Paper zines go to bed with the Web.
Despite their reputed rivalry, the Internet and the zine are actually enjoying a productive working relationship, as a stroll through Wicker Park’s Quimby’s Bookstore (1854 W North Ave, 773- 342-0910) makes clear. “The Internet allows writers who are producing zines to connect with each other,” says Neil Brideau, zinemaker and Quimby’s employee. “But zinesters still find value in holding something tangible in their hands.”
On Friday 12 and Saturday 13, Brideau and his fellow lit junkies will host the city’s first Zine Fest, bringing together some 95 zine creators (most from the Midwest), publishing houses and local lit organizations. The fest will kick off with a reading at Quimby’s, followed by an art show and film fest around the corner at Johalla Projects (1561 N Milwaukee Ave, second floor). Last week, Brideau gave us a tour of Quimby’s stock of zines, pointing out how creators are increasingly seeing the Web as friend instead of foe.
- To get ahold of Michelle Aiello’s Indigo (a “perzine” or personal zine, which contains true stories about the writer’s life), you can go the old-fashioned route and send a mail order, or order through Etsy.com or Quimby’s online bookstore (quimbys.com).
- Cartoonist Josh Shalek publishes his poignant comic Falling Rock National Park online every day and later compiles the digital strips into a zine printed on recycled paper: “the mutant child of print and Internet,” Brideau muses.
- “There’s a long zine tradition of cut-and-paste images from magazines,” Brideau says. “Now we’re seeing a lot more zines using Web images.” He points to Rosario Dawson Loves Me (Or: I Want to Die Right Now, Please), a comic zine that details an imagined love life between the author, Justin Valmassoi, and said hot movie star. “It’s a change in the tools,” Brideau says, “but not a change in the practice.”
- Some holdouts—like the collective behind Communicating Vessels, “a periodical of rebellious thought and poetry”—refuse to put an e-mail or Web address on their publications, opting instead to include envelopes. “When that happens,” Brideau says, “I just assume these guys don’t even own a computer.”