We Make Zines

a place for zinesters - writers and readers

I woke up excited! We drove to the Oakland BART station and parked. We
took BART to Embarcadero and then got on MUNI metro, N line, to Golden
Gate Park. First we ate Indian food for lunch. (I'd called my friend J
to invite her, but she was already having lunch with different

Then we headed to the zine fest! I was excited knowing that eventually we would run into Jen and MC of ButterSword fame. We entered the Fair building and turned right. One of the first tables we got to was Fritz Bogott. He was doing something very unusual, selling his zines in a peculiar way. The zine we "bought" was Untold Tales: The Giant Rat of Sumatra, and we bought it for a drawing of a pelican. All his zines were being
sold for drawings. He provided photos of the animals he requested
drawings of, in case you needed some visual aid. Then, when Erik
finished the drawing of a pelican, Fritz offered to take Erik's picture
with the drawing. Erik declined and just signed the drawing. The whole
time I was giggling, giggling.

That was the first zine I obtained during the fest and the first one I read. I like it a great
deal though some of the subject matter is disgusting. I like seeing the
way the speaker and other main character interact.

Then we moved on. I saw many interesting zines and bought very few. Eventually as we
moved through the room we got to a table with ButterSword zines, and I
looked up, happy to see MC, recognizable by his bald head. We greeted
one another with joy, and I felt relieved. We spoke. Then Jen showed
up. We all spoke. There were smiles and laughter. MC and Jen kept
giving me things, like Plant Life comic strips printed in full color
and Zine in a Can: Survival Version with a colorful pompom on top. They're so creative and very nice people.

Then we looked at many more zines. I did buy two zines on building community, maybe my favorite topic, DIY or Don't We one and two. That person wrote me a receipt.

Then was the biggest surprise of the event: I met Marcos, the maker of Map of Fog, one of my favorite zines of all time. I said, "Are you Marcos?" and he
said yes, and I said, "I'm Laura-Marie! Do you know who I am?" and not
only did he know who I was, he had a quote from me written big on a
piece of paper on his table, my review of Map of Fog that I wrote for Zine World a year ago. I felt honored and famous. We chatted for a few minutes, and I bought two copies of Map of Fog to give to friends. I can't decide which friends, though.

I also ran into John P of King Cat fame. I had met him at a zine fest years before. I gave him functionally ill 7 and uncomfortable. Unexpectedly he gave me a zine in trade, a chapbook of poems, and I
read those last night and this morning--they're definitely good. The
chapbook is On Ruby Hill.

I went to a talk by Jesse Recklaw on publishing. I got an overview of
publishing from Jesse's perspective, and that was valuable to me.
Unfortunately, my phone wasn't on vibrate, and I got a text during the
Q&A, which made a sound, and we ducked out. Some of the people
asking questions didn't seem to be making sense--it was as if they
hadn't been there for the talk. Erik and I came away from it with very
different understandings of the gist of the talk. I felt like Jesse was
saying don't DIY period and that zines are a bad idea. Erik felt like
Jesse was saying DIY on zines but don't DIY on books. On the drive home
we discussed this and Erik kind of convinced me that his perception is
the correct one.

There's a collective called Rock Paper Scissors that's collecting zines for its zine library, and they had a deal where
you donated a zine and then you got your pick from some free zines she
had there--they were duplicates from the library. I picked up a Burn Collector, which I've heard great things about.

Oh, and I met Mae Undead from Gimme Brains Distro--she was wearing a big
bow on her head, and we spoke briefly. On her table there was a file of
free zines, and I picked up a few, one by Kelly Shortandqueer and a Fuzzy Lunchbox.

After a couple hours of zine festing I met my friend J out front. We talked
for a few minutes before she left for the screen printing workshop.
Then Erik and I went back to say bye to Jen and MC. Then we left! Back
on the MUNI bus and back to BART. We went to the Ferry building so Erik
could look at a certain type of electric tea kettle he's interested in.

Then we went back to Oakland station and got our car and drove to Berkeley where we had dinner at the somewhat expensive vegan
restaurant Cafe Gratitude. Our server neglected us in favor of a table
of more people right next to us, and we were going to get dessert, but
he gave us the dessert menu and disappeared. We got frustrated and
decided to skip dessert and paid and left, leaving a slim tip. My raw
vegan lasagna was good for the first few bites but lacked variation (it
was almost all raw zucchini slices) and I could only eat half of it.
Erik's raw vegan enchilada was delicious--he gave me bites--but there
was only one, and it was small. Anyway, we're not planning to return.
We'd been there once before. The foods have funny names that starts
with "I Am" like I Am Radiant. My dish was I Am Fabulous. Erik's was I
Am Elated.

All in all it was a wonderful day, and I look forward to next year's.

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