Pop City Media features Pittsburgh Zine Fair on front page!
Pop Filter Hot Pick: Pittsburgh Zine Fair debuts at Artists Image Resource
Print Matters: Still have copies of Flipside, Who Put The Bomp or Beer Frame, gathering dust in crates in the basement? Feeling extra crafty this back-to-school season and ready to launch your own cottage industry of self-published books?
Well dig out those vintage pubs and grab some supplies for inspiration, because the local zine scene is getting a major boost this Thurs., Sept. 1st, at the city’s first-of-its-kind Pittsburgh Zine Fair at Artists Image Resource (AIR) on the Northside.
Set for 5 to 10 p.m. at AIR, the staunchly grassroots Zine Fair will feature some 30 vendors, open readings and discussions, participatory workshops, and even hands-on sessions demonstrating letter-press and screen-printing techniques.
Since the invention of the printing press centuries ago, and later with the circulation of Thomas Paine’s popular pamphlet Common Sense in 1776, citizens with something to say have published their own opinions and perspectives in the form of self-published small-run printed matter. Created in a variety of formats, from computer-printed typeface and comic books, to hand-scrawled text and poetry chapbooks, zines are typically photo-copied with a small circulation, and feature a broad scpectrum of topics, from politics, art and design, to memoir, social theory, or identity.
If you think zines died with the digital age, think again. Major zine exhibitions have been organized at national venues such as NYC’s New Museum, librarians nationwide are embracing the format, locally they are sold and displayed alongside limited edition books and music tapes at shops such as The Big Idea Bookstore, Paul’s CDs and Mind Cure Records, and high-profile blogs such as bOING bOING have taken a cue from the movement’s populist fair use ethos. Beyond the page, the grassroots production and dissemination of zines is often tied to community empowerment and civic engagement projects, social activism and associated DIY art forms such as indie music and craft.
Catered by the Quiet Storm, the Zine Fair will also feature locals DJs, a Book ‘Em fundraiser raffle, and an improvised zine jam led by Thom DeLair. Workshops–led by local writers, cartoonists, and illustrators–include bookmaking techniques, the use of recycled and found materials, and the art of cartooning.
An open reading featuring the Lawrenceville-based Cyberpunk Apocalypse writers cooperative will be held on the venue’s second floor. Don’t miss a community discussion about social change and independent media featuring representatives from local zine distributors and artist co-ops facilitated by Erin Oh.
AIR’s 10,000-square-foot facility, which features intaglio (etching), lithography and screen-printing shops, a digital imaging lab, and exhibition and archive spaces, is located at 518 Foreland St. on the North Side.