PGH Zine Fair
The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has been cataloging zines dating from the 70s until today, creating a collection of over 1,700 self-published magazines. But they’re not the only ones with a carefully curated zine collection. The Mr. Robot Project has been working to bring back their zine library out of hiding too. With such a large zine presence in the ‘Burgh, it’s no wonder that the members of the Feminist Zine Symposium decided to create the one of a kind PGH Zine Fair.
Since 2011, the PGH Zine Fair has brought together dozens of local writers and illustrators to showcase their very own handcrafted and self-produced magazines. Zines are a special type of publication currently gaining momentum. The whole process is unregulated, and covers a wide range of topics like political issues, musical events, health-related research, and any other information someone feels like sharing with a willing audience. The booklets usually contain original art, writing, and illustrations such as sketches, cartoons, and comics. They are self-produced, published, and distributed throughout specific groups or communities depending on the content.
The 4th annual PGH Zine Fair is the product of more than 30 local and regional artists and vendors dedicated to bringing their unique zines to the public. In addition to a showcase of work, the event will include workshops and discussion panels with people in the industry. Leading up to the main event on September 28th, indie comic happenings will be going on in the city. On Wednesday, September 24, at The Copacetic Comics Company, cartoonists, Michael DeFroge and Simon Hamselmann will be doing a signing from 7pm-10pm. On Thursday, September 25, John Porcellino will be at the Harris Theatre for the release of his latest work, Hospital Suite, and a screening of his documentary about his life, Root Hog or Die, at 7pm (check out the trailer below). Finally, on Saturday September 27, there will be a PGH Zine Fair Zine Mixer at BUNKERprojects from 8pm-11pm for vendors to mingle with the general public and talk about their work.
Past PGH Zine Fairs have included vendors like Unicorn Mountain, a collective of artists creating and promoting DIY publications in Pittsburgh. They’ve self-published three nationally recognized collections of comics, fiction and essays, along with the always revered handmade zines. Erin Oh, one of the founders of the fair, will also be there showcasing her own zines, relating her personal life and opinions to larger social and political issues.
The fair will give you the chance to give zine making the ol’ college try or just find out more about the community. It’s being held at the Union Project on September 28 from 2pm to 8pm and, as always, it’s free. Stop by and help out your friendly neighborhood zines! You can continue to be involved in the local zine scene after the fair beginning on Wednesday, October 1, at Lili Cafe. Here, local comics are encouraged to join Frank Santoro, from 7pm to 9pm, for the first of routine monthly meet-ups for local comic makers.