Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Sheffield Zine Fest 2016

Zine weekender was a blast! The 4:30am alarm clock on Saturday morning was not. But after a mega early start I found myself back in Sheffield with a suitcase full of zines and a bag full of percy pigs for Sheffield Zine Fest

I got to hang out with these lasses all day
Babes of zine fest
And these two new zines sold out!

Cool Schmool is a mini comic about having ocd, playing in bands, failing to make vegan mac and cheese, and obsessing over Scully's hair in season 4 X-Files. It's a comic, which is funny because I can't draw, and I guess it's also kind of my first ever perzine in 16 years of making zines, as unlike all my other zines it isn't about a specific thing I'm obsessed with or a fan of, it's just about me and my life. 
I started it as a way to talk about ocd when I wasn't doing so great at the beginning of the year but couldn't really talk about it with anyone. I very quickly chickened out of being that open and honest about my life in a comic, so there's only about 4 pages dedicated to my ocd, and the rest documents other things in my life like moving house, fomo, fracturing my ankle, and the problems with shit sound guys at gigs.

My Mad Fat Zine is my first joint zine with Seleena since 2001! It's dedicated to My Mad Fat Diary, a telly show we became OBSESSED with. We used to text each other in different cities while watching MMFD live, quoting our favourite bits at each other and speculating what was gonna happen next. It was a show that meant so much to us and is one of the best portrayals of fatness and mental health I've ever seen. Plus there's just a lot of Longpigs on that soundtrack. The zine features amazing illustrations and a bloody beautiful cover by Emma Thacker and is Sharon Rooney approved! Well, she has requested a copy, we're not sure if she'll actually like it, but that's better than nowt. 

Seleena giving everyone the hard sell for My Mad Fat zine

Both of these zines completely sold out at Sheffield Zine Fest. And both of these zines feature some bad collating on my part with one page in each zine stapled in the wrong order. Maybe if I was the kind of person who ran a kickstarter to run a zine this kind of thing wouldn't happen. I'm doing a second print run today and I've updated my zine shop so you can buy both of those zines here

And the fun continued the next day as it was Sounds From The Other City fest (plus Seleena's birthday). We headed over to the Deli-Lama cafe to take part in a series of zine readings organised by Salford Zine Library. Steve kicked it off by doing a zine reading from his zine My Lil Rem Stadt
It was really fun to see the people in the cafe get into zines. As the zine readings kicked off you could tell that the people in the cafe were a bit wary about people speaking into a microphone reading from photocopied booklets about things they loved and hated, but by the end of Steve's reading everyone was mega into it and going over to the table of zines from the collections of Salford Zine Library. Zines can be a hard thing to access as you kind of have to know what zines are to begin with in order to find yourself at a zine fair or a zine event, so it was ace to see zines in a normal public space for people to stumble across and get excited about.

Seleena and Em from Poor Lass gave readings from their zines.

And I gave a reading from Me and Bruce #2

And then we headed over to watch Tacocat play in a church and Martha play on a stage that resembled Funhouse with a whole lotta fun, but no prizes to be won. Then I sped off to do a quick band practice with Yiiikes (I'm playing bass with em at Queer Fest Leeds) and then after we treated ourselves to a late night Toby Carvery and cured our zine fatigue with all-you-can-eat roast potatoes.

I have a new zine coming out in 3 weeks in time for my band's birthday gig so it's back to my desk and time to re-stock my pritt sticks. And then before you know it, it'll be Northwest Zine Fest! 

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