May 23rd, 2010

MCA Zine Fair 2010

This afternoon I went to the MCA Zine Fair. I didn't have a table because they sold out in 90 minutes. Almost nobody else I know in the zine scene got a table either so it wasn't a case of being tardy. Chris Mikul (Bizarrism) missed out. SCAR managed to get a table but they only got it because they went onto a waiting list after missing out and luckily for them somebody dropped out. The problem is that it's not just a zine fair, they let craft people book tables. Exhibit A:

This table just had stupid badges. Why couldn't this table go to somebody who makes zines? I guess one argument could be that this kind of variety brings in more people. I don't buy it. When people who have been making zines for years can't get a table at a zine fair because it went to a badge seller, there's something wrong. I'm not criticising the badge seller, just the way this *Zine Fair* is organised.
Another problem I had is with the kind of prices people are charging for their zines. Exhibit B:

There were zines on this table selling for $10.00. They were just regular zines. Just small digest sized paper booklets. Why would they charge ten dollars? Was it a joke? I wonder if anybody fell for it?
Thankfully there were some actual zine sellers there like the Sticky folks from Melbourne:

Their table is always groaning under the weight of thousands of real actual paper zines, mostly selling for a buck fifty. There should be more of this and less of the badges and ten dollar zines. I bought a couple of comix zines from them (Goblins, Super Weenie) made by a nine-year-old boy (reviews forthcoming in the next couple of days).
I did find a handful of zines to buy, the best one of which was a zine called Waku Waku, a zine about Japan (review also forthcoming). I bought it from the dudes pictured above centre. They also do a zine called Beef Knuckles with really nice covers (you can see them in the pic, the ones with the red on 'em). I asked them if they were screen printed, they said no they were made using a Japanese printer called a gocco, a device that combines the basic principles of screenprinting and rubber stamping.
I also had a chat with Vanessa Berry and bought her latest zine I Am a Camera #14. Vanessa was sharing her table with a girl who runs the Australian Zines Email List and she gave me a flyer and encouraged me to join. (I think I already joined but just never comment there...)
Well, after all that I bumped into Chris and Cath and we realised that it was beer o'clock, so we went around the corner to the Fortune of War (Sydney's oldest pub) for a few beers and a meat pie.

[Apologies for the crappy photos. I used my mobile phone. Really gotta get myself a proper digital camera.]