a place for zinesters - writers and readers
A group for people in the Midlands who make zines. We are friendly and organize meetups and events. Next one's in Birmingham.
Location: Midlands, England.
Latest Activity: Nov 25
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Woo that's a start! We should start thinking about location then. So far we've had Nottingham, Birmingham, and Coventry; any suggestions anyone..?xox
...is anyone ready for a fourth We Make Zines Midlands Zine Meet yet..? :)xox
ok, other long post about the blog post.... so I usually attend comics events - most I've paid for a table is probably around £120 for 2 days - I've been to several up and down the country every year since 2008. but anyway, I was really excited to apply for a table at the BZF because it's so local and we went with 1 comic on the communal table last year and had a lot of fun. But I've never been through the process of applications being reviewed, all the comics events are first come first serve and that seems to make sense with a product thats so expensive. But the process of reviewing applicants made me assume that they were going to do non profit table prices which would give the benefit of curating having only the very best quality exhibitors. but then the prices were more than some of the comics events, which surprised me (but as you can see - still affordable by comparison of a lot of comics events).
So I had spent a lot of time assuming making zines was about getting off your backside to make something or say something really important to you - not really about high quality products in any way. so I assumed it was more of a 'HEY ANYONE CAN DO THIS!' attitude - which doesn't fit if you're going to choooosee who gets a table and who doesn't. I did look up other zine events and noticed this was standard procedure for zine events and I was still surprised by it. One thing I had found comforting about the zine event is that people don't seem to be chasing a career like they do in the comics community. But this process of someone choosing which are the best to get a high quality event seems like a completely opposite attitude.
err and my last thing to say is that while I agree with some of the stuff in the blog - perhaps writing about it publicly in this way is damaging to the exhibitors involved and the local area?. if people are going to 'boycott' because they read the post it only harms the event further? at least thats been my experience of similar problems with comics events.
oh, and I will be going. I applied on behalf of the comics collective I'm in, we pitched with a zine I contribute to - this totaled far more than 15 publications and we overfill a table at events. we were only offered only half a table because they want to get more people in at the event, which is good. but there's about 15 people who will be sharing this half a table. we're only going to be able to take half the stuff we've spent hours making. I'm both excited and disappointed by everything thats been going on with this event.
I went the Alt Press fair in London recently and it really brought home to me the difference between self-published comics and DIY zines. Just because you make something yourself doesn't necessarily make it DIY - practically everything is made by somebody somewhere.
BZF had a small table there and it was mostly taken up with either cutesy stuff or artsy stuff, which is OK, but lacks the depth of zines. Zines tell you stuff - personal stuff, educational stuff, political stuff, it doesn't matter what type of stuff but they have a little more weight to them than "here is my shiny shiny colour pamphlet of adorable cat doodles"
I'll probably go to BZF, and if I do I'll probably buy some cat doodles, but I expect the zine table to be the focus of my attention.
I am going to be selling my zine on the shared table at this event and although I am happy that something like this is happening in Birmingham I do have a few misgiving as well. I didn't manage to get to the first years event as it was my Mum's birthday so last year was my first experience of it. I had a really good time and thought there was a reasonable mix of different type of zines.
For me, I enjoy a lot of indie/self published comics but can usually only afford to buy one or two at an event and am more likely to be buying up perzines instead. I do think £40 for a table is WAY overpriced for a lot of people and definitely excludes a lot of people who are selling zines for 50p-£2. Then again, if people are willing to pay it, I guess it can be argued there is a market for it. I hope the people who have paid for full tables have a successful day and get enough back to cover the costs.
I think maybe keeping the name was a bit of a mistake, but that's just my feelings on it. Again, if it's mainly going to be illustrators and comic artists there, a change of name might have helped get in a crowd more in favour of this.
What do other people think?
An interesting opinion on the Birmingham Zine Festival, which some people on here were/are involved with organizing. Thoughts? (I think it's absurdly expensive.)
Hey fellow Midlands zinesters! I'm based in Leamington & write a zine called Second Hand News (http://secondhandnewszine.blogspot.co.uk/ 1st & 2nd issues on sale now in the online shop!) Looking forward to checking out everyone's stuff -I'm already a big fan of Ellipsis & Elderflower Tea ^_^
Just reminding you guys that Little Zine Party is this coming Saturday in Birmingham for any folks who are interested. http://littlezineparty.tumblr.com/
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