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JBTK Issue #2 Review

A little less than one year after issue #1, Just Below the Knee (JBTK) released their second issue on February 2, 2020. This issue’s theme was punk. JBTK’s issue #2 included 52 pages of original art, coordinate photos, and articles about punk’s influence on lolita. I also have a short piece in this issue, so please enjoy some shameless self promotion for a project I worked on!

Getting an issue

Gumroad landing page for issue #2

JBTK is distributed through Gumroad. Issue #2 has a suggested price of $1. Gumroad has a simple payment system.  It also has an easy to use interface that definitely works best on tablets, fine on computers, and okay on phones. Once you purchase the issue on Gumroad, you have access to the issue forever in one easy to remember location.

Contents

JBTK Issue #2 Table of Contents

JBTK’s punk issue had 14 pieces from a variety of contributors. This included some fantastic coordinate shots that were truly inspiring and an impressive amount of original art. Some of my  personal favorites were the “Breakdown of a Punk Coordinate” by Erin (Undine Design on Facebook) and collection of coordinate from Josine (@josinemaaike on Instagram).

My favorite article was “The Future is Frilly” by Madeline (@petite_madeline on Instagram). This piece was a long form essay about lolita and the literary/art movement solarpunk. The author lays out the tenants of the movement and how it aligns with the values of lolita. I loved the thoughtful exploration of both alternative fashion and fiction, and I think more researched, critical pieces like this would be great in future issues.

In addition to fielding submissions, creating original art, and pulling together the issues, the editors also found time to have a photoshoot and a “fireside chat” about punk. The photoshoot featured three looks from different models, with brief descriptions of the inspiration for the looks. The photos are all playful and it feels like everyone had a good time with their coordinates. The editors have a great talk contemplating the roots of punk and lolita as well as its future. The fireside chat is freeform and feels like a conversation with friends. 

Conclusion

I liked the focus of this issue of JBTK. Having a unifying theme definitely gave this issue a strong sense of purpose. It was fun to see how different contributors interpreted punk (although I think most people’s interpreted a least one bit of red plaid). Once again, I’m glad that the DIY spirit of lolita allows for publication like this. I hope that we get to see more creativity in issue #3.

If you’d like to read JBTK’s issues, you can find them on Gumroad. You can also follow the zine’s Instagram and Facebook. If you want to support the zine, you can buy them a coffee (and get some cute stickers in return). 

 

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