Convention season is sadly winding down for Erica and I, as we once again got stuck in DC traffic but still made it in plenty of time to enjoy the company of friends and community of the Richmond Zinefest. This was our third year at the zinefest, and our second time at the Gay Community Center.
One of the sad things for me about the Richmond Zinefest is that it seems to have a hard time finding just the right venue. I did not care for last year's location due to its cramped quarters and multiple levels, but it was right in Richmond. As you can see below, the Community Center is nice and big, giving room for lots of people and conversation. It also rocks an amazing disco ball.
The trouble is, it's not near anything, so you have to know there's a zinefest going on in order to walk in and participate. The center's thrift store adds some traffic, but you have to be in the know in order to go, as it were. I really wish there was a place for the fest that had the one-floor stylings of the center and the proximity to people of the other place.
If I had to go for one or the other though, it would be the Community Center. It's a nice space with clean bathrooms, a solid parking lot, and I know the money is going to a good purpose.
The show itself still managed to get a lot of traffic despite being off the beaten path. Black Light Diner distro had a very strong day, both in sales and conversation. (I am finally getting the hang of working a table in aid of my wife, I think!) It was good to see Nicole from Click Clack Distro, even better to not see Microcosm, and I was able to chat with the folks from I Love Bad Movies and Matt Dembicki.
I was a big fan of I Love Bad Movies #1, and am delighted to know that it's now in its third issue. Look for a review soon. Dembicki also had a new mini comic, about the Brewmaster's Castle in Washington, DC. This is a collaboration again, and the work is just as good as all of Matt's other books I've read so far. Definitely grab either of these books if you find them.
My only disappointment is that there were less zines and mini-comics in general and a lot more books or informational booths. I didn't pick much up at the fest at all, and these fests are times when I want to find new artists or writers. There were a lot of things people had clearly worked hard on, they just weren't in my circle of interest. That's no offense to them--it's just a matter of personal taste.
Actually, I lied. There were two disappointments. This awesome game wasn't running:
Tell me you don't want to drive to Richmond and play this game. Go on and try!
All in all, Richmond is always a fun trip, and I'm glad we went down, even if that drive kills me every time, no matter where I'm starting from. I'm hopeful that next year, there'll be a few more mini-comic creators to peruse and a few more personal zines that catch my fancy. Now to brace myself for that awful drive back...