Showing posts with label richmond zine fest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label richmond zine fest. Show all posts

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Read My 'Zine

The Richmond 'Zine Fest is really just one big group art show, just not at a gallery.

But it's the humor that attracts someone like me.

A girl who worked for nine months in a vegan bakery turned her experiences and the recipes into "Bake and Destroy."

"I Love Bad Movies" came in various versions (sci-fi, romance) from a guy who can't get enough crappy cinema.

His girlfriend did a 'zine about the best and worst things written to her on Craigslist when she was doing online dating there.

Interestingly, that's how she'd met the movie-obsessed boyfriend and, indeed, one of his quotes was in the "best" section.

He allowed for how poorly he had handled the online dating thing, saying, "I can't believe I told girls I made a movie about hot dogs. That's the kind of thing you save for once they know you."

I have to agree with him there.

The artist who wrote "Naked People and Bears in Peculiar Situations" was hard at work on a drawing when I walked up, but stopped and handed me his card.

"Here, have a mustache," he said with a smile.

And there was a black moustache on the back side of his business card. Should I want to be de Fuhrer for Halloween, I'm all set.

"My Every Single Thought" was not, as I expected, about endless ruminations, but about thoughts on the single life.

I could write that 'zine but I won't.

There were more artsy endeavors too, like the photographer who copied a series of pieces of Super 8 film in a 'zine that showed the process of a girl's eyes opening.

Or the guy whose recent gallery show images had been gathered in a glossy publication he labeled. "pretentious art book $20."

I talked to the people at almost every table finding passionate artists and writers who produce publications that told me what was on their minds.

Since I can't draw and even my cut and paste skills leave a lot to be desired, this blog will probably be the closest thing to a 'zine I can manage.

And it's far from my every single thought.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

'Zine Fest Delivers So Much More

If you've never been to Richmond's annual 'Zine Fest, you can't imagine what you're missing. Technically, it's a DIY literary and artistic event, but that's far too simplistic a description for the roomful of passionate people and talented writers and artists who comprise the event.

Walking the large room at the Gay Community Center affords an opportunity to meet 'zinesters from all over the east coast, peruse their work and discover what their passions are. I found myself caught up in all kinds of interesting conversations with strangers at table after table.

And I love the creativity of zine titles. There was Fort Mortgage: First Time Home Buying for Punks, Coffeehouse Crushes: Tales of Love and Lust in Coffeehouses, Cuddle-Puddles and Hotpants, Cryptic Slaughter, and Hoax: Feminism and Relationships, to name all too few, but all of which caught my eye and insisted I pick them up and check them out.

I was talking to a 'zinester who asked me, "Are you tabling?" and I had to laugh, saying that while I can write, I have no artistic talent whatsoever, not even basic cut and paste skills. Turns out he was impressed that I was an attendee because of my age.

"It's so cool to see someone here who's over 18," he explained. "Not that you don't look nineteen, because you totally do, but you know what I mean. It's great that you were interested enough to come out. Wish more people would." And, blatant lie aside, I did know what he meant.

Another guy was a valet who write 'zines about hating his job and his dreams of improvements in RVA's bike friendliness and safety. "VCU will have to get involved for bike lanes to happen," he predicted.

He told me he bikes to work nine miles, commuting from Church Hill to the near West End. He mentioned how few cyclists he sees in his neighborhood, then shares the road with plenty in the city center and then they disappear again on the other side of the Museum District.

As a person who bikes semi-regularly, I can relate. I see plenty of bikers where I live and play, but no bike lanes. It's a serious flaw in a city that otherwise has a great quality of life. It's something I would love to see addressed by the city. Portland and Cambridge can do it; why can't we?

He also made the point that unfortunately, the people who tend to come to the 'Zine Fest are the people already involved in the causes they support. "We're preaching to the choir here," he said ruefully.

It's too bad really, because I do think a wider audience would not only benefit from the exposure but gain knowledge of all kinds of subculture groups and movements going on in Richmond, some of which might be of interest to them.

Yes there are anarchists and union supporters, but also groups devoted to feminist discussions, feeding the homeless, vinyl lovers, over-caffeination and sexuality of every kind. Something for everyone, I'd hazard to say.

It would be a shame to think that there's anyone who can't get behind a good cuddle-puddle, if you know what I'm saying.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

D.I.Y. or Die

You can't fail doing what you love.

That was the theme of the documentary "D.I.Y. or Die" which was screened tonight at Gallery 5 as a benefit for the Richmond Zine Fest, coming in November.

The film was like a video handbook for independent artists and featured a dancer, painters, musicians (Dave Brockie and Jay Mascis, to name only two), a circus artist, a sculptor and writers, among others.

It was divided into parts: Inspiration, Publicity, Dealing with Adversity and Commerce, with the artists offering their unique takes on each topic.

The common thread was that D.I.Y artists are not doing it for the money, but for the love of their art. Their passion, despite the economic shortcomings that usually go hand in hand, was impressive.

Also shown was "Grrrlyshow," featuring interviews with various female zine writers (Jewish, black, Israeli, gay) about how they got started and why.

Interview footage was interspersed with vintage film clips highlighting the can-do attitude of women and girls; the film was a sort of pep talk for budding zine enthusiasts by those in the know.

The Richmond Zine Fest has already secured 26 table participants for the November 6th and 7th event and will continue to take submissions until September 30th.

The first night will coincide with First Fridays Artwalk, which should guarantee a full house.

The art will remain at Gallery 5 not only during First Friday and the Richmond Zine Fest, but throughout the entire month of November.

 Last year's festival was excellent and it only lasted one day.

This year, there will be no excuse not to experience the unique art form that is zines.