You Should Go to the DC Zinefest on Saturday, July 28th

If you are in the Washington, DC area and are free this weekend, you definitely should check out the DC Zinefest, going on for its second straight year after a very successful opening last year that we had to miss due to moving closer in to Baltimore.

Located in St. Stephens Church at1525 Newton St. NW, the festival runs from 11am to 5pm and is free to the public.  There will be workshops, per the website, but as of this writing, details are not included.

For those who have never been to a zinefest, the idea is that people who want to share their ideas and feelings in a way that is intimate, unique, and personal (whether in written or illustrative form) get together to meet up from all over a region and share their creations.  Anyone can and is welcome to participate.  Some have been writing about their feelings in this way for over a decade while in other cases, you might run into a person who has written their first zine.  Trading zines is common between those who attend, either as tablers or just walking around.

It's a creative spirit that works in a way that a blog cannot.  There's a personal touch you can't really find online and I say this as a person who really enjoys online content and contact.  The act of committing things to paper just has a different feel to it.

If you've never gone to one before, here's your chance.  While my favorite part of these shows is meeting new people, a few old friend will be around and you should definitely see them.  This list is admittedly more comics-based than zine-based, but that's because I know less people in the DC zine scene.  (Ironically, I know more in Philly and Richmond!)

  • Carolyn Belefski (and possibly Joe Carabeo, if he's back in town) will be there representing their combination work, Curls Studio.  Carolyn and Joe work on several different comic properties together and Carolyn writes and draws the webcomic Curls.  [Joe is probably still off hanging with the Beach Boys, which is incredibly cool.]
  • Deafula is one of my favorite personal zines that I've read in the past few years, and when last I encountered the author, it was on its second issue.  A story of dealing with severe hearing loss and the bullshit that goes along with being at the mercy of a less-than-stellar healthcare industry.  Deafula is one of the best-written zines currently active.
  • Katie-Omberg is a long-time favorite of Panel Patter, and I'm hoping that we'll see a new issue of Gay Kid, Katie's story of growing up and embracing that she is a lesbian.  She also does more light-hearted fare about the trouble with working retail.
  • Matt Dembicki is representing for the DC Conspiracy, a collective of DC-area creators.  He'll have Magic Bullet, their tabloid anthology, on hand.  You should ask him about Xoc, too!  Matt will sadly not be at the Zinefest due to another commitment.  No word as of this writing if someone else from DC Conspiracy will be there in his place.
  • James Cuerto will be around for another comics gathering, Our Friend the Atom.  They're a band of irreverent comic-makers who do the same kind of things we do--just a bit crazier.  Sometimes touching and often hysterically low-brow, they're a fun bunch and worth a look.

Periodic Panel Patter-er Erica and I will be there on Saturday, probably in the morning.  Hopefully we'll see you there at the show!