|Longshot of the Zine Fest|
We arrived a bit late, with I-95 traffic being its usual annoying self, but soon were seated right at the heart of the show. This was actually our first time tabling in 2012, and that always gives us a different perspective on the show.
One of the things that's interesting to me is to see how the Richmond Zine Fest has changed over time. When we first attended, back in 2008 (on the same trip that ended with my proposing to Erica!), there was a very large focus on text zines, mostly of a personal nature. There were several large distros who had a significant presence, including Microcosm and Parcell Press. A few mini-comics were available, but they were few and far between.
|Nicole and Click Clack Distro|
I don't know what this means, really. Zines are a strange animal, not unlike Vinyl. The idea of putting how you feel on paper instead of creating a digital record, such as a blog or tweet is a limited appeal. I wouldn't say the age range of zinesters is creeping upward--there were plenty of tablers who were younger, and the same goes for the audience we saw at the time.
|I Love Bad Movies Table|
They aren't, kids. I saw several that needed more polish before I'd consider reading them. While self-publishing means you can easily put anything out there, that doesn't mean you should. Show some respect for yourself and your work by taking the time to edit, look for ways to improve, and only giving copies when you feel it's ready.
|Kerri of the Deafula Zine|
Going to conventions is often like attending mini-reunions, and this was no exception. Erica and I were happy to get to chat with Rob, Nicole, Matt and Kseniya from I love Bad Movies, the gang from Our Friend the Atom, and other folks who we only know from sight by seeing them in Richmond every year, either as participants or visitors.
While the culture of the Richmond Zine Fest is definitely changing slowly over time, it's still a great show that has an awesome venue in the Richmond Gay Community Center (where it is planning to return in 2013), amazing support from the staff, and an open, comfortable space that is welcoming (and makes me want to play bingo). I love going every year and looking to discover new folks, and even if this year was a little short in that regard, I'm already looking forward to attending next year.
You should be, too.
More pictures from the Richmond Zine Fest are available on my Flickr page.