Monday, June 29, 2009

Zine Fest

This past weekend, the Zine Fest ran at the Brooklyn Lyceum.

Formerly known as Public Bath #7, the Brooklyn Lyceum is worth checking out itself, though the outside is more impressive than the inside. It opened in 1908 and was closed by Robert Moses in 1937. According to the Times, "Local children sorely missed their pool, and at one point, wearing bath towels, marched in Park Slope to protest its closing." After falling for years into disrepair, today it's a performance and art space.

The Zine Fest attracted scores of paper lovers. Several well-known zines and zine-makers were present, including: the Lower East Side's ABC No Rio, the World War 3 Magazine Collective, dirty queer zine Straight to Hell, the East Village Inky, the Center for Book Arts, and Printed Matter.

While the crowd was mixed, it was mostly "pre-Hipster," skewed toward middle-age, alternative 40-somethings who came of age before the Internet, before Web 2.0, and way before the Blogosphere. The event was a throwback to the days when you told a small chunk of the world your quotidian life story by stealing time on the office Xerox machine and buying your friends beers to help you collate and staple.

The Zine Fest even came complete with some anti-blog signage:

I came away inspired, thinking: What if a blog could turn into a zine? What would the Vanishing New York zine look like?


Mykola Dementiuk said...

What a great publication zines are! I still cherish and hold on to the zines that had my work, Avalon Rising and Maudlin Street Press put out by Hilary Tebbs of Cincinnati, Ohio. Though we may have lost touch with each other the zines bring and hold us together. Thanks for bringing this to the Net.

BaHa said...

Wish I'd known.

Charles and Laura said...

The funny thing about "zine nostalgia" is that back in the early/mid '90s zine makers (like myself) who could only afford to "xerox and staple" their zines together were looked down upon by the trust fund kids who had 2k lying around to get their zine printed on a real press. At least in L.A. there was definitely a two-tiered class structure in the "zine world" between the haves led by people like Darby from Ben is Dead and the have-nots -- pretty much anyone who could not afford to print.

Mario Marchese said...

zines are not limited to an internet signal.I almost forgot about them till you posted this up. Inspiring post

JackS said...

I was kind of interested in Zinefest, but the anti-blog stuff is just ridiculous. I'm definitely in the target range for the world of zines and dabbled a bit with friends and such. But honestly, blogs are much better. You reach a wider audience for a lower cost. And you can immediately gauge what works/doesn't work.

I do know a few folks who had zines who are virulent against the web... But practically all of those folks are delusional in some way. One was an ex-friend who zined about music in Japan... And it all sounded great! Until you talk to the bands or subjects he wrote about and realize he exaggerated or simply concocted whole articles based on 100% of nothing.

Zines ultimately appeal to a narrow audience. Much like blogs. But blogs are just inherently hard to lie or fake given the amount of eyes looking at what is being written... Well at least in comparison to zines distributed in the bottom of some basement.

Was Tim from SeeHear there? That guy built a career off of zines and screwed lots of people over on money owed. Very happy his store bit the dust.

Anonymous said...

hey jeremiah,
cool idea, maybe do one JNY as a zine just to try it! before kinko's changed i remember sneaking zines in and i too was not a trust funder. i remember being given copy cards and running off zines for ages.

a VNY zine could have old postcard pasted in, maybe old letters maybe new digital pix, maybe typewriter, who knows? just try one edition. you could just do an ordinary xerox at the source legit or one of the workshops or scholarship weekends at center for book arts or printed matter.. maybe a VNY zine would be a secret wheatpasted wall somewhere. or maybe it would be a quarter sized update you'd find once a week with your original words & pix.. just having fun with the thought. -Stef