Making a zine can be a subversive act. It requires no talent, training or permission. It is unfiltered, unregulated and wholly without the guardrails of commercial publishing. If somebody doesn’t like a zine, they have no recourse. Where are advertisers to call to pull their ads? Where are the subscriptions to cancel in protest? Zines hold a place in the exposition of thought that is only slightly outside of the zinester themselves and driven by a need to tell. Zines are a secret you share. As ABQ Zine 9 founder Marya Errin Jones says, “It’s your heart.”
The facts about the ABQ Zine Fest 9 are as follows: 99 applicants (zinesters) were narrowed down to 65 exhibitors from all corners of the country and, as Jones would remind readers, Tijuana. That is correct; this year Zine Fest Tijuana will be in attendance. Trimmed this year will be the comics. Jones says she has, “no hate for comics,” but sometimes you just have to draw the line somewhere or the whole thing is full of comics. Also new this year is the location. This year the fest has moved to the National Hispanic Cultural Center, allowing it to be two to three times larger than last year.
Part of the purpose behind curating Zine Fest is to bring in a widest variety of zinesters to Albuquerque. These zinesters share a commonality in composition, but not content. Small, folded pieces of paper that speak to a breadth of realities and backgrounds in ways that can be cheaply produced, and easily distributed. “Just like water is ice, is snow,” says Jones. Zine Fest gets its greatness from its diversity of voices.
If you go, bring cash and clear your Sunday for reading. If you are a curious reader, expect to find more interesting zines than you can carry, along with the usual accompaniment of stickers, pins and whatnot. ABQ Zine Fest 9 will not disappoint.