Connecticut-based zine crew Emily takes us through her flight attendant (FA) career from dreaming it to doing it, to having done it so long she can provide answers to a host of frequently asked questions. Btw if you think you're being original when asking a stew if they're still flying the friendly skies, it's possible that you're maybe not the first person to think of that joke!

photo of Big Wing Little Wing #5: a Sioux Lookout, Ont map with the title stamped or letterpressed across it in red


This zine-of-the-month designation came after I read the most recent zine in the series, #5, from 2016 in which Emily answers FAQ about

  • coworkers - did you know FAs, who are poorly paid, are likely to supplement their earnings by participating in multilevel marketing schemes? Emily supplements her stew salary with owning a record shop, which, combined with flying, she confesses is her dream life.
  • celebrity sightings - Emily flies commuter routes, so she doesn't necessarily meet big-time celebs. That doesn't mean she doesn't confess her love to a PBS star when she gets the change.
  • carry-on - have you ever wondered what a flight attendant has in tidy little her rollaboard? I hadn't thought to, but the answer is still interesting.
  • crash pads - there are different kinds: hot and cold. Either way, be prepared for passive-aggressive notes and shady landlords. Now that Emily has better shifts than she did in the beginning, she gave up the crash pad for a cheap apartment in her favorite city, and is always prepared to go there if she gets unexpected time off.

Being an unrepentant workaholic, I love hearing about people's jobs, but I think others will appreciate Emily's intelligence, sense of humor, airplane drawings, cloud photographs, and general style, even if they aren't fascinated by stew life. The zine is color printed, and previous issues have extra doodads hanging off them. I love the story, in presumably the first issue, of Emily working her ramekins off to desensitize herself to peanuts because who ever heard of a flight attendant with a raging peanut allergy?

Unfortunately, Emily doesn't have an BWLWs in her shop right now. She has other thisses and thats for people who love mail, justice, flight patterns, and friends.

review by Jenna, who, full disclosure, is friendquaintes with Emily, though they've never met in person, and hopes to run into Emily in the air one day