By Susie Cagle
In Nine Gallons #2, Susie Cagle provides an inside look at her life dealing with social issues. What type of issues? Well, food politics, urban blight, and the new trendy eco pseudo-revolution in San Francisco are her main dishes of educational awareness. Her zine focuses on these but shows how she deals with volunteer burnout, misguided agendas, and activist in-fighting. She cares, but runs into numerous difficulties on the activist philosophy for caring about Mother Earth.
It’s roughly 32 black and white pages and provides funny and interesting moments, but they mostly come from miscommunication or difference of opinions within the various characters the author interacts. Throughout the span of a couple of days, Susie interacts with her roommate, other multiple eco-activists, her superiors, and messengers about her main plights of activism.
The question that essentially pops up in the zine is what the readers get from reading about Susie? It’s an enjoyable tale, but a lot of conversations muck up what the essentials are. Was there a message through her actions or did she gain anything after? I didn’t get it and the zine ends on a whimper after her conversation ends with her roommate finally volunteering for something “selfish” according to Susie. Her conversations were thought-provoking and were definitely argued against by the various characters which make it an interesting read, but the end left me unsatisfied. Here’s hoping her next tales still provide the fun attitude, but with a clearer purpose.