As we careen headlong into the weeks leading up to Zine Fest Houston 2016, we want to spotlight some tablers we are excited about! To kick things off, here’s an interview with Robert Boyd, author of The Great God Pan Is Dead, publisher of EXU Magazine, and contributing writer to Glasstire (Robert Boyd – Glasstire). We learn about Robert’s background in comics, and his ideas about the future of zine culture. Thanks Robert!
HOUSTON, TEXAS, Wednesday, July 20th, 2016–
Zine Fest Houston is excited to announce its partnership with Lawndale Art Center for ZFH 2016: Year of the Ama-Zines! This year the fest will take place on Saturday, November 19th at Lawndale Art Center (4912 Main St, Houston, TX 77002). Registration for Zine Fest vendors will open on August 19th.
But, why are we moving?! Because of the growing popularity and scale of Zine Fest Houston and to accommodate growing crowds and accessibility needs, the festival is moving to a larger venue for 2016: Lawndale Art Center. This move will provide a more comfortable fest experience for both attendees and vendors. In addition to a physically larger space, Lawndale also provides close proximity to public transit and good parking availability. Although we are changing locations this year, Zine Fest Houston would like to thank The Printing Museum for its past collaboration and cooperation, and we look forward to continuing a fruitful relationship with the museum and its staff in the years to come.
Zine Fest Houston is a local volunteer-based organization and annual one day festival dedicated to promoting zines, mini-comics, and other forms of small press, alternative, underground DIY media and art. With 72 vendors and over 1,000 attendees in 2015, the fest continues to grow apace. Since 2013 fest organizers have been diligent in seeking out, collaborating on, and creating fresh year-round programming in the form of workshops with organizations such as Art League Houston, The Houston Center for Photography, and Writespace Houston, pop-up tabling events, and unique zine and creator driven events like Comix Gauntlet, and the annual ZFH compilation release.
For information on Lawndale: lawndaleartcenter.org
Hope everyone’s 2016 is off to a good start!
We’re excited to announce the official call for submissions for the 2016 Zine Fest Houston compilation! Local illustrator, writer and comic artist Jessi Jordan will be our featured artist for 2016, and will be designing the cover for the compilation, among other projects. Thanks, Jessi!
The theme of this year’s Zine Fest Houston is going to be “The Year of the Ama-Zines”
IN A WORLD… BESET BY HATERS…AN AGE OF CHAOS… WHO WILL RISE TO DEFEND PRINT CULTURE? Out of the mists of time, heroes will appear: IT IS THE AGE OF THE AMA-ZINES! Warriors of the written word, the drawn line, and clandestine workplace copy making have gathered for battle this year on the fields of publishing in this, THE HEROIC PAGE. What adventures will our heroes have? Upon what noble struggle will they stake their fate? FIND OUT IN 2016, THE YEAR OF THE AMA-ZINES!
You can view details on what to submit for the compilation HERE. The deadline for submissions is Monday, April 11. Please let us know if you would like us to send you the details in a different format for any reason and don’t hesitate to email if you have any questions as well.
We are really excited for Zine Fest Houston this year and hope you are too!
Today we are featuring Flyover Zine Distro, a newly created distro that “archives and publishes anti-authoritarian, queer, and POC zines that are of/about the U.S. South.” We go behind the scenes about the formation of Flyover, upcoming projects, and more!
ZFH: Tell us about Flyover Distro’s mission. What gaps in the broader narrative is it seeking to fill and how do you think it will reframe discussions about PoCs and queer people in the South?
FZD: We actually found each other as collaborators after having a conversation about what it means to live in the south as any combination of queer, radical, or POC. There’s this idea that if you’re here & queer, you gotta get out. Our lives have been shadowed by a pull from the mythical north, the “progressive” cities, where queer lives are somehow more legitimate- and Flyover works to resist that notion. We are also interested in the idea of the “romantic south” and how class/race/gender/sexuality work to complicate this romantic image with something more authentic for those who are marginalized. We hope that this archive helps facilitate a conversation we’ve been living our entire lives, and we hope to contribute towards the collective liberation for others who feel similarly.
ZFH: What new projects are you working on this year?
FZD: We’ve done a lot of work on building our archive, so now we are interested in publishing new original zines! We hope our presence at Zine Fest will encourage other radical / POC / queer southerners to create zines about their experience and put them on the internet (preferably with us but whatevs).
ZFH: What will be on your table at this year’s Zine Fest?
FZD: Our free, online archive is organized into three categories- art, history, and theory- and we will have original copies of every zine in our digital library to peruse at the table during Zine Fest. We are also releasing Lena’s new zine, Light Skinned Tears, with a few other zines for purchase from Flyover Press. We even have a few surprises that we’re working on right now and really excited to pass out- you’ll have to stop by our table and see!
ZFH: What is something that you’re looking forward to about the 2014 Zine Fest Houston?
FZD: We’re definitely looking forward to building a presence for radical zinesters, and finding that community among those we meet. Zine Fest is also the first event where Flyover Distro has a physical presence! We are really excited to show up, put our archive out, and see what resonates with everyone.
ZFH: What are your favorite zines/mini-comics etc.?
Cecelia: The first zine I read in our archive is a popular one, Memoirs of a Queer Hapa #2 by Jackie Wang, and it gave me a really personal understanding of how zines can be a tool for radical self-education. Being a queer hapa (part Asian) myself, that zine was the first time I found the language for a systematic understanding of race and sexuality that applied to my nuanced lived experience. Zines can do that- illuminate your position in the world in a really humanizing and transformational way.
Lena: It’s hard to choose just one! For theory zines, Anarchist Reimaginings: Communities of Resistance because it is so simply done and focuses on borders and prisons, two really important issues in the south. I also love The Radical Cheerleading Handbook, a uniquely femme form of protest that a lot of radical queers and women use to be visible at protests and rallies, which can be disproportionately dominated by masculine or male voices.
ZFH: What other creative ventures do you have besides making zines?
Cecelia: We joke that one of us brings art and the other bring activism to the collab. I was introduced to the zine scene less than a year ago, coming from an arts perspective. My work as a playwright deals with crafting interesting and honest narratives surrounding queer experience. My work as a theatre teacher deals with helping students understand ways in which they may be systematically oppressed and subverting these structures through art. So Flyover felt like a great way to continue this work on a larger scale.
Lena: I’ve been hanging around the activist crowd for a few years, and sort of make art on the side. I really value the activist focus on the big picture and strategy, but I feel like art is crucial for remaining human when shit gets hard, remembering to be playful and feeling/processing the emotional fallout from events that people might classify as “activist”. I’m a writer, and a giant book nerd, so my main gig is with the radical library in town, Solidarity Houston, formerly Sedition Books, as well as some other coalitions.
ZFH: Why does self-publishing appeal to you?
FZD: Zines are written by real people who are not focused on a self-validating endgame that is created by traditional publishing. And because zines have no value to mainstream publishing, the content is not edited in the same way. People who self-publish know that they are accountable not to a huge corporate entity but to their community, so zines become then this form where the exchange value or “currency” is trust-based, where providing honest education is the goal.
Thanks y’all! We are very excited for you to make your debut at ZFH 2014!!
Whetting your appetite for the compilation, here’s a peek at the official cover! It’s a candy-colored undersea world and it is sooo luscious! We are really excited about this comp!!! We’ll see you Saturday at Menil Community Arts Festival! ❤
Today’s zinester feature highlights Vice Versa Press out of Austin! We’re really pleased to have them join us for ZFH 2013; it was great to see other Texans when we were up in Portland for the Portland Zine Symposium, and it’s great to have these neighborinos joining us in Houston for ZFH 2013! Yay!
What is your favorite part of zine fest?
My favorite part of zine fest is joking around with other tablers and inevtiably finding ways to fight the awkward moments that selling ones good entails.
What is something that you’re looking forward to about the 2013 Zine Fest Houston?
Seeing familiar faces and forming better friendships with other zinesters. Maybe having a few cigarettes outside. Smoking a spliff would be cool.
What are your favorite zines/mini-comics etc.?
Tales of Blarg! is the freakin bomb, anything by sir Aaron Cometbus, PRIZE Comics, Feedback headbanging how-tos
What made you decide to participate in the 2013 Zine Fest Houston?
The fact that 2013 Zine Fest Houston was being held at the Museum of Printing History is awesome. As a printmaker, I’d be a traitor if I did not go.
What new projects are you working on this year?
I’m completing “Guide to Dating Gangsters vol. 2”. It’s been two years since the first issue was released and I’d hate to give anyone the idea that I’ve had any dating dry spells. Just a few close encounters/ it’s complicated.
What is something you think people should know about DIY in Houston?
The fact that DownTogether House is AWESOME. I hung out there for a little bit post-Zine Fest last year and had a really nice time. Got to sleep in the hammock and shoot the shit in general.
Why does self-publishing appeal to you?
Self publishing appeals to me because it is virtually uncensored. I can print what I want. No sales quota to meet. No audience to cater to. Just me, some sharpies, a couple travel tales, and the copy machine. Plus, I can control ALL the elements of my publication through self publishing. I’ve got the power.