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Photo by Rizar Yusof

“Eddie discovered one of his childhood’s great truths. Grownups are the real monsters…” –Stephen King, It


he fear, loneliness, momentary happiness, hurt, and memories we have experienced and collected are the basis of our journey. From our childhood, it has led us to here – our present. We owe a lot to our young selves for handling a load of pressure to make life-changing decisions. This issue is a collection of memories – good and bad – that molded us into us. A lot of artists weren’t able to complete their submissions, due to the sensitivity of the theme. We are very fortunate to have Nisah as part of the BDZ family, who happens to be an outstanding artist and graphic designer. She did such an awesome job putting this zine together. It’s a lot of work, and each artist has been presented well. To that, BDZ owes this issue to you. Here’s another collection from this art collective of hungry artists – from our imaginations to yours. –Ritz

sherard simon



middle school Do I love you? Or do I like the idea of it? An idea that was never mine but an idea that is a road to rite But what seems right was a passage I could never comprehend Where the roles in this play is that we have to pretend Because being real is only for the lonely And immoral is the new holy Like orange is the new black Prisoner of values leaves mental lashes like whips to a slave on his back As my mind is enslaved on starting value wanting you Valuing wanting to hold you Valuing wanting to taste you But like opportunity I missed you Sorry for my emotional thoughts I forget life is like Snapchat and we’re protecting our mechanical hearts An idea that I should have had Instead of vicariously dreaming of what could have been So to answer my question: Do I love you? My answer to you: I never did

meidiana agita Illustration


Photography/ Words i.anomaly

kid at heart M

eet my buddy Alvaro, a successful IT Telecom Supervisor in his late 20’s. When Al is not busy resetting your system log-ins or rebooting your wifi during the day, he is out there shredding the streets in his bmx bike! He calls himself, a “Jibholic”! Al’s hobby turned into passion overtime. “Like anything else, it was scary at first, but as soon as I got the hang of it – I couldn’t get enough!” He spends a lot of his

weekends busting bunny hops over the flat no real way to brake (because I couldn’t lands or tail whipping empty lots that turn reach). I fell A LOT, but always got back up!” into an obstacle course, once the sun sets. Al is a living example to all of us who are Al owes it all to his dad who grew up fixing afraid to feel young at heart, or feel silly to and riding bikes. His father introduced bike keep old childhood “traditions” alive. riding to him, and his siblings, at a very young age. As we become older, and more conscious, we might not feel right with this world His dad started him raw with no training as we used to as kids, but life is full of wheels! “I actually learned on a big ass obstacle courses to tread and fall from – mountain bike going down a driveway, with we just have to get back up!

Model : Alvaro Ocampo




giants big, small, tall, thin they come in all sizes deep pockets, it seems – booming voices, and every thing they tower, so much they punish and they judge criticize, when you’re a bit much don’t fear so much for when you grow, it is all gonna be clear why they are just so bizarre.

GUILLOTINE there will be a day in the years to come when you don’t need your crayons; you won’t look cute when you yawn your days will be long it won’t end at nine PM or six AM your sleep will be taken by boys – or girls – and latest trends life’s little pleasures, like cereal and TV will be a distant memory like your old Aunt Sophie the world is your oyster whatever that means but when you’re bigger you know it’s a smokescreen …Guillotine. so take your time to grow your little body there is no rush to be Somebody


Photography, Styling, Art Direction byrizsof

Witchy child put a spell on me And there ain’t no way I can be freed I’ve been imprisoned by your demon lust Cursed by your black magic touch It ain't easy but you've got to change your evil ways

Cindy Medrano




e all have those moments when we get to sit back and reminisce about our most unforgettable childhood memories. I was fortunate enough to sit down with Yesenia, this month’s featured artist and regular staff of Brain Damage Zine, and take a trip down memory lane. For this issue, Yesenia showed us her interpretation of her most inspiring childhood memories. She describes her earliest encounter with art being influenced by her uncle. He would encourage her to draw as a form of “distraction.” Although, she claims she was not a “bad kid” this was a way for him to get her to do something quietly. Yesenia describes this issue’s cover art as “a composite of a bunch of memories”,

such as a caboodle box she owned.” As a young girl, Yesenia owned many boxes. This particular box held the most sentimental value for her because both her and her sisters each owned their own. Growing up with sisters, she was used to getting hand-me-downs but this particular box was something that was bought just for her. She would keep everything in there, including a razor. The razor which you can find depicted in her art, represents a memory of her seeing her dad and uncle using the razor to shave. Trying to emulate them both, she accidentally cut herself with it. She never saw the cuts, she said. All she can recall from that incident was the stinging that followed. She was not even sure if her mom was aware then of what had

Top left: Self-portrait, mixed medium Top right: “Cranksgiving” poster for the Thanksgiving bike event, 2015 Bottom: Yesenia, working on this issue’s cover

occurred, because it was her aunt who came to her rescue instead. Incidents like these was why her uncle would push her to draw; to avoid getting into predicaments. “I swear I was a good kid!” Yesenia, who is a self-proclaimed procrastinator said she enjoyed being able to do what she simply felt like doing. With Brain Damage, she liked the fact that she is always free to do her own thing. “It’s liberating to have the full artistic freedom, because the concept is given, but you are still able to work with freedom and making it your own piece,” she said.

Yesenia enjoys drawing because she can put it away. She hates that her art is never finished, she says, and that is why she doesn’t sell it. Working with food is enjoyable for her, because unlike her art, food has an end point. At one point, procrastination was an issue for her. She went through a period where she would leave things unfinished. Now, she has changed. Besides art, Yesenia enjoys baking, eating, and walking her dog, Mona. Be sure to check out her past and future work on Brain Damage’s page!

Top: Mona, in pencil, Bottom: Cake and fondant

Butterfly cookies

Rafael Chamagua Illustration

nisah ja’afar




Nicholas Vasquez Words

The lenses in the glasses were made of purity. It made the world likable. It made you half okay. Now that the glasses are broken, I only see shards of you I like. I scream for my loss. I scream questions I know will be answered by no one. I push the small broken pieces of glass into my eyes. The world is now half broken and tinted a beautiful soothing red. I laugh at my inability to tell the difference between good and evil, love and hate. I go deep into the woods. As I go deeper, the trees grow thicker and I travel farther into my mind. Just as a sweet memory makes me smile, I find her. She has not changed. Her dress is now that same beautiful red that is now so familiar. I dare not kiss my sleeping beauty. If she didn't wake up, I would be alone. So i watch her sleep. I know were I am. This is the place I will die; next to her; A smiling boy with hope in his heart and glass in his eyes.



Background photo credit:

SHINICHIROU AZUMA (Kobe, Japan) Age: 14 Years Active: March 16 and May 24, 1997 Also Known As: “Seito Sakakibara”, “The Kobe School Killer” Kill Count: 2 Victims: Ayaka Yamashita (10) and Jun Hase (11) Method of Killing: Beheading and Mutilation CHILDHOOD Seito displayed signs of being mentally at a very young age and although his mother was warned about this by social workers, nothing was done in the matter. Seito showed a fascination with cutting weapons in elementary and soon began exhibiting extreme cruelty to animals- running over frogs, mutilating cats and decapitating pigeons. All acts of violence ultimately culminating in the gruesome murders of two children. PUNISHMENT Sent to the special medical reformatory for juvenile offenders from October, 1997 – March 11, 2004.

Claudia Hernandez Words

JESSE POMEROY (Massachusetts, US) Age: 14 Years Active: February, 1874 – April, 1874 Also Known As: “The Boston Boy Fiend”, “The Boy Torturer” Kill Count: 2 Victims: Katie Curran (10) and Horace Millen (4) Method of Killing: Stabbing CHILDHOOD Jesse had a seemingly normal childhood. However, he can be described as being innately sadistic and psychopathic. Prior to his arrest for killing, Jesse took immense joy in torturing and mutilating other boys ages four to eight. He would lure them into remote areas and then proceed to beat and stabbing his victims, some of whom were physically scarred for life (not to mention emotionally as well). PUNISHMENT Death penalty (by hanging) in 1875, later changed to life in prison in solitary confinement in 1876, and finally reduced to life in prison in 1917.

MARY BELL (London, UK) Age: 11 Years Active: May – July 1968 Also Known As: “The Tyneside Strangler” Kill Count: 2 Victims: Martin Brown (4) and Brian Howe (3) Method of Killing: Strangulation and Mutilation CHILDHOOD   Mary Bell's mother was a mentally unstable prostitute who on multiple occasions attempted to kill Mary as a young child and then made it look accidental. At just four years old, Mary was forced into prostitution by her own mother.

Background photo credit:

PUNISHMENT 12 years in prison

ARMADEEP SADA (Bihar, India) Age: 8 Years Active: 2006- 2007 Also Known As: “India’s Youngest Serial Killer”, “Mini Serial Killer” Kill Count: 3 Victims: His cousin (6 mths old), his sister (8 mths old), and neighbor’s daughter (6 mths old). Method of Killing: Strangulation and beating with a brick CHILDHOOD Son of an impoverished Indian couple, Armadeep is described as suffering from conduct disorder, wherein a person feels a sense of gratification upon inflicting injuries on others. He has no sense of right and wrong. PUNISHMENT Unknown (However, according to Indian law, he may have only served 3 years in prison as a child murderer).



illustration/ Words i.anomaly

“I know I envied him at one point. I wanted to do everything he was allowed to do and get away with it.�



veryone’s childhood is a Pandora’s box of irrefutable memories, be it good or bad. It is also where we first meet and fight our monsters. I met my first monster in 1st grade at Trinity Christian Chinese School. A mentally ill first grader named Jake – my first bully. Just like any other child, my dreams were simple. I rocked the bowl haircut (my mother’s version of Demi Moore’s pixie cut in ‘Ghost’), and got punched in the face a lot – I grew up with two brothers. In Trinity, my older brother was in the same Chinese level as I was; he excelled at it. Chinese was his pride and joy because he pretty much failed the rest of his classes. I, on the other hand, was horrible at Chinese, but excelled in everything else. I was a straight ‘A’ student, yet I managed to become every Asian parent’s nightmare; I was horrible in Chinese and Math. So, my mother asked my

older brother to let me cheat off of his work; he reluctantly agreed. I first met Jake in one of our Chinese exams. He was casually walking around the room that day, looking at everyone’s paper for answers. I recall vividly how he stopped by my desk and said, “I am not copying from you, for sure!” insulting my hard earned answers! I mean, yeah….they were all wrong.

I know I envied him at one point. I wanted to do everything he was allowed to do and get away with it. However, Jake’s disability was not tolerated in a private Chinese/Filipino Christian school, especially back then. Once in a while, you can find Jake duct taped and tied to a chair. In the US, this is considered abuse, but at that time – it was just fucking funny. Everyone laughed and Jake enjoyed his spotlight. His parents knew about it, but with their ignorance regarding proper care with the mentally ill left them as frustrated as the teachers.   Anyway, when our Chinese mid-term came, it was brutal! I reminded my brother about our little agreement. But on our previous test, I scored higher than he did, and he was not happy about it. He started to protest, which escaladed to arguing. Naturally, our scuffle caught Jake’s attention, and this marked my second encounter with him. He started making fun of me for not knowing my Chinese – to tell you the truth; he was doing better in Chinese than I was. He may have been a savant because he was also better in Math than me. Or maybe I just sucked. Anyway, Jake then turned to my older brother and started making fun of him too, calling him a pushover and a sissy. This infuriated my brother, and in the heat of the moment, my brother stabbed my hand with his freshly sharpened No. 2 pencil.  My brother was possessed that day! I still remember the pain. I blinked my chinky eyes in disbelief and let out a loud wail 3 seconds later. I cried all the way to the nurse’s office and my brother got the belt from my parents later. Jake, on the other hand, was very pleased with his handy work and skipped his way to recess.

rich and snobby half Chinese kids at school. I wanted to go home to the province, to play with my backyard bugs and raid my mom’s cabinet of R rated books. I was sick like that.… Finally, on what seemed like an eternity, the last day of school had finally arrived. The recess bell rang. It was October 29, 1990 – 12:03 PM – only hours away to freedom!

The wind blew freely through my bowl haircut as I waited for my brother in the lunch hall for our last lunch in that wretched school. Months passed by, and I could not get rid of I was dragging my Voltron (look it up) lunch this kid. He made sure he stopped by for his box around by its strap. It was a little bigger than the average lunch box, so it had wheels daily insults, and paper throwing. on the bottom. This was the day where Jake’s verbal abuse would turn physical. He I was homesick a lot. I loathed the roach infested city and never made friends with the saw me in the lunch hall, with my ultra-cool

there. My vision blurred and my world spun.  I heard voices in the back, and one of them belonged to Jake saying, “It wasn’t even her lunchbox.”  I remember balling my hand into a tight fist, and promising to land it on his face as soon as my face stopped bleeding but I passed out.

robot lunch box and was immediately drawn to it, “Let me see it.” “No”, I said. ”Let me see it, it’s not even yours!” he said. “Yes, it is mine”, I responded. “It’s blue. It’s for boys, so it’s your brother’s. Give it to me!” he yelled back as he tugged at the strap. We had a scuffle for about 10 seconds, as I fought for my food and lunch box. He eventually won.  He started swinging my lunch box in the air like a lasso. I was scrambling, worried that I wouldn’t have lunch and would also need to explain to a pissed off sibling why his food was gone, as well. I inched closer and closer towards Jake, now looking like a crazy special cowboy. I was hoping to be able to stop the blue box from spinning and magically catch it.  Naturally, this plan failed. The blue box hit my face right where Voltron’s bionic fist was illustrated.  The impact of the speed and velocity at which my lunchbox was being spun, combined with its weight, hit me in the mouth like a rock! It made it bleed like the Palawan Falls. I’m pretty sure it was one of the wheels that did the trick. I was rushed to the nurse’s office crying. I was becoming a regular for bloody injuries

I never stepped foot inside Trinity Christian School, nor saw Jake ever again, because by 2nd grade, I was transferred to a closer private school in the province.  My time in Trinity was short, yet it made a huge impact in my childhood.  I didn’t really learn anything from the experience; didn’t hate more, nor loved less.  It was simply a memorable moment and an awesome reminder. It reminds me that laughter and happiness can be easily taken away in as little as 10 seconds!  I was robbed of happiness by a flying blue lunch box at a young age. This is not a lesson, but a simple fact. I did imagine him being declared as mentally stable after grade school.  I pictured him getting over his learning disabilities, having a wife and semi-disabled kids from poor genes, and is probably now a rich owner of an import export business in the Philippines, inherited from his guilt ridden parents.  Wherever he is, I do hope we never cross paths in the future, because rest assured, I will beat the shit out of that mongoloid.

Ryan Laughlin



Shady HarbingeRr Words



he liked banging on doors. The loud pounding reverberated through her body making her heart jump. She liked that feeling. Walls didn’t have the same effect when she hit them. The holes that her tiny fists made were pretty to look at but they didn’t make her heart feel that same jolt that a door did, they were too hollow. Every once in a while she would strike hard and long enough to make Daddy yell at her. This would make her angry, then flashes of her mother would cross her mind. “Stop causing a ruckus. Little girls who cause a ruckus attract unwanted attention.” Mommy would say. She missed her mother. Daddy wouldn’t allow her to see Mommy anymore. He said that she wasn’t well enough and that he needed to make her better.

up, or why she couldn’t feel her heart unless she was beating on doors. She liked that feeling so much, it reminded her of Mommy’s heart that one time she felt it through her mother’s chest when she squeezed too tightly and made Mommy stop moving. She didn’t mean to hurt her mother, but she was crying and screaming, and she wanted it to stop. She knew she wasn’t supposed to go into her parent’s bedroom, but Mommy wasn’t supposed to be awake. Laying there in those handcuffs, her mother looked so uncomfortable. She wanted her to feel better so she unfastened the padded leather restraints. She couldn’t know what would happen, all she wanted was a hug. Mommy was being so mean, calling her so many hurtful names, it just made her so upset. Mommy was supposed to love her unconditionally like she had before the accident.

She knew what she did to her mother was awful and her father was trying to fix it, but she didn’t quite understand. There were a lot She didn’t remember much about the fall. of things that she didn’t understand, like why She was playing at the top of the stairs, all the windows in the house were boarded then she was tumbling and that was it. She

“Stop causing a ruckus. Little girls who cause a ruckus attract unwanted attention.”

recalled more about what happened after, although not much more. There were tubes and medical devices that frightened her. Daddy cut her open, she saw parts of her that he was taking out and replacing with other parts from a body lying beside her on the kitchen table. She had a brief memory of her parents arguing. “I’m trying to save our daughter’s life, Lydia!” her father screamed at her mother. “You saw her fall, Richard! We should’ve called an ambulance. She didn’t have a pulse!” Mommy yelled at him. “I can heal her!” he shot back. “You’re a doctor, not God! THAT is not our daughter anymore! THAT is some sort of monster you created from her corpse! Hope is dead!” He hit her mother, then kept hitting her. The memory got fuzzy after that. The next thing she remembered was waking up in her bed with Daddy sitting on the edge staring at her. “How are you feeling?” She remembered her throat being dry and the word “Ok” croaking out. Her father hugged her so firmly at that moment that she felt her insides slosh around a bit. It felt strange but not unpleasant. “Where’s Mommy?” Hope asked. Her father’s eyes grew grim. “She’s in bed. She’s not well.” he said coldly. “Is she

sick? Can I see her?” Hope questioned. “No, sweetheart. She’s not sick but she’s having a hard time. She isn’t up to being a mommy right now. Until I can…help her, you need to stay out of our bedroom.” he said sternly. Later on that day Daddy nailed plywood to the inside of all the windows. Hope knew that she wasn’t the same after that, her body felt numb. She would flail her limbs, run around the house, even jump on her bed, all in attempts to feel something. The only feeling she managed was the same bizarre sloshing inside that she felt when Daddy hugged her. Her frustration over the course of the weeks that followed built up and she began hitting walls. The pain was dreadful but she felt it, at least that was something. Then she struck her bedroom door, that’s when she felt her heart thump for the first time. Hope spent most of her days obsessively banging on doors and missing her mother from then on. She didn’t mean to hurt her mother, she just hadn’t seen her since she woke up. She knew that Daddy was mending Mommy the way that he mended Hope and this made her ecstatic. She couldn’t wait until she and Mommy could bang on doors together.


Cindy Medrano

Claudia Hernandez


Meidiana Agita

Nicholas Vasquez

Nisah Ja’afar

Rafael Chamagua

Rizar Yusof

Ryan Laughlin






Shady Harbingerr shadyharbingerr


Sherard Simon walter_graphics

Yesenia Alvarado yes_oh

yesenia alvarado Cover Illustration yes_oh

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Childhood - Issue 4  

This issue is a collection of memories – good and bad – that molded us into us.

Childhood - Issue 4  

This issue is a collection of memories – good and bad – that molded us into us.