The L.A. Zine Fest is an event that that celebrates the zine and DIY culture by gathering hundreds of exhibitors from across the U.S. to display their work all in one convenient location. Alongside the exhibit hall packed with zinesters was a side room that was host to many panels including one featuring key note speaker Jaime Hernandez, co-creator of Love and Rockets, engaging in a conversation with Charles Hatfield, an Associate Professor of English at California State University, Northridge. Going on it’s fourth year the the fest continues to grow and appears to be unstoppable at the moment as the 2014 incarnation took place at the Helms Bakery in Culver City.
I made a a brief appearance at the event to scope it out and I was very pleased to see the diversity of publications available. From your standard printed zine to more professional printed products each end of the spectrum was adequately represented as tables among tables had various writers sharing their work with the attendees. What was even more intriguing was the subject material of some of the publications, from more political based work to lesbian steampunk fantasy stories you could pretty much find something for everyone.
As for my haul, which can be seen to your right, I kind of stuck more so to what I knew; hitting up the Silver Sprocket Bicycle Club, Liz Prince, and Greg Narvas. Admittedly I should have ventured out a bit more into the realm of the unknown but I am still happy with my acquisitions from the afternoon, next time I’ll buy the graphic novel about steampunk lesbians. I am especially ecstatic with my purchase of “I was a Teenage Filipino Skinhead”, written and illustrated by Greg Narvas of Hepcat, partially because it came with a soundtrack mix cd but more so because the author is Greg of Hepcat; easily one of the best bands L.A. has to offer! Though Liz Prince’s “Forever Alone” comes in a close second as her comics too close to home more often than not. Not to mention her artwork is just plain awesome.
Overall the event was a huge success and my only real regret is that I wasn’t able to stay there long enough to attend any of the panels; all of which looked amazing especially “Cultivating Culture & Community” Panel. Perhaps next year I’ll be able to experience all the Fest has to offer. Speaking of next year, I noticed that the organizer’s had a sign stating the Fest is without a venue for next year. Not that there isn’t plenty of time for them to find a new location but I would hope they find one sooner rather than later. With all the growth the event has seen I would expect that we shall see the fest in a bigger location this time next year. Til next time L.A. Zine Fest!