Minor Leagues #1
I’m a sucker for a personal journal and for perzines, and Simon Moreton’s Minor Leagues has quietly won my heart. A British-based illustrator, this thick, stapled illustrated zine isn’t so much a diary or a zine as it is a sketchbook. Of its hundred or so pages, most of it is occupied by drawings—abstract, with a dashing style that makes them feel quickly drawn, evoking the feeling of capturing a moment while traveling between two locations on a cold, crowded bus on a gray, snowy morning. It’s not hard to be intrigued by the illustrations of rainy days, hotel rooms, outdoor cats, and snow fights. The rare moments of text are equally introspective; with moving tales including learning about a friend’s death after drifting apart years earlier, the memories of a video store, and a list of status updates gathered from a fortnight’s social media postings.
Minor Leagues is a quiet but compelling glimpse into an artist’s life, but done in the ultimate realization of ‘show, don’t tell’ rules. The format of caption-free illustrations allow the reader to build their own intrigue and backstory, while the rare moment of authorial presence add a sublime humanity that is rare, even in the intrinsically personal format that comes along with the zine format. Minor Leagues is a rare delight, a pleasant amble through a talented author’s world. That this is the first issue in a series makes me happy; the world needs more glimpses into the simple pleasures of another’s purview.