April 23, 2014

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You Should Go To the Brooklyn Zine Fest April 26th and 27th, 2014

It's a little hard to believe that I've known Matt and Kseniya for over five years now, back when "I Love Bad Movies" was only in its first edition, but it's true. I've seen it expand to multiple issues, watched them oversee a movie night related to the zines and now organizing a highly successful (and mini-comic/zine star-studded) festival in Brooklyn every year.

While I never managed to make it myself, and now I'm too far away, I wanted to call attention to this year and encourage anyone in the area to try to make it down to the show. They're trying out something new this time: Each day of the show features an entirely different line-up of exhibitors! I've never heard of doing this before, and I am really curious to see how it works out. The big advantage to this--for those who can make both days--is it allows the show to have 150 exhibitors in a space that normally fits only 75.

Held at the Brooklyn Historical Society, in addition to the creators at their tables, there will be two events held leading up to the show and a few panels during the weekend.

First up is a talk about zines and mixed heritage:
Thursday, April 24th at 7pm / FREE, All Ages:Zines from the Borderlands: Storytelling about Mixed-HeritageFeaturing four Brooklyn Zine Fest exhibitors, this panel will discuss questions like, How can zines create new narratives and representations for mixed-heritage people, LGBTQ communities, and people of color? and, What is the role of zines, DIY and self-publishing within marginalized communities?
 On Friday, there's a reading performance and party, starting at 8pm with an $8 cover charge. It's all ages, but alcohol will be served to the 21+ crowd, so plan accordingly.

Saturday features a discussion about queer and trans zinesters:
Queer & Trans* Zinesters (Saturday 4/26 at 4:30pm)
For some of us, the first time we connected with queer people was through zines. How do queer zinesters — especially queer people of color — tell their stories? How do zines build queer community (or not)? Listen to these panelists speak on how queer and trans* identities appear (or don’t appear) in their zines and how zine culture figures into the rest of their lives.
Featuring: Nia King, Daniela Capistrano, Sarah Mae Allard, and Amos Mac
And Sunday has two more panels:
Collecting Zines (Libraries, Archives, & Collectives) (Sunday 4/27 at 1pm)
Zines are often thought of as impermanent; most have a very limited distribution and are not expected to be distributed forever. However, there are many large and growing zine libraries, archives, and public collections that are making zines more permanent and lengthening their “shelf life.” On this panel, we will be discussing the ethics of zine collecting and how collectors go about their work.
Featuring: Jenna Freedman, Robin Enrico, and Kathleen McIntyre 
Anonymity (Sunday 4/27 at 3pm)
What are the benefits/drawbacks of being a “public zinester”? Some zinesters find that the material they put out might change their relationships with other people if it was put under their real name; some just find it to be part of “zine culture” to be mysterious. Do you put your real name on your zine? Come find out what our panelists have to say about and share your own experiences with anonymity.
Featuring: Carnage NYC, Research & Destroy New York City, and Deafula
As usual when previewing a show, I like to point out who you should see. This is the first time I've had to split it into days!

SATURDAY:

The I Love Bad Movies zine is for anyone who's ever sat down and watched some truly terrible films and loved every minute of them. Filled with short reviews of some really awful films, this is a great series that you shouldn't miss out on.

Paper Rocket mini-comics has exactly what it says. Home of some great compilation minis like "This Isn't Working,", they are definitely a group to check out.

So Buttons is writer Jonathan Baylis working with a wide variety of creators, including Noah Van Sciver and Fred Hembeck, telling stories of his life that are engaging and touching, and often funny, too. This one's for fans of Harvey Pekar, though it's definitely a lot less bleak!

SUNDAY:

The La-La Theory is writer (and flea market maven) Katie Haegele, another zinester I've known since I got involved via Erica several years ago. She's collected my favorite series of hers, White Elephants, into a book, and also has other projects involving language, interviews, and other things.

Deafula is a zinester who discusses the ins and outs of being differently abled in America. At times it's angry, hopeful, and funny, as she explains to the rest of the world just what it's like to live in a culture that is anything but hospitable to those who have physical challenges of any kind. Highest possible recommendation on this one.

Steve Seck is one of my best friends in the mini-comics field. I'm not sure if his wife Sara will be there or not, but the pair are a creative force who couldn't possibly work in more different parts of the genre. Steve's work is all about unpleasant characters doing things you know--and they know--they shouldn't, while Sara's is mostly about really cute cats with jobs. If you are an MST3K fan, run, don't walk to this table and get Steve's new print, featuring a whole host of your favorite creators and characters from the movies they attacked over the years.

Marguerite Dabaie is a friend of Steve and Sara, and is an amazing artist in her own right. I reviews her latest series, A Voyage to Panjikant, recently. and it's gorgeous and full of detail. Make sure you stop by!

Liz Prince is one of the best at writing frankly about relationships in her autobiographical work. She reminds me quite a bit, even down to the style, once upon a time, of Jeffrey Brown. Her new collection with Top Shelf should be available when you see her at the show.

Ray Ray Books is the small press imprint of Cody Pickrodt, who also writes and draws the comic series Reptile Museum. You can learn more about him from this interview Rob Kirby conducted for Panel Patter.

I hope you make it to the show and have a great time! You can find more information on the show at its website.