Here’s my haul from last weekend’s ZINE FEST, here in San Francisco. I’d planned to exhibit there myself but it sold out by the time I applied. That turned out to be a good thing; it’s fun to go to comics shows as an ATTENDEE sometimes, especially as part of a POSSE (myself, Julia, Jeff, Gordon and his daughter Fiona). For one thing, it gives me the time to hunt for COMICS. Something that I can’t do at the shows where I am sitting behind a table myself.
I had not attended this show in several years. Back then, as you’d expect from the name, there was more emphasis on the ZINES and less on the comics but these days it seems to be about 50/50. This show was extra fun to attend for a few reasons: 1) It is free to get in. 2) it takes place in Golden Gate Park. 3) There is a lot of great, home-made stuff to see. 4) You can sometimes TRADE your own comics instead of pay. In fact, one 5th of these were paid for with my own product. I acquired so much stuff that I’ve still not had a chance to read it all in detail (and probably wont for some time) but here is a brief run-down:
“SHI LONG PANG” by Ben Costa. An epic tale that the artist worked on for 4 long years, finished off with funds from a XERIC grant. I have only browsed this one so far but I look forward to reading it in detail.
“KID BEOWULF” & “AMBITION STUDIOS ANTHOLOGY” by Alexis Fajardo. Another indie epic, this time modelled on the ORIGINAL epic of the English language; BEOWULF. However, in this version GENDEL, the monster is BEOWULF’s twin brother. Again, I haven’t done much more than a speed read but I look forward to checking this out.
“BUMS OF THE BAY” & “16th/MISSION STREET COMIX” by the Forsley Brothers. How could I NOT buy a book Chronicling Bay Area Bums? (complete with a cross-referenced map.)
“BRAD PRAYS TO GOD” & “BRAD AND CHAD ULTIMATE COLLECTION” by Two Fine Chaps. These gents had some lovely hard-bound books with intricate lazer cutting but their mini comics were more in my price range so that is what i came home with.
“MY FURTHER ADVENTURES IN RE-CAPTIONING”. My first SWAP of the day. I didn’t catch this fellow’s name and it isn’t listed in the credits, probably because this book is all about copyright infringement; recaptioning famous comics, such as GARFIELD and CALVIN & HOBBES, in a subversive way.
“LOCK GROOVE COMIX #1” by Jean-Christophe Menu. A very nicely produced French indie comic about music. I got this one as a SWAP.
“THE MARTY CHRONICLES” by Liz Dunning & Teppei Ando. This was yet another one of my SWAPS; A chronicle of life with an eccentric person, drawn in an eccentric style.
“NOT MY SMALL DIARY” #15 (vols 1&2). A series of autobiographical anthologies each with a THEME. In this case “Brushes with Celebrity” and “Auto Eroticism.”
“KING CAT #71” & “PERFECT EXAMPLE” by John Porcelino. Autobiography is as much the mainstay of indie comics as “Superheroes” are the meat and potatoes of the American mainstream, and this guy has been doing it forever.
“SHITHOLE” & “MY EVERY SINGLE THOUGHT” by Corine Mucha. So far, these two books are hands-down my favourite finds of the show. I was tipped off to these when our crew took a lunch break and I got to see a book Gordon had bought on the strength of the cover alone; a drawing of a grotty kitchen sink over which is the title SHITHOLE. A quick read proved that the contents, various stories about life in a grubby apartment full of students, lived up to the hilariously arresting title. SO, I promptly went back to the Zine Fest and bought my OWN copy, plus another book by the same author, that deals with the issue of being SINGLE after a break-up. She has a very original comedic voice and I look forward to finding more of her stuff at future shows.