Tag Archives: chicago zine fest

My Year in zines: 2012

I don’t really use thins space anymore but I thought I would round out the year with this post.

2012 was a ridiculously active zine year for me. It started with creating the StolenSharpieRevolution.org site to be a companion to my book. The site includes a Zine Event listing calendar. In February I attended the first L.A. Zine fest and it was great! In March I attended the Chicago Zine Fest and it was really fun. We even had a Zine Organizer’s Event where we met with other zine event organizers to talk shop and I released my very first fiction zines (Brainscan #29) as a split with No More Coffee #4. In April I helped the fine folks at Zine Works run zine workshops at Coachella. I made some really great friends and got to see some great bands for free.

In May I opened a brick and mortar storefront and online shop in Portland, Oregon called Portland Button Works and zine distro. July was International Zine Month and I created a poster of events to do for each day of the month.and participated in the 24 hour zine thing. August had the Portland Zine Symposium that I helped organize and I hosted a bunch of guest at my house. In September I quit volunteering at the Independent Publishing Resource Centerafter over a decade of volunteering because I just didn’t have any more time for it after opening the Portland Button Works shop.

October and November were big months. I had been saving for a UK trip for a few years and somehow we had also planned for The Copy Scams, our zine themed pop-punk band, to record and tour. We wrote 3 new songs that we hope to release next year. I got to hang out with a lot of my awesome Uk friends and attend the Leeds Zine Fair and the SE London Zine Fest. I kept a bit of a travelogue on tumblr and put out issue #7 ofNobody Cares About You Stupid Zine Podcast, it’s all about trading zine.

So, now it is December and I did a bit of updating to the Etsy Team Zine and my own Etsy shop and changing it over to a Portland Button Works shop. I’m also offering free shipping Sunday and Monday  in my Etsy shop when you use the discount code: POSTMAN. I also hope to work on my new zine this week. It’s all typed up and I just need to do layout. I also just signed up for the 2013 Chicago Zine Fest! Hope to see you there.

30 Day Photo Meme – Day 21 – Brainscan #29/ No More Coffee #4 split zine

Day 21- A photo you are proud of

I like this photos because of the colors in it and that it respresents a finished product on a table and ready to go. I’m also stoked on the photobooth picture that shows up out of or mind  before the tabling at the zine fest ever started. This was a fun project.
Released at the 2012 Chicago Zine Fest A split zine with Brainscan #29 and no More Coffee #4

Brainscan #29 – Ben Spies (no more coffee zine) threw out the challenge of fiction to my land of perzines and this is the grim result. These three short stories are my stab at fiction wrapped in the usual high contrast cut and paste layout you would expect in and issue of Brainscan. One story is about leaving a hometown for greener pastures only to make a stop half way there to visit an old friend and includes thoughts and reflections about the past. The second story is about a weird housemate and his strange perception of the world through Woody Allen tinted glasses and odd notions about art. The third story is about weighing the value of our short lives against the rock wall embankment of a cemetery. I admit that the voice is similar to mine and the subject matter doesn’t stray too far from what you would expect to find in an issue of Brainscan, but it was a really fun experiment and I’m glad that Ben talked me into doing this split.

No More Coffee is a zine of fiction for people who stay up too late. Stories like these are how I get the black bile out of my system, so to speak. Alex and I agreed to do a fiction split not knowing how morose it would end up, but we’re on similar wavelengths, I guess. I’m still writing fiction because I love it and because I’m too scared to write about my own life, but even if these stories never happened, the people in them did. “Photographs of the Dead” is about what the residents of a suburban apartment complex doesn’t know about their neighbors. “Exit 121″ is about an impetuous woman living at a truck stop. The untitled story is about Sunday breakfast at a diner.

44 pages, half sized, 2 color risograph

available in My Etsy shop or on my Small World Buttons site.

or for $3 US ($4US rest of the world) put into an envelope and sent to:

Alex Wrekk

5307 N Minnesota Ave.

Portland, Oregon 97217

Day 22- Something you cooked
Day 23- Your desk or work area
Day 24- Something important to you
Day 25- Graffiti you have seen
Day 26- Something you do everyday
Day 27- Your favorite place
Day 28- A favorite piece of clothing
Day 29- Something you like
Day 30- A photo of you today

30 Day Photo Meme- Day 20- Your mailbox

Day 20- Your mailbox

Wow, it has taken me a long time to get to this. Ok, here is my old post box:

Old green mail box that finally gave up the ghost.

Paul and I put in a new post and got a new post box that is while with a shiny new metal flag. Also, filled with orders going out!

My post box at the post office. I don't use it much but I still keep it.

Last weekend I was at the Chicago Zine Fest and it was awesome! I’m hoping to make it a yearly event to get to. I also got another tattoo from Alana in Chicago. This tattoo is of a post box with my address on it!

5307, I have lived here for over 11 years. It is home.

Some other stuff:

1. I have been updating Stolen Sharpie revolution.org pretty regularly.

2. I released Brainscan #29 as a split with No More Coffee #4 at the Chicago Zine Fest! I’ll be posting order details once Ben gets me the scans of his pages and I build a good master copy. They will be $3 and have two color risograph printed cardstock covers. stoked! Oh, also. It is my first fiction zine.

3. At the Chicago Zine Fest there were the Zine Olympics. I feel pretty safe in saying that our team, The Paper Sharks, won the Zine Olympics with two golds and two silvers. Check out some great photos here.

4. The Copy Scams UK tour is looking up! We may have at least one zine fest to get to while we were there.

5. Table registration for the 2012 Portland Zine Symposium (11-12 August) is open! All the full tables are gone and 1.2 tables are 3/4 gone so get your table now and start saving your pennies for travel! Go here to register.

Day 21- A photo you are proud of
Day 22- Something you cooked
Day 23- Your desk or work area
Day 24- Something important to you
Day 25- Graffiti you have seen
Day 26- Something you do everyday
Day 27- Your favorite place
Day 28- A favorite piece of clothing
Day 29- Something you like
Day 30- A photo of you today

Newsletter! L.A. Zine Fest! Chicago Zine Fest! ZOE!

Ack! hello neglected blog!

I recently put out a new newsletter.You can read it online here. It has info about some of my new button designs, upcoming travel plans, and discount codes for both my Etsy and Small World buttons shops. I believe there is still a day or two to purchase things and have them arrive in time for Giftmas.

Speaking of travel! I found super cheap tickets to LA and snagged a table at the LA Zine Fest! So, I’ll be in Southern California over Presidents weekend in February, just in time to get a reprieve from the damp and gloomy Portland winter. I’m hoping to have a new zine done by then. I’m inspired by 90s zines and hope to make a travel zines about my trip to the UK a few years ago. I’m not going to worry too much about pretty layout and am just going to put it all together after hammering it out on my typewriter. hooray for zines!

I also registered last night for a table at the Chicago Zine Fest. I had so much fun last year that I want to do it all again! I’m also organizing another ZOE (Zine Organizers Event) It is a physical space for zine event organizers to meet and share ideas and experiences about running zine events. We had one last year and it was really fun so I’m looking forward to doing it again.

And all this talk about Zine Events reminds me, we really really really need people to help us organize the Portland Zine Symposium. The last two organizing meetings have been pretty empty. A lot of the old organizers are burnt out and we need some new blood. We should be having an open meeting at the beginning of the year.

 

2011 Portland Zine Syposium dates! Chicago Zine Fest! New Tattoo! More! More! More!

First things first:

The Dates for the 2011 Portland Zine Symposium are August 6-7, 2011

I got back from Chicago late Tuesday night and I have been playing catch up ever since packing zine orders and making buttons. What’s with all the international orders this week? Croatia, Finland, Norway, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, and Singapopre. My first thought is that the American dollar must have tanked?

Anyway, Derek Neuland and I took the train from Portland to Chicago and recorded an episode of Noby Cares About Your Stupid Zine Podcast while we were on the train. We discuss our anticipations and excitment with the sound of train and conductor announcements interrupting us. Listen to it here!

Bree Adorn and Rae Logios met us at the train station holding signs that say “nobody cares about your podcast thingie” and “nobody cares that you are from pdx. Put a bird on it!” We all made our way to Ramsey’s house and met up with Amy Leigh from twelveohtwo distro and then went eat at the Handlebar then I got to crash onto on something that wasn’t a train seat.

Friday we gathered everyone up and headed to the first day of zine fest where we had our first Zine Organizers Event (ZOE)! We had about 20 people talking about organizing zine events and sharing stories. Not a lot of new stuff came out of it and it seems that a lot of people struggling with the same things. It was good to be on the same page. We did start a google group to continue sharing.

After that was the Silver Tongue reading in the other room then the Q&A with Al Burian and Aaron Cometbus. It was interesting to hear what they had to say. I sort of wish they had been giving the questions before so that they could have given more thoughtful answers instead of the multiple blank stares and silences. Oh well.  (*edited to say that a Chicago Zine Fest organizer contacted me to say that were informed on the questions ahead of time and that the blank stares and awkward silences were all their own) After that we headed to Earwax for some food then to the big reading. The reading was awesome! It was so diverse in style and I hears a lot people read from their zines that I had never heard before so I was stoked to fine more good zines.  I met up with some more friends and met some new friends. I went and grabbed some beer before heading to Quimby’s for zinester karaoke. Zinester Karaoke turned out not to be zinesters reading from other zines ;) it was just regular karaoke done by zine folks.

Now, I don’t sing karaoke. I have this thing. I have been in real bands and in real bands everyone has the ability to fuck up. With Karaoke, it’s just you. My brain can’t comprehend that.

Before the karaoke there was the Long Arm Stapler award presented by Quimby’s. I was notified a few weeks before that the award was going to Jerianne from Zine World and Zinewiki. Somehow I had been chooses to accept on her behalf because she wasn’t going to be able to make it. I had spoken with Liz at Quimby’s and to Jerianne and I was under the impression that Jerianne was going to call in on Skype to accept the award so I thought I had wriggled out of it. So, there I sat with Eryca and Megan drinking a beer not really thinking about it. Milo and Chris who had accepted the award last year for their works with QZAP were up with Liz reading the nominees. Well, apparently I was nominated for the award and I had no idea,  it was nice to hear people cheer when my name was said, but I already knew who the winner was. Then they annouced Jerianne and all of a sudden I got called up to accept the award on behalf of Jerianne! I was mortified! I did not expect it at all. I thought we had it squared away. So, I went up there beet red and stumbled through something about how much Jerianne deserved it and what a resource both Zine World and Zinewiki were. Then I disappeared away to my beer and my phone to send Jerianne and e-mail. Other than that the night was rad. I had some great conversations and had a good time but didn’t get to bed until 3 or 4.

Saturday we all dragged ourselves to the college again. The tabling was split between floors and I had heard I was on the 8th was kind of bummed but then the elevator doors opened and I was met with the glorious sight of Lake Michigan from 8 stories up as really great lighting with windows on 3 sides showing skyline. It was nice and the workshops were on that floor so people had to come up for those anyway. The tabling was pretty busy I think I made it down to the 1st floor twice and still didn’t see everything and only saw about half of the tables on the 8th floor. A few things struck me. There was a lot of people with cassette tapes to trade. I had a bunch of Copy Scams tapes and traded for a lot of mix tapes and original tapes too. There was also a lot of dudes with zines. It was really different than a lot of zine fests where there are lots of ladies. I got a lot of good trades and read them on plane ride home.

That night was the Out Of This World zine (in)formal. I brought the dress that packs easiest but since it was freezing I had to cover up in multiple layers to get to the dace. I had a great time dancing with zine friends and having chats. there are lots of ridiculous pictures that bring back fond memories. I also realized there are a lot of ex-Portlanders in Chicago. I can think of 4 people there who were ex zine symposium organizers.

Sunday I got a new tattoo on the back of my right leg.

The rest of the trip was record shopping, dropping off zines and Quimby’s and eating lots of food. Day by day a new person would leave. On the last day it was just Derek and I. We walked to the Flying Saucer diner and the guy behind the counter was super nice. We mentioned that we were from Portland to which he responded with “Put a bird on it!” it was the first time a stranger had ever done that to me. He also gave us a piece of vegan brownie for free. I guess Chicagoians (is that right?) like people from Portland because last time I was there with Paul the bartenders bought us drinks for being from Portland!

I have a new zine! but I only have a few left. Let me know if you would like one and we can arrange something. I wasn’t sure I would have any after the fest but I have some. they are 1/12th legal and it is just one story that happens between the 9 stories between the office of a divorce lawyer and the ground floor. it’s got my usual photocopier art and instrospective snapshot writing. You can send $1 and a stamp to the address on the side of my blog “while supplies last”

All the bits

Let’s see what else? We are still looking for a housemate but I’ve sort of decided not to make a decision while Mercury is retrograde. That sounds woo-woo but whatever. I always have  frustrating experiences when that happens. We just want to wait for the perfect person and I can hold out a bit longer with my bills so why not?

I have a new zine friend coming to town for a visit next week. I feel like I have sort of template of where to take zine friends but maybe I should start making a multiple choice type form to see what they can do depending on how long they are here. I’ll write more about that later. I just wanted to jot down some thoughts about my trip while they were still fresh in my head. Back to work now!

Chicago bound and zines that are bound as well and being bound for Chicago.

In just about 3 hours Derek and I will be on the Amtrak Empire Builder headed on a two day cross country adventure to Chicago for the Chicago Zine Fest. What will we be doing with our time? Well, I have some books, zines and a pint of whiskey.

So, I started writing that yesterday and then wordpress freaked out on me.

I’m currently on the east bound Empire Builder and just woke up in Whitefish, Montana. Yesterday we recorded a bit for Nobody Cares About Your Stupid Zine Podcast and figured out how to to make our magic spacephons capture the internetz so we can do what we do at home….but on a train.

I have a new zine! It is called Nine Stories… also, Brainscan #26.5. There are only 54 of them…actually, there are 55 but when I packaged them all up and counted them I only saw 54 so I numbered 54. When I cleaned my messy office I found the runaway 55th. I will be giving Derek the unnumbered runaway zine. So, there are only 55. I left 10 at home to send to some friends and there are about 4 of those left. I have 44 to trade at the Chicago Zine Fest. if I have some left over they will go in my Etsy shop, but don’t hold your breath.

Nine Stories is 12th legal sized and tucked into a hand made envelope. Pages contain photocopier art around a story that takes places in the elevator with my ex in the nine stories between the office of our divorce lawyer and the ground floor. it’s another one of my particulars corresponding to universals pieces about how we never think of endings.

This is what this zine looks like:

All the bits

54!

inside!

looking for a new housemate! Violet cookies! My D&D character rulz!

Hey, we are looking for a new housemate. Could it be you? Check out our Craigslist ad.

A few weeks ago I got an idea to make violet syrup. I grabbed about a cup of violets from my yard, cleaned them off and dropped about a cup of hot water on top of them. Once it cooled I put it into a clean jar wit ha lid and let it sit on my counter where I would shake it up a bit. After a day or two I strained out the violets and squeezed half a lemon into it. It made the color more vibrant. Then I put the water into a saucepan and added somewhere between half a cup and a cup of sugar stirring it til it dissolved. The let it cool down and poured it in the cleaned out jar it was in before then I stuck it in the fridge while I figured out what to do with it.

Paul and I had been watching a really cool BBC documentary on spices-their history, where they came from, etc. It was interesting to see and really made me appreciate spices even more. It reminded me of the fistful of vanilla pods I had in the freezer that my friend Sam had brought back from Bali for me. From the documentary I learned that vanilla is originally from Mexico, but it still tastes yummy when you scrape the seeds out and put them in sugar cookies! So, I made some vegan sugar cookies and placed the spent pods in my sugar canister to make vanilla sugar. Then I decided to make some frosting out of the violet syrup. I also went out and grabbed some fresh violets to put the petals in the icing and for garnish.

I love my stick blender!

I only ate one and gave the rest away. I'm not a big sweets person but these were good.

And in Dungeons & Dragons news…I’m stoked to be playing in a group again with what feels like old friends. I mean, we have been playing together on and off for 6 or 7 years. Right now I’m playing a shifter barbarian in the Eberron world. I don’t think I have ever played such a hack and slash friendly character. It is pretty fun. Two of my compatriots went down last night and I finished off about a dozen fighters by myself. No critical hits though. boo.

In Nobody Cares About Your Stupid Zine Podcast news, there have been way more downloads of the 3rd episode in less than two weeks than the whole run on the second episode.  I guess people like controversy since episode 3 is all about that Fanzines book.

Speaking of zines! My co-host, Derek, and I are headed to Chicago on the train next week for the Chicago Zine Fest! I’m looking forward to seeing all my zinefesty friends! I’ve actually arranged to get a tattoo while I am there. I’m finally getting a sharpie tattoo…crossed sharpies…crossed sharpies with a brain! Also, an empty banner so people can fill in the banner with sharpie tattoos. Two tattoos in a month! I had this thing where I thought I should old get one tattoo a year and now I have 3 and I started getting tattoos in 2002 so, I have some catching up to do. Doug and I are talking about getting utah tattoos. The idea we are kicking around is a beehive with the shape of utah as the opening and with bees flying around like atoms. This idea may change but we are thinking of doing the tattoos on pioneer day! Bonus points if we can find a tattoo artist from Utah. I’m also planning a 24th of July party in Portland. Details to come.

Ok, back to button making!