Last Saturday, Crosstown Arts hosted an all-ages zine-making workshop, and this week, they're holding a class in zine-making for middle school kids. Both courses culminate with Friday's Zine Fest Fair at Story Booth.
Zines? Have they come back? Did they ever go away? Zines encompass the true do-it-yourself spirit. Short for "fanzine," these self-produced, underground publications are often Xeroxed and stapled affairs, though some are more sophisticated and full-color. Zines had their pop-culture heyday back in the late '80s and early '90s, when zines like Giant Robot and Maximum RocknRoll reached a nationwide audience. The internet and blogs then took over, but zines never really went away.
Erica Qualy, who's helping with zine week at Crosstown, got into them about 10 years ago when she was still in high school. She and a friend saw a book about zines. "Wow!" she remembers thinking, "this is really cool." They decided to make their own. Qualy has a couple zines, including Facts, Advice, & Things to think bbout, which she distributes to coffee shops and record stores. She says, "It's my business card."
At Zine Fest Fair, anyone with a zine can show and sell their wares. It will have some of the publications made during the workshop and class and other zines on display.
Qualy says the thing about zines is that anybody can do it, and she sees Friday's event as sort of a meeting space. "There isn't a huge zine culture here. This is to raise awareness."
Zine Fest Fair at Story Booth, Friday, June 24th, 4-6 p.m. crosstownarts.org