We had a great time at SF Zine Fest over the weekend. It was fun to see familiar faces and equally delightful meeting new folks. Zine Fest holds a special place in my heart. I am endlessly awed by the many forms book art can take. From the simple photo copied six pagers made from a single sheet of paper to the more complex books made from specialty papers with hand done embellishments, the zine as an object is a work of art in itself. Then we enter the realm of content and find that there is a second layer of artful intention; beautifully constructed poetry, heart felt outpourings, sketches, paintings, collages, flights of fantasy, instructions, true stories, mystic ramblings. The subjects that grace the pages of these creations are as varied as the interest of their makers. One thing every exhibitor there has in common is that magickal will to create something.
For me that is the most inspiring aspect of the event. The artists putting forth their work are the kind of people who wont be stopped. They have vanquished the demons of apathy, sloth, greed, and vanity. They are beyond the questions of why and how and are there with something wrestled from their soul or born of whim and fancy, an object that they have brought into material existence. Anyone who has never made anything wont understand the magnitude of that occurrence. If you hold one of these books in your hand and ask yourself, "How would I make this?" you will find that there is a puzzle there to solve, even in the simplest zine.
Coming from an approach of having focused on content and then found an on demand printer that could make our books and comics, I found that I was very mystified and inspired by hand made books. In 2011 we tabled at SF Zine Fest for the first time. The following year I wanted to bring a hand made book along with our other books. I had no experience in doing it and tried to emulate something of what I had seen the previous year. I turned two sheets of paper into a 12 page book composed of our (RFCL's) art and text and used my sewing machine to bind them. Each individual book was caressed with my loving attention as I assembled them.
This year I did it again using the same format. To throw a new spin on things I put QR scan codes leading to some of our various web installations, videos, and pod casts on each page to enhance the print content. We still have 12 left of this one of a kind limited edition web companion book. Get in touch if you want one.
Another fun fact is that we were on our way to that first Zine Fest in 2011 when we met Charlie Corriea in a pie shop. This year we were proud to display the recently completed Tale With A Soul, illustrated by Charlie. He was with us at the table on Saturday beaming over his accomplishment and adding to the "you can do it!" spirit of the event. Onward to EBABZ!