Often pasted together in dorm rooms and coffee shops and photocopied with the aid of friends who work at offices, the humble zine is crammed with DIY spirit. Self-published micro-magazines first gained widespread popularity during the ’70s punk rock movement. Prior to that—as early as the ’30s—science-fiction enthusiasts created networks of similar micro-publications, wherein their creators discussed favorite stories, authors and their general love for the genre. Riot grrrls revived the form in the ’90s, birthing highly political and explicit publications. With the rise of the web, though, zine culture retreated from the spotlight—some, such as Boing Boing, transitioned to websites. Others, such as Bitch, Bust and Giant Robot, went full-size and glossy. But right now the tiny periodicals are alive and well, experiencing a renaissance right here in Burque.
The scene comes into view as the first of five fundraisers brings local zine culture, its adherents and the fruits of their labor into focus. ABQ Zine Fest founder Marya Errin Jones was inspired to create the event after attending a zine reading at Cellar Door Gifts & Gallery. At this point she’d also writen her own zine, Prague: A Fucked-up Travelogue. Jones says the money raised at these events and through the fest's Kickstarter campaign (kickstarter.
The PRE-Zine event on Friday, Sept. 2, takes place at brand-new warehouse theater The Projects and features performances by local artists and a dance party. Resonance, a six-year-old duo composed of Mark Weaver and Patti Littlefield, performs unconventional songs in voice and tuba. “Patti and I tend to operate outside of the box,” Weaver says. “So we appreciate artistic renegades, freedom of expression, and the provocative visions and viewpoints represented by local zine culture.” Storyteller Ramona King will read her work. Found-object artist Corina Sugarman will commit random acts of art. DJ Mello will spin funk, rockabilly, riot grrrl and soul to score a dance party.
And local zinesters will be out in force: Chat with Lisa Barrow about her charming collage art / literary pub, Oh Dear No! Discuss culture with Mike Smith, whose WIRES! features 16 pages of local zine reviews. Converse with Erik Gamlem about Korrupt Yrself Sux, a formerly D.C.-based project that Gamlem brought home to New Mexico. Gab with Captain America—whose wit frequently graces the Alibi's music section—about Wig Wam Bam, the long-running “Albuquerque zine of music and nepotism.” Bend Eva Avenue's ear about her “
ABQ Zine Fest itself is scheduled for Sept. 30 through Oct. 2 and will feature workshops, readings, trading, a 48-hour zine challenge, an adults-only dirty zine reading, live music and additional DIY fun, TBA.