The Zine Machine Printed Matter Festival will highlight local artists this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Durham. The festival will feature all forms of printed matter, including zines, comics, prints and books, in addition to talks by artists. This is its third year and the event is free of charge.
The festival will take place in the Durham Armory. Co-founder and printmaker, Bill Fick mentioned they are adding talks by local artists and critics this year.
“We’ve got Jenny Zervakis, who is a pretty well-known zinester, who will be speaking to Rob Clough, who is a comics critic and a writer about zines and comics,” Fick said.
The artists will have conversations with each other in front of an audience, discussing their place in the zine world. Bill Brown, who occasionally teaches a first-year seminar on zines at UNC, is another co-founder of the festival. He mentioned Kelly Wooten from Duke University, who will be giving a talk about women and zines called “Rebel Girls and Bamboo Girls: A history of women and zines.”
Along with talks, artists will be showcasing and even selling their art. UNC student Michael Quint is planning on attending the festival in hopes of purchasing some zines.
“I’m going to peruse the selection of zines available for my purchasing," Quint said. "And if I find one that suits my needs, I’m going to buy that bad boy. I am excited to consume local area art. I might buy a cool zine and hang it on my wall.”
Brown describes zines as a curious form of art that has a long history.
"The main thing is that’s it’s do it yourself, personal, small circulation, printed items that are meant to be focused on all manner of topics, but they usually come out of a passion for a particular kind of thing,” Brown said.
Zines are almost like the indie rock of the art world.
The festival does not only feature zines, but welcomes all forms of printed matter. It also welcomes guests of all ages — one year, a 10-year-old displayed his comic book. Brown emphasized that anyone can sign up to show their art, as long as they have printed or zine-related art.
I asked Quint if he had ever made a zine, to which he replied, “No, I haven’t. I can’t.” He proceeded to pull out his sketchbook and show me his art, which was cool and funky. Anyone can make zines — or art, for that matter. The Zine Machine Festival honors that independent, passionate aspect of art.
“They usually are inspired by someone’s passion, but they’re marked by being non-commercial, they’re usually not very glitzy, or gloss," Brown said. "There’s a lot of heart in them, they can be quirky and personal.”
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