April found us in Nebraska at The Omaha Zine Fest, where zinesters of many types, sizes, and colors gathered to sell, share, and trade their personal creations.
I find these gatherings to be energizing and revitalizing. They help lay the seeds for the germination of new ideas. Zines have a long and beautiful history of existing on the fringe of commercial publishing. It’s the work around for having marginalized voices rejected by big publishing houses. There is comfort in knowing that I can publish my ideas myself, go to these zine cons, and trade those ideas with others. It’s a pretty amazing world. I enjoy the energy, and some of that is because of the queer energy that dominates many of these events. I usually come away with a fistful of ideas for new zines.
The best part of the Omaha Zine Fest was that the other half of the Artistic Nomads (who usually does not attend gatherings of this sort) came with me. Partly because I have an injured foot, and partly because they needed to see how it was set up and what happens at these events. Apparently their creativity was sparked as well.
My top selling zine was Things Vegans Fry. I guess it became the talk of the fest because folks cam bye just to purchase this one zine. I made the rounds, trading zines and talking to other zinesters. Connections were made, and that’s what its all about. We ended the day going out for a nice dinner at Modern Love with the organizers of the Kansas City Zine Con.
Out of this zine fest, we have hatched a new plan to start a Pop Up Zine Distro. This idea is inspired by the success of Wasted Ink Zine Distro, and other distros we know around the region. I’m getting excited by the idea and am in the process of securing a location for our first one. It’s something that could turn into a traveling zine distro/library – sort of along the lines of Viva Vox Press, run by Marna Kay.
As we grow more I’ll keep you updated. The Zine and DIY community are welcoming and friendly. I’ve put feelers out and there is support for this idea and more. I’m excited to further the zine community in our current city.
I hope to see you as we travel more with our wares.
Our next destination will be the Denver Zine Fest, organized by the Denver Zine Library on Sunday, June 24th. Watch for schedule updates as I apply to more of the Zine Cons and Small Press events. if you’re interested in finding an event in your area, check the schedule at the bottom of this post.
I think our new motto for Artistic Nomads should be “Have Zines Will Travel”.
We’ll see you on the Road!
Here is a list of a few of the upcoming Zine and DIY Festivals and conventions for 2018. Note: This is only a highlighted version, there are many more listed at Zine Nation.
- Scranton Zine Fest, June 1, Scranton, PA
- Denver Zine Fest, June 24, Denver, CO
- DC Zine Fest July 21, Washington DC
- Long Beach Zine Expo, August 6, Long Beach, CA
- San Francisco Zine Fest September 2, San Francisco, CA
- Kansas City Zine Fest Sept 8, Kansas City, MO
- Kentucky Fried Zine Fest September 29, Lexington, KY
- St. Louis Small Press Expo October 3, St. Louis, MO
- ABQ ZineFest October 6, Albuquerque, NM
- New York Queer Zine Fair October 21-22
- Phoenix Zine Fest NO DATE YET Phoenix, AZ
- Lone Star Zine Fest NO DATE YET Austin, TX
- Spe@k NO DATE YET Kankakee, ILL
- Queer and Trans Zine Fest June 17, Providence, RI