It's time for Erica and I to just about wrap up the 2012 convention visiting season with our fourth consecutive visit to the Philly Zine Fest, once again held at the Rotunda in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. It's on a Saturday this year, which is nice because it means I don't have to go back to work the following morning!
The Philly Zine Fest is one of my favorite shows, along with its cousin the Richmond Zine Fest, because it has a great variety of exhibitors and guests in a comfortable atmosphere. (Come to think of it, I really only go to shows I like a lot, so saying "one of my favorites" doesn't quite mean as much as it might to others. Sorry about that, but hey, I know quality when I see it and praise it accordingly!)
For those not in the know, zines are traditionally stories written on paper, with a strong home-made feel. They can be essays, fiction, poetry, art, or comics (we see a lot of the latter these days, as I mentioned in my Richmond write-up). The idea is a personal connection between the writer and the reader, with many people following their favorite zinesters for years and years, from issue to issue.
This year, some cool people you should see at the fest include:
Telegram Zine is one of Erica's favorites, as Maranda Elizabeth talks about a variety of subjects every issue, from mental health to writing to other personal issues.
Deafula is one of the best zines I've read in the past few years. Kerri is a young woman who doesn't let the fact that she is deaf prevent her from living her life. She speaks eloquently about a disability that doesn't receive the same attention as others and how the odds are severely stacked against those with hearing loss. An activist zine that doesn't feel preachy, this is a must-read for anyone who hasn't yet.
Displaced Snail Productions/The La La Theory is a combination of my friends Joe and Katie. Joe's a periodic cartoonist and writer while Katie collects "white elephants" from yard sales and flea markets as well as writing linguistic zines. Katie's zines were recently collected into a book by Microcosm.
Our Friend the Atom is a collective of folks who do a variety of comics and other things, from identifying terrible people to memoirs of their younger days. I hear they'll have some new things debuting, if time allows. There should be something for everyone there, and they'll definitely be one of the best of the mini-comic/zines you'll find in terms of craft. These guys take their time and care about what they present.
Erica and I will also be at the Breakfast at Twilight/Secret Identity table, where we will make our last appearance behind the table for the year. We only did two shows this year as tablers, this being the second one. Erica will have her newest issue of Breakfast at Twilight, I'll have the second issue of my personal zine Secret Identity, and of course, we'll have the stuff from friends and others we know as part of Erica's old distro. Feel free to stop by and see us! Hope you enjoy the show!