We’ve got a fresh batch of photos from official Brooklyn Zine Fest 2013 photographer Steve McFarland, highlighting the great interactions and paper-based joy of this year’s event. We really love how Steve managed to capture the excitement felt by both attendees and exhibitors throughout the day. Looking through these, we’re instantly reminded of the awesome time we had and the amazing people we got to meet. See you next year!
Many more can be found on our Photos page, but here’s a sampling of the day for your enjoyment:
Erich and Ray of FAQNP
Ali from the GLAAD-nominated blog Autostraddle visited the Brooklyn Zine Fest 2013 and discovered the community-building power of self-published magazines. Read her essay “I Went To Brooklyn Zine Fest, Had Feelings, Found Three More Zines You Should Read“ for detailed profiles of three queer zines and their makers from this year’s BZF, as well as the story of Ali’s long-in-the-making appreciation of the medium:
“I think the way I felt here pretty much summarizes what Brooklyn Zine Fest is all about: the feeling that I have found my people.”
Homos in Herstory by Elvis Bakaitis
For the second year in a row, magazine-about-zines Broken Pencil visited the Brooklyn Zine Fest and came out with a great write-up showcasing several BZF tablers. We love this moment they witnessed, illustrating the actual effect zines can have on their readers:
“A man with wild gray hair told me how much fun he’d just had [at the] Zine Fest and showed me a button for Deafula, a zine written by a woman named Kerri who’s deaf. The man told me his own wife was going deaf, and finding a zine and this button for her made his day. ‘How awesome is this?’ he says as he left.”
And this year the New York Observer made its way down to the Fest, where they captured the diversity, professionalism, and whimsy of it all at once:
“Indeed, the Zine Fest was nothing if not well curated. The stapled, drawn booklets ranged in their level of professionalism, from the homemade with the help of a photocopier to the letterpressed. There were food zines from D.C., angst-filled zines, queer history comics, nonfiction comics about ‘vets and chickens,’ and The Bushwick Review. Stands sold vegan cupcakes and buttons. One vendor was featuring discounts on a stack of booklets with coffee stains.”
See more recaps and reflections on the Press page.
CUNY Chapfest, an annual celebration of chapbooks (limited edition artists’ publications) is coming up this week, May 3rd to May 4th at the CUNY Graduate Center. As part of their schedule of events, they’ve got a panel talk on zines featuring several Brooklyn Zine Fest 2013 exhibitors at 3pm on Friday, May 3rd.
Zines: Creative Non-Fiction on the D.I.Y.
Zines have many definitions, but as handmade and self-published print publications created and sold within a community, they undeniably offer writers space to express themselves, most commonly in short-form prose.
Panelists Alycia Sellie (Brooklyn College Zine Librarian), Ray Cha (FAQNP), Mikki Halpin (Eyresses, a zine on Jane Eyre), and Kerri Radley (Deafula) discuss all things zine, including: intentional community, privacy and anonymity, publishing in print in a digital age, the freedom of self-publication, print as a political act, and self expression. Moderated by Anne Hays and Kimiko Hahn of the CUNY Creative Writing Affiliation Group.
This year’s Brooklyn Zine Fest featured a pop-up outdoor library set up by the Volunteer Library Brigade, a branch of the library awareness organization Urban Librarians Unite. Organizer Christian Zabriskie shares some of their experiences and a few photos of the day:
The Volunteer Library Brigade rolled out for the first time at the Brooklyn Zine Fest and we could not have asked for a nicer, more dynamic, more welcoming crowd.
Our little booktruck was set up outside. It was freezing at times but we are hearty souls so we fortified ourselves with purpose (and made warming bathroom runs hourly). People were utterly fascinated by the idea of a librarian out on the street. We got some great questions, OK honestly most of the questions were about the Zine Fest, the Cuban restaurant next door, and were you can get a decent cuppa cawfee in the area but those are all legit questions too.
The organizers, participants, and attendees were incredibly welcoming and WOW there were some amazing paper arts on show. Our free ebook library was really popular.
The thing that really blew us away that we were just SO GRATEFUL for is how supportive of libraries in the community everyone was. Libraries in New York City are currently facing over $106 MILLION in cuts this year. We had hundreds of people sign postcards and testify there what the library means to them and why they are essential to New York City.
Thanks so much to the Brooklyn Zine Fest for hosting us and so much for the NYC Zine Community for speaking up for libraries in this time of crisis.
An hour after the Brooklyn Zine Fest 2013 ended, the magic picked up again in the Back Room at Public Assembly with Brooklyn Brain Frame, the first out-of-Illinois edition of the popular Chicago performative comics event produced and hosted by Lyra Hill.
Lots of folks stuck around after the zine fest to see BZF 2013 exhibitors performing their work on stage with projection, puppets, and epilepsy-taunting light displays. Here’s a recap of all the fun you either witnessed or missed. All photos by Anna White.
Host Lyra Hill welcomed the crowd:
Ben Bertin Oofo the UFO showed off some of his own comics, getting the crowd roused in the process:
Ayun Halliday sang (despite her own claims that she couldn’t!) the topical history of all 52 East Village Inky issues:
Andy Gabrysiak wriggled inside, then emerged from, a homemade “cave” to present his illustrated zine Caves Only:
Tom Blunt of Meet the Lady guided the audience through the phases of womanhood via his found photo collection:
After a break, Matt Carman of I Love Bad Movies talked about how Don’t Tell Her It’s Me, starring Steve Guttenberg as a cartoonist-turned-biker, isn’t a very good movie:
Sparkle Puss the vajazzling cat (and friend of Caroline Paquita) demonstrated DIY vajazzling on an eager-to-learn Lyra Hill:
Thanks to everyone who came out for the show! You made it a night to remember.
If you’re looking for a more regularly scheduled NYC-based comics performance event, check out the great Carousel hosted by R. Sikoryak (author of Masterpiece Comics), usually at Dixon Place but sometimes elsewhere.