Zine Review: Patron Saints of Clouds by Anna Campomanes

A white woman is holding the zine, Patron Saints of Clouds. Her face is expressive with an open mouth and straight teeth.  The zine is open to the page "The Patron Saint of Cumulonimus Clouds" which has a painting of cloud with a face.

My mind switches into “science and math mode” inevitably and right away like some sort of cape that I imagine pulling over my shoulders just for the occasion of reading Anna’s zine.

[I probably should. It fits small in my hands, so I feel a little playful.]

[I think of my mother who is both an elementary school teacher and an ex-Catholic. I have an art mind with nearly zero propensity toward the natural sciences despite my forever and continual appreciation of beauty. Because of how I was raised and after observing her process of exiting the church, I feel a kindred familiarity toward the very exercise and how it must have felt as Anna created the Patron Saints of Clouds.]

This is an interactive zine.

[My quiet radio programming flits through the sound of highly emotional static electricity to find guttural and then sustained solitary laughter as I hold on here with the zine for just another moment in time.]

I love zines that are handwritten, and that is the main reason that I got into making them and collecting them.

[I think it is important to notice how someone writes and explains their inner world. I have loved whole hoards of handwritten notes over the course of my life. The writers of private journals that have dared to share, light a certain excitement and feeling of inextinguishable longing within me to make myself known and archive others who do. Notes pass through the mail and stay in my wooden boxes and adorn my bookshelves so far as forever can go. I have encountered the louder types who write it all out on the actual wall and decide to settle on never receiving their deposit money back. That guy reminds me of the Patron Saint of Cumulonimbus Clouds.]

I have a whole shelf devoted to zines! Her lettering is a mixture of all caps and a swirling cursive script. I wish that more people put together zines of their work so that I could keep them all closer. Anna’s humor is persistent throughout and her suggestions strong.

The Cloud Saints are all deserving of artful and respectful offerings and include intentions to pair with prayer. She includes many ragtag supplies like cotton balls and things that are often found on the forgotten purse-list of time. Some of the Saint’s associations are actions and performative things to do like ecstatic dance and sky whispering!!! The facts listed are so helpful to remind the reader to keep their feet firmly planted on the ground so that the mind can go into the ever deserving dreaming space where true creativity comes from. Feel allowed. The intentions are mostly about how to impact and relate to a community.

Anna’s art is very expressive and so is she, in real life. She creates new associations like a fanciful scientist or psychologist or witch or all three.

[My mind continues to bustle and make little jokes about religious petitioning as I read Patron Saints. I do have a small collection of the Krishna handouts and witchbooks, though.]

It takes a craftsperson of words to make light of a heavy situation and I so respect her ability to do just that. I think this zine is an act of both playful and potent resistance in the important yet always under-recognized ways of activism, education and alternative and/or independent media distribution that does not rely on a larger establishment to “make it real” or deem it important. This zine is like a friend to keep with you as you go, with many Patron Saints to get to know and activities to do while you make your way along in the unknown, never truly alone.

This zine and others are available in the Muzineum shop. Follow Christina on her instagram @postapocolypticsiren. and follow Anna Campomanes on her instagrams @quillandcompass and @travelling.arrangements.