So you might have noticed that content got reallllly slow on the blog (and maybe even on the Facebook page!) over the past month or so. I have a good excuse for that. It’s because I was getting ready for the Chicago Zine Fest! (And also working, and training for an ultra, and generally having a life away from my computer…you know, things like that.)
For those of you who are not aware of what a zine is, a definition from ZineWiki:
A zine – pronounced zeen – derived from magazine – is an independently- or self-published booklet, often created by a single person. Zines are customarily created by physically cutting and gluing text and images together onto a master flat for photocopying, but it is also common to produce the master by typing and formatting pages on a computer. The end product is usually folded and stapled. Zines can be printed and bound in any manner.
Why am I doing this? Well, I’ve been making zines for about twelve years now, which is way longer than I had this blog, than I have worked as a professional journalist, than I have even been a runner for crying out loud. It’s kind of a big part of who I am, although my involvement tends to ebb and flow depending on what’s going on in my life.
I will be in Chicago from Thursday through Sunday for the Chicago Zine Fest, where I will be participating as an invited guest (which is, by the way, a huge honor). On Friday, I will be reading from one of my essays at the Exhibitor Reading, which will take place at 7 p.m. at the Hairpin Arts Center, located at 2800 N Milwaukee. On Saturday, I will be among the 200 exhibitors tabling from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Columbia College, located at 1104 S. Wabash. I’ll be on the eighth floor, surrounded by some of my favorite zine creators.
I’ll be selling back issues of my zine All I Want Is Everything, as well as two brand-new issues I put together just for the zine fest. All I Want Is Everything #4 is mostly about my life as a journalist and a writer. The centerpiece is a monster essay I wrote about covering the 2012 Republican National Convention. AIWIE #5 is a single essay in which I explore the complicated relationship between femininity and power in my life, and it’s illustrated with photos that I borrowed without permission from books like Venus with Biceps. I’m pretty proud of both projects, to be honest.
I’m also going to be selling feminist fitness themed 1″ buttons, which I had a ton of fun making. Don’t worry if you can’t make it – I’ll be selling everything online soon. I also hope to expand the kinds of merch I offer in the very near future, just because I had so much fun making the buttons so why not try my hand at other things?
I have to say, it would be worth going to CZF even if I wasn’t there. I went in 2012 and it was a remarkable experience to be in this building with all of these creative people who make art, comics and literature with a totally DIY sensibility. I found it really inspiring, and I have to say the DIY ethic I’ve picked up from all of the other people I’ve met through zines has influenced me in a really positive and meaningful way. So if you live in the area, stop by, say hi and maybe let some of the inspiration rub off on you!