Though the days of couples carving their initials into treestumps and undeniable love-at-first-sight reside only in fiction, the fact is, you can't deny the appeal of falling in love while wrapping yourself in a Snuggie and slurping instant noodle soup. Online dating services allow users to construct and hide behind tippy-top versions of themselves and simultaneously lust over the photoshopped versions others. While one could argue that these websites such as OK Cupid attempt to build love from sham, statistics show that online dating was the root of 17% of last year's marriages.
So, I ask, what happens when "About Me"s and couples paired through computer algorithms enter the real world?
New zines have just arrived at the Barnard Zine Collection that attempt to provide some perspective of the online dating world, IRL.
So, this is what it's come to-- : a comic zine about the trials and tribulations of OK Cupid tells the tales of four comic artists fateful experience with online dating, such as one contributor's horrific date with a crust punk in a graveyard. The zine features comics of offline legends Liz Prince, Ramsey Everydaypants, Leslie Perrine, and Jim Kettner.
A series to check out (literally, go for it, their in the public stacks!) is Kim Gee Comics. FIT student Kim Gee unsuccessfully attempts to rebound from her failed relationship with men she meets online, yet also simultaneously attempts to ween off and find love without the aid of the world wide web.
But coming from Alana and David with their zine Blind Date and Cyborg Sweetie, HTMLovers still have hope. After honestly owning up to their disabilities (her diabetes and his visual impairment) on their OK Cupid profiles, the couple established an open flow of communication that would be the foundation for the rest of their relationship. Despite the option to hide their disabilities on their online profiles, the zine focuses on how they have integrated their impairments into their relationship.
All these zines can be found and checked out on the first floor of the Wollman Library at the Barnard Zine Collection. Additional, non-circulating copies are available in the Barnard Archives.
See for yourself what you think of online love offline.
-- jaclyn may horowitz, zine assistant