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Photos/thoughts on the 9th Annual Portland Zine Symposium

I didn't take a lot of photos, just a few for my facebook friends who couldn't make it.


and my score of zines:


This was my first zine fest i had ever been to so it was quite overwhelming at first. I really wish i would have gotten my zine done in time to table or trade, but it really motivated me. The couple workshops i went to ("How to make your zine pop off the shelf" and "how to meet a deadline") were both really well done and super helpful. A lot of the workshops i wanted to go to overlapped so it was hard to decide which to go to.

nevertheless, i am VERY excited about next year's Portland Zine Symposium!

Tags: pdx, portland, symposium, zine

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yeah, seriously--around fifty really good zines! i haven't counted yet, but i wasn't disappointed by any of the zines i bought (& i bought sooooo many zines) & even a lot of the trades i got were really awesome. naturally there were a few clunkers, but the ratio was way down compared to what i am used to.

i used to live in portland (1999-2001) so i thought i knew what to expect, but it's either gotten more "alternative" since i left, or i just didn't recognize it at the time because i was 20 & pretty damn invested in my own attempts at being "alternative" back then. or maybe it's just zine symposium-specific.
ciaraxyerra said:
i was still really taken aback at how...homogenous, i guess, everyone was in their attempts to be different.

Ha. This is my impression, too, much as I love the PDXZS. It's a certain crowd, alright. As a pretty square-looking housewife, I always feel rather oddly out of place, even though I've been putting out my zine for 10 years now. On the other hand, most of my life is spent around other (also square-looking) mothers, so this is novel in a not-unpleasant kind of way.
As someone who has attended all zine symposiums and tabled at all but the first I can see what you are talking about, however, each year to me seems more diverse in lots of ways. I am thinking mainly in age and in style. The zine symposiums in 2002 and 2003 for example were totally all the same crowd and many people felt like they didn't fit in - myself included. But, in the last few years I have been really impressed with how each year there is a larger group of people who are older, not "punk" or "alternative", and how the subject matter of zines presented continues to broaden

Kate Haas said:
ciaraxyerra said:
i was still really taken aback at how...homogenous, i guess, everyone was in their attempts to be different.

Ha. This is my impression, too, much as I love the PDXZS. It's a certain crowd, alright. As a pretty square-looking housewife, I always feel rather oddly out of place, even though I've been putting out my zine for 10 years now. On the other hand, most of my life is spent around other (also square-looking) mothers, so this is novel in a not-unpleasant kind of way.
ciaraxyerra said:
i used to live in portland (1999-2001) so i thought i knew what to expect, but it's either gotten more "alternative" since i left, or i just didn't recognize it at the time because i was 20 & pretty damn invested in my own attempts at being "alternative" back then. or maybe it's just zine symposium-specific.

I think Portland always had a pretty big alternative culture, but in the past decade it's grown in leaps and bounds. In the 1990s, on the West Coast at least, everyone was moving to Seattle because of the music scene. In the 2000s everyone has seemed to be moving to Portland. I know tons of people and bands that have moved to Portland in the last 5 years from all over the States and it's shaping the way the city develops.
Hey! I see mine! Thanks!
me too !

Chantel G. said:
I WILL be there next year! Oh yes! Oh yes!
Hi all,
Hope all is as well as can be. I always have a good time at the PZS and get a fair amount of very diverse publications. What people look like (we're mostly geeks and dress accordingly, I think) is their own business; I'm more concerned with what they wrote or drew or who they are.

I think Ciara's observation and subsequent comments are lacking evidence, especially the comment about PZS being homogenous. People have tattoos, for example. People have brown hair, does that mean all brown haired people think the same, have the same beliefs, etc.? Neither do tattoos represent commonality, beyond the fact that one has a tattoo.
I remember a poster to the PZS website complaining some years ago about how everyone there had a tattoo and nobody came to her table as she didn't "fit in." I counted next year, and less than half the attendees had tattoos. When people are bothered by something, they tend to overgeneralize their conclusions. A couple of women gaining admittance to a previously male only space or workplace, for instance, will prompt many men to complain about the women taking over, even if the women represent a distinct minority.
That isn't a strictly fair example for the PZS, but I think people tend to let "the feeling" they get about something over-ride evidence.

What I saw at the symposium this year was a diversity of writing, comics, art, and formats. Mostly young, but between the tablers and attendees, ages went from kids up to folks in their seventies. Mostly white, but not exclusively. Beyond these superficial observances, I think you'd have to read people's zines to find the diversity of thought, experience, and ways of life that every person has respectively.

I saw two other guys in Wolves in the Throne Room t-shirts, but I wouldn't assume that the PZS is over-run with black metal fans. So let's not let assumptions based on superficial observance stereotype an event or the people there.

But, then again, maybe I'm just defensive because of all those tattoos...however, I can present evidence that I have never been "alternative", "cool", or "hip."

Thanks to everyone who worked on another great PZS and everybody who came.

Ryan Mishap
aiiii. i think a few people are taking my tattoos remarks a little bit too seriously/literally. for the record, i myself have eighteen tattoos. i am not casting judgments on the homogenousness of the tattooed.

i think the more important part of my "report," as it were, was where i mentioned picking up several dozen really good zines.
Jeez
Everyone on this forum are always picking fights. I could tell you were making a joke...
ciaraxyerra said:
aiiii. i think a few people are taking my tattoos remarks a little bit too seriously/literally. for the record, i myself have eighteen tattoos. i am not casting judgments on the homogenousness of the tattooed.

i think the more important part of my "report," as it were, was where i mentioned picking up several dozen really good zines.

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