Mini Zine Fest highlights DIY publishing

Lean mean zine machine
Lean mean zine machine

Zines, it zeems, are having a comeback these days. Maybe because all the flannel and lo-fi guitars around town make us wistful for the 90s. Maybe Brooklyn is home to too many underemployed writers with lots of time on their hands (ahem). But probably it’s because we all love DIY so much, from wine-making to condom popsicles, that we never let a crappy job market keep us from putting work out there anyway. So what’s all the fuss about? Find out for yourself at Pete’s Candy Store on Saturday at the free Mini Zine Fest, a showcase of more than 20 zinesters, including graphic artists, photogs and bookmakers. We could spend this whole post telling you why you should care about these low-rent Henry Luces, but we’d rather show you:

Zines, for the uninitiated, were basically what creative, eager types did before Blogger and WordPress made it possible for every shlub (ahem) with a keyboard and some vacation photos to become their own publishers. They’re having a bit of a retro revival these days because, while it takes about 10 seconds to start a blog, not everyone will take the time to put stuff into a printed form. We asked Marguerite Dabaie, one of the organizers, to share some zine excerpts for Brokelyn readers:

From Andria Alefhi’s zine, We’ll Never Have Paris:

Watching nature documentaries on TV. We were a TV household and my dad owned the remote. There were a few family sitcoms we habitually watched but if the mood struck, say it was a rerun or he just felt like it, bam – WWII documentary. Or nature documentary. He would watch the shows with the british narrator and a lion stalking a hyena, and then going in for the kill. The lion would chase the hyena and then catch it and violently rip its flesh and eat it. Or, a cub would be separated from its mama, also perhaps in predatory conquest and my mother would say “I can’t watch this.” My father would reply, “Donna this is nature.” He would go on heartlessly watching nature take it course, and she would tear up.

This moment. I had a choice. To be a man or to be a woman. And I despised her weakness.

This is an excerpt from The La-La Theory, by Katie Haegele:

R. and I are the founding members of what I’ve deemed the Board of Obvious Tourism. When I explained to him that studying literature in Ireland just felt right to me, he squinted and nodded slowly in this way he does, and went, “Yeah. When I lived in France I worked at a vineyard. And in Holland I picked flowers. It was feckin’ hard work too. All that bending down, like. And the one guy who ran the place, I remember he used to smoke like a chimney, him and his wife both, Jesus… ”

He went on like that for a while, but you get the idea. Anyway, with his blessing Lil Red and I boarded a bus in Dublin’s belchy bus station this morning, dreaming of a sweatery weekend filled with tea and brown bread and creamy butter.

Zines, of course, are more than just the printed word, and a lot of the exhibitors at Pete’s will be self-published cartoonists, including L. Nichols, of Jumbly Junkery.

jesus zine

Pete’s Mini Zine Fest will take place from 3-7 p.m. on Saturday July 31, at Pete’s Candy Store, 709 Lorimer St., Williamsburg.


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