In an era of blogs, Kindles and Tom Selleck-themed Tumblrs, it would be easy to dismiss zines as a relic of a bygone age. You can do that if you want, I guess, just don’t tell the people behind April 15’s First Annual Brooklyn Zine Fest. That could get you a nasty papercut. The Fest, which is being held at Public Assembly because “the artistic heart of the city is still (arguably) located in Brooklyn” according to an email from organizers Matt Carman and Kseniya Yarosh, will feature more than 60 writers, illustrators, photographers and publishers that can connect with readers and make their work available to a wider audience. Whether a scene heavyweight like Ayun Halliday of the decade-plus institution East Village Inky or a relative newcomer like food zine Put A Egg On It, the organizers went out and found people “creating unique, interesting, sometimes weird art.”
In order to connect with the zine culture at large, the event has also will also feature publishers from as far as Portland, Reno and Brooklyn-in-waiting Philadelphia. The organizers told us a little about why this is actually a great time for a zine resurgence.
The timing for the event couldn’t be better, said Carman and Yarosh, who cite the uptick in sales of vinyl records and the viability of blog-to-book deals as proof that people are still interested in physical media. They have sold more copies of their zine, I Love Bad Movies, this year than any other.
“It may not be a good time for multi-multi-media conglomerates, but this year has been great for zines,” they said.
Carman and Yarosh also point out that even with the advent of self-publishing through Amazon, zines are still relevant. Internet publishing requires specific resources and expertise and an audience that owns Kindles. The advantage to publishing a zine is that “almost everyone has access to paper or a copy machine (or has a friend with an office job),” making zines a highly democratic form of communication.
Of course, there’ll be more to do at the fest than read. Rachel Kowal of Sonic Smörgåsbord will be DJing, Cubana Social will be selling food and attendees of legal drinking age can grab a “marzini” from the bar. A raffle will be held with over $1500 in prizes, ranging from a one-year membership to 3rd Ward to comics from Forbidden Planet to two pairs of glasses from Classic Specs.
Check our calendar for more details on The First Annual Brooklyn Zine Fest.
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