This Sunday, November 4th, Canzine will be gracing SFU Woodwards from 1-7PM. Canzine, brought to you by Broken Pencil magazine, is a single-day fest in celebration of “zines, comics, and underground printing.” It is an oasis of unique, strange, earnest work from various thoughtful authors.
This is the promise of zine culture. Because the zines, books, and other printed matter being offered haven’t been subject to standard publishing processes, the content and variability of the work is more or less unobstructed. Making zines and comics is also quite accessible ; you can use whatever materials you might easily come by. Initially, zines were largely Xeroxed. Some still opt for similarly inexpensive methods, for the sake of affordability or aesthetic. Often illustrators will choose to print on heavier, glossier paper to make their zines and artbooks sturdier and more vivid. The possibilities are endless, and this allows creators to better communicate their ideas and inspirations throughout the entire production process.
As evidenced by the existence of festivals like Canzine (which don’t have prohibitive table fees), making and selling zines is more about participating in a creative community than about making money. After attending dozens of zine and small press fairs along the West Coast over the years, I’ve decided this is my favorite thing about these events. With so few limitations, people end up creating work that’s truly meaningful to them, so, zine fests can be quite personal. Autobiographical zines are popular, and invite folks into personal experiences and histories that might not otherwise be so easily shared. In this sense, zines can be an effective conduit for understanding, education, and empathy.
I highly recommend popping by Canzine this Sunday. In part because I am biased as a zinester myself, and because I think our global communities could benefit from what the zine community does well: placing emphasis on expression rather than consumption, and encouraging folks to create what only they can offer the world. Nowhere do I feel more excited about my own and others’ creativity than at zine fests. 10/10, would recommend.
Canzine Vancouver happens Sunday, Nov 4th from 1-7pm at SFU Woodwards.