Image courtesy Richmond Zine Fest
The zine scene comes back to Richmond this weekend, bigger than ever. On Friday, Sept. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 1, the 10th Annual Richmond Zine Fest returns to the Richmond Public Library, making this the first multiday event in the celebration’s history. The gathering coincides with the launch of the Richmond Independent Zine Library at Gallery 5 on Thursday, Sept. 29.
A zine, short for magazine, is a self-produced publication that is “motivated by a desire for self-expression, not for profit,” according to Barnard College’s online zine library. From 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday, an assortment of programs will show visitors how to produce these publications through classes on comic pacing, character design and drawing self-empowerment portraits, among others.
“The thing that separates zines from regular magazines is autonomy,” says event co-organizer Celina Williams. “They are independently made, without the commercials that can lose your independent voice.”
Those independent voices will be well-represented Saturday when almost 120 artists, writers and distributors come to sell and trade their publications. One of those writers, Brian Baynes, assists Williams in organizing the event while also producing “Cool Hiss,” his own punk-themed zine.
“It's mostly made up of punk band reviews and stuff like that,” Baynes says. “The punk zine is really a full genre in itself, historically and now.”
Baynes says the zine scene in Richmond is evolving; he’s witnessed the event’s growth over the past four years as he helped organize it. He says just a few years ago the celebration attracted around 60 exhibitors, about half of what co-organizer Williams says will be coming this weekend.
“There used to be a time I would be begging people to sign up,” Baynes says. “Now I’m telling people they should’ve signed up earlier because we just ran out of room.”
Admission to the 10th Annual Richmond Zine Fest is free. Visitors are also encouraged to attend an after-party Saturday at 7 p.m. at Gallery 5, located at 200 W. Marshall St.
The Richmond Public Library is located at 101 E. Franklin St.
For a full list of programs and exhibitors, visit richmondzinefest.org.