Philly Zinefest 9-20-09

My wife and I ended our recent vacation by going to the Philly Zinefest, which was held in the historic Rotunda building, which is absolutely pretty...

...but also almost impossible to find because the only thing saying "The Rotunda" is this tiny little sign:

However, once we got there, it was a fun experience. My wife runs the Black Light Diner distro, and will be happy to see that I have finally given her a shameless plug. Her distro focuses on comic zines primarily, though she does carry other zines and music here and there.

I refer to myself as the "hired help" for the distro, assting her here and there with ordering decisions and co-working the table with her. We often joke that I do better at the table because in my "real" life, I deal a lot with sales.

It was a good day for her, and I think a lot of the other tables at the fest, as a steady stream of traffic came by, and not all of it was just other zinesters looking to trade. I did not spend a lot of time looking around, being tired after a lot of driving. My wife, however, picked up a little over two dozen zines for our collection and I look forward to reading them soon.

As the Fest notes on its website, there was quite a variety of material. Fiction zines stood side by side with the usual range of perzines and the "quality" of the printed material ranged from "I used my printing budget at the college" to bound works that even had an ISBN number. Others had crafts for sale, and the vegan food table appeared to have sold out of its supply.

I also greatly appreciate that the organizers had a DJ with mixing equipment who kept the sound at a reasonable level while also using a variety of music, mostly from the 80s, that was pleasant to the ear without seeming out of place. It was the kind of music you noticed here and there, smiled, and moved on with what you're doing. I thought that was a nice touch.

We had a good time at the fest, even if we had to leave a bit early, and I would definitely try to go again if we can. If you're nearby next year and want to see some ground-level creative work that is often innovative and very entertaining, check it out.