom of the cover page.

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A sly satire of empty tourist pamphlets and “world of tomorrow” utopianism, Welcome to Beautiful Ottawa paints a vision of Ottawa’s future as a hermetically-sealed distraction-palace surrounded by an environmentally devastated wasteland. All ten pages are crammed with great local jokes. This side-swipe of the Glebe is worth quoting at length:

“Stroll down TDBank Street and purchase everything from designer clothes for your robos to holistic remedies for your self-confirmed maladies. […] The Glebe is climate and chakra controlled. If its layout were to be viewed aerially through its shielded dome it would resemble the third eye.”

Or the 2047 iteration of Ottawa’s Haunted Walks:

“The farthest, most barren corners of the city are known for being haunted by the spirits of some of Ottawa’s favourite homegrown talents, including Tom Green, Alanis Morissette, Peter Jennings, and Matthew Perry. Learn about their ‘mysterious deaths’ and find out why these famous Ottawans bothered to return to the National Capital Region to continue their reigns of terror upon this earth.”

I could go on, but I don’t want to spoil the rest of it for you. I loved this zine.

Also, some dink who showed up late to the Zine Off and came around looking to see if any zines were left refused to take this one because it was about Ottawa and he hates Ottawa. Stupid move. I hope he ends up a chem fiend in the Ottawa Outskirts, feeling “the crushing weight of living outside the city’s protective womb.”

JM’s JaM: Newcleus – Auto-Man

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