On Sunday I went to the London Zine Symposium with my good friend Caitlin (only a 3-hour train journey from Swansea, not bad eh?), where we met fellow zinester Ingrid at the station. We had an awesome day together – great zines were bought, wallets were emptied, expensive London food was consumed, many free papery things were hoarded in our bags. Also, I tried my first ever Krispy Kreme doughnut – ‘strawberries & kreme’.
So after I held them up by insisting on finding something to eat first, we arrived at the venue, which was being held in a cool area of east London. There were lots of stalls and interesting people en route to the venue; a far cry from the (fairly) homogenized population of Swansea that I’m used to! Inside, we had a bit of a nose around the stalls, and met with a few cool people there, including Lizzy from Marching Stars, Sophie Koonin, Hodge and the women from Bad Reputation, Tukru and her Vampire Sushi distro, and Emma Jane Falconer. I bought one of Hodge’s gorgeous “An Alphabet of Feminism” posters, which I was chuffed about.
There was a zine library stall, where I donated a few issues of my zine, and a table for free zines and flyers, where I shoved piles of Spill the Zines flyers and issues of my free minizine Twt. When I returned to the table 20 minutes later, they had all been taken! Yay! With hindsight, I should’ve printed out far more flyers… oh well, there’s always next year.
Other highlights of the symposium included: meeting a few lovely zinesters who I’ve either written to, or follow on Twitter (all of whom were lovely), drawing monsters and third-eyes for ourselves at the Interactive Monster Unit (I wore my third eye on my forehead like a twat, whereas Caitlin and Ingrid had the good sense to wear them on their t-shirts), eating yummy food by the catering company “Anarchist Teapot“, browsing through some incredibly well-drawn comic zines, and the gorgeous sunny weather.
I will say that meeting strangers who knew of me through my zines was very scary. I had a few people come up to me (I wasn’t hard to spot with my purple hair) and start chatting, which has never really happened before, so I’m not sure if I handled it well. I always worry that I’ll be a total disappointment in person… but I don’t think I made too much of an idiot of myself in front of anyone… I call that a success!
Afterward we left the symposium, we visited the iconic record store Rough Trade, which, I must embarrassingly admit, I’d never heard of until that day. After picking up loads of the free zines and newspapers available inside, and browsing their awesome stock of vinyls and CDs, we got our picture taken in its infamous photo booth:
We then went for a coffee and watched the world go by under the verandah. Such a good day. <3
I picked up so many zines on Sunday; I’m still too afraid to look in my purse to inspect the damage. If I had the time, I would’ve done what Caitlin did and reviewed a few of them in this blog post, but sadly I’ve been too busy to read them so far. For the meantime, you can read Caitlin’s post. :)
Other bits of zine news:
1. I’ve just done an interview about British zines and feminism for a PhD researcher in Warwick, which was a little scary, but turned out to be quite fun. Looking forward to reading the finished thesis.
2. My zine is being stocked at US distro and craft store, Fluxxii! Take a look here.
3. Spill the Zines has been syndicated on http://syndicatedzinereviews.blogspot.com! Hannah and I are now listed as their two of their “staff reviewers”, which I think is rather exciting. Take a look at their archives here.