how the portland zine symposium changed my life

September 6, 2010

Last weekend, I made two 17-hour drives with barely two days in between. The reason: The Portland Zine Symposium, an annual gathering of all things fucked up, photocopied, independent and small press. I came home exhausted, but so glad I went with a new confidence in my two products (Graveyard Shift Issue soon to be available for purchase online once I get my shit together) and an inspiring sense of community unlike any other. Upon returning to L.A., I went to work contacting those who already make zines out here and are trying to plan a localized zine fest of our own. In the meantime, I have convinced L.A. Record to allow me to do zine reviews as a part of the book section and the first round comes out in October!

I also wrote my latest FBT DT column in just a few short sleepless hours between riding the blue line to school and sitting in the grassy knoll between the music and film schools. I hope it motivates some people to use their free time for some personal searching through the art of cut and paste.

It took 17 hours to drive to Portland, Ore., but only five minutes of walking around the Peter W. Stott Center to realize that print media is not dead — it’s just hiding.

With newspapers scaling back staff writers, magazines pandering to their advertisers and independent weeklies shutting down city-wide, today’s zine community is giving hope to the printed word by creating niche-based publications for open-minded leftists, reminding us that if you want something to get done, you’re going to have to do it yourself.

Read the rest here.


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