Madeline Buck “When Are They Coming Back?”



Madeline Buck,
St. Paul, Minnesota

When Are They Coming Back?
Paper, string, cut-out watercolor paper, ink.
5.5″ x 4.25″ x .5″

Artist Statement

Minnesota pride is both strong and weak. Minnesotans who love their state are very proud, but they can also be a bit lacking in state esteem. Sometimes they move away, in search of something more. But when they do, there’s always something (or someone) pulling them back.

“When Are They Coming Back” is a book about being obsessed with a certain place, so much so that the obsession is pushed upon others. The form of the book emphasizes this, forcing the reader to acknowledge Minnesota, its boxy, pointy shape, with every page turn. Minnesota is not fly-over country, it is not a place to just “be from” and never return. It looks like a little hat, and this zine won’t let you forget it. And if it convinces you to move back home to the place that misses you most, this zine will have served its purpose.
“When Are They Coming Back” is intentionally rough and simple. Minnesotans want you to love their state for the same reasons they do. It has its downsides, it’s not perfect, but at the core it’s a good place.
For me, creating handmade books is a way to tell a story, share a viewpoint. Like comics, the little books allow for a combination of visual and verbal communication. But in the zine/book format, each idea gets its own place, unbothered by the rest of the thoughts. The handmade zine/book is my preferred comic format for this reason.