I worked the information table at the San Francisco Zine Fest yesterday and had a fun time, despite having to point the direction to the bathroom a million times and explain what a zine is to pretty much every other person who walked through the door. "What's a zine?" they would ask, pronouncing "zine" with a long "i," as if it were a lyric out of Ein zwei polizei.
Here was my pre-recorded answer: A zine is a mini magazine, made and printed by an individual without the help of a large publishing company. It can be on any topic, and can come in any shape or form.
This information was helpful to some people, though I did get quite a few baffled looks which I responded with: "Why don't you go look around? It'll give you a better idea."
I brought a box of my zines to sell, but at the tail-end of the fest I realized no one had bought any. I talked to a few people at the fest about getting rid of my zines, and they said I shouldn't really expect to sell too many for the first issue, that I would find more success if I gave them away. Taking a break from the info table, I grabbed an armful of my zine and walked around the convention, looking for cool zines to trade. I traded a lot more than I expected. Back at the booth, I displayed my box of zines on the table and wrote on the front "$3 or trade!"
Here are the zines that I took home through trades. I have a lot of reading to do!
I also spotted a print that I just HAD to have-- a painting of Detectives Goren and Eames of Law & Order: Criminal Intent in the style of pulp novel cover, by artist Ben Walker. It's fantastic and I cannot wait to frame it and hang it up in my apartment. Goren looks like a total brute in the painting, and I love the shoes on the feet that are about to be tranquilized. It's the perfect combination of beautiful and creepy.