What is ‘NORMAL’?
The short answer: a desi-queer Horror zine. The long answer? NORMAL is Gaysi’s latest offering, is a zine of 18 diverse pieces that celebrates Horror in all its glory from a queer perspective, steeped in Indianness and served with a side of shock and surprise.
After an intense four months in the making, that included ideating, putting out a call out for entries, commissioning, editing, designing, crowdfunding, experimenting with form, NORMAL is finally ready for the world.
‘An intense feeling of fear, shock, or disgust’ is how the dictionary explains ‘horror’. But in our opinion, these feelings simply scratch the surface of what ‘horror’ can be. Horror is everything that doesn’t quite ‘fit in’ with societal norms; it is a celebration of our biggest fears, an acknowledgement of our realities with the volume slightly turned up. It can hold a mirror up to some of our biggest failures as a society and also take a dig at these failures in a literally ‘bloody’ environment. It tests the limits of our imagination, while also making zombies dance.
The idea behind NORMAL was to not only pay homage to the genre of horror – from some of its cult tropes, to taking it in extreme spaces – but do it while holding on to an inherently Indian, desi, voice. Moreover, it is a genre that imbibes nonconformity and countless manifestations of extremities and everything in the middle. And yet, it was surprising that we still only keep seeing heteronormative characters and their stories in almost every iteration of a horror narrative in India. NORMAL is an attempt to bring about this change. And this diversity in content and treatment could only come about when the contributors and the people putting it together had clarity on what they were setting out to achieve.
Within the pages of this ambitious zine, you will find pieces like Rashmi Ruth Devadasan’s The Legend of Rani Grace, an original love story inspired by traditional folklore, as well as Joshua Muyiwa’s Wrist Action, an urban slasher set in the busy, traff*cked streets of Bengaluru. Among some of the most detailed and vivid graphic pieces that depict unique takes on issues of gender, identity, violence, homophobia, by Anshumaan Sathe, Tora and Alafiya Hasan, you will also find ghosts on dating apps. With pieces like Kiss Me Again by Pooja Krishnakumar and The Spiral by Shruti Bhiwandiwala, we’ve tried to defy the limits of visual narratives, while Glitch by Kokaachi and For Your Eyes Only by Aniruddha Mahale are irreverent explorations on the horrors of living in the closet.
Apart from celebrating horror, NORMAL – like all previous Gaysi zines – is a means to amplify diverse, and especially queer writers and stories in India.
Please note: All orders will be dispatched within 7 days of receiving.
For International Delivery: Please write to us at <firstname.lastname@example.org> with the subject line ‘Booking NORMAL – (mention the number of copies)’, and we will take it forward from there.