Nothing digital about it: LA Zine Fest celebrates printed work

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LA ZineFest co-founder Rhea Tepp at The Pop Hop
LA Zine Fest co-founder Rhea Tepp at The Pop Hop
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Zines come in every shape, color, size. These are issues of “She’s Not a Morning Person” by Jen Venegas.
“Dad Tweets,” a zine by Amy Burek.

Much has been said about the demise of printed matter: the newspaper, the magazine, the book. But this weekend in Los Angeles there’s a celebration of print taking place where you can pick up armfuls of publications. No digital device necessary.

This will be the fourth annual LA Zine Fest, said co-founder Rhea Tepp, with more than 200 zine creators showing off their stuff.  “I think we have a nine-year old who is displaying her first comic,” she said.

What exactly is the difference between a comic, or an art book, or a poetry chapbook, and a zine? Tepp, who is herself a zine creator committed to the community of zine-makers, explained: “When you identify your work as a zine, you’re acknowledging the importance of accessibility. That’s why it’s often cheaply produced, so you leave it on the bus, stick it in a stranger’s mailbox. It’s all about creating space for yourself in a society or the mainstream that doesn’t often make space for you.”

As for space, Tepp says the biggest challenge she and her co-organizers face each year is finding a permanent hall space to accommodate the growing event–for which admission is free. In the age of all things digital, it’s exciting to see such demand for tactile creations.

LA Zine Fest Free Sunday 11-5pm 3347 N. San Fernando Road Glassell Park