SFZF 2014 Panel: "RADICAL PARENTING" with Tomas Moniz, Artnoose, and Special Guests

Tomas Moniz (of Rad Dad) and Artnoose (of Ker-Bloom) publish stories about the ins and outs, highs and lows of parenting, because stories help make better parents. After all, parents need role models too. 

When life as a young rebel changes with the presence of a child, the rebellious spirit doesn’t die, it just evolves through parenthood. Tomas and Artnoose, and guests are here to talk about their experiences as artists and parents pushing for progress. 

Moderated by Tyler Cohen (of Primazonia). 

This panel takes place Saturday, August 30th from 3:30 to 4:30pm.

SFZF 2014 Workshop: "ENVELOPE BOOK AND MORE MINI BOOKS"

We will be making a mini book and an envelope/book from

re-purposed paper. Easy to make.

Monica Lee is the Artist in Residence at Ruth's Table and teaches

workshops using repurposed materials at SCRAP, FabMo, Techshop and other venues in the Bay Area.  She is a professional photographer.

Dorothy Yuki is a Design Consultant and a master educator for Macy's Fashion Incubator, President of Friends of Calligraphy and teaches

arts and Crafts in the Bay Area and Mexico.

This workshop will take place Saturday, August 30th from 11:00 to 12:00pm. 

SFZF 2104 Panel: "CREATING FEMINIST SPACES IN DIY CULTURE"

Zines have been, and continue to be, a vital way for people to pass on information and shared experiences that are often ignored by mainstream culture. Self-publishing is an incredibly empowering act, and therefore it is not surprising that so many female identified people use it as a form to speak out about their own experiences, find communities, and critique social norms and feminism itself as it continues to grow and evolve.

SFZF is excited to welcome three people who are not only responsible for some fantastic zines that but are also invested in creating and maintaining feminist DIY spaces and communities. Elly Blue, Liz Henry, and Abigail Young will talk about collaborative zines, feminist publishing and how to create your own feminist hacker/maker space. 

Our panelists:

Elly Blue lives in Portland, Oregon where she writes and publishes feminist books and zines about bicycling. Her website is takingthelane.com. She is the founder of the Wheelwomen Switchboard, an online space for the feminist bicycling movement to share resources and support. wheelwomen.switchboardhq.com

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Liz Henry is a poet, translator, and editor as well as a computer geek. She has been publishing zines and small books since 1986, some under Riot Grrrl imprints and some under the imprints of Tollbooth Press and Burn This Press. For Aqueduct Press, she edited WisCon Chronicles Volume 3: Carnival of Feminist SF. Her latest book of poetry is called Unruly Islands. She may have some insight into the creation of the Slut Manifesto and the Splendiferous Oath of Riot Grrrlz Outer Space.

Abigail Young is a writer, ukuleleist, and amateur historian living in San Francisco. She edits and publishes Camel Toe, a feminist zine always looking for thoughtful contributions and pictures of proud lady crotches. Her latest zine, The Important Business Ladies’ Guide to Important Business for Ladies, a collaboration with Emily Alden Foster and Jennie Yim, is an honest, sometimes depressing, mostly funny, and insightful look at the relationships between women and work. Find her online at abbyoung.com.

Moderated by Sarah Godfrey

This panel takes place, Sunday, August 31st from 3:00 to 4:00pm

SFZF 2014 Workshop: "INTRO TO SILKSCREEN"

Come print a limited-edition Zine Fest poster at the super fabulous screen printing workshop by co-owner of The Lords of Print, Rick Kitagawa! 

Rick will go over the basics of screen printing on paper, including burning and reclaiming screens, registration, and resources if you want to start up your own printing studio. The workshop will also briefly cover printing on fabric (ie. t-shirts), making transparencies, and different ink types. 

 

This workshop takes place Sunday, August 31st from 11:00 - 12:00pm.

SFZF 2014 Panel: "RACE, GENDER AND THE FUTURE OF ZINES"

San Francisco Zine Fest organizes workshops and panels to offer an opportunity to learn new DIY crafts and talk to artists. We make an effort to ensure that these workshops and panels engage and inspire our community.  

One of our panels for SFZF 2014 is "Race, Gender, and the Future of Zines." And this is what it's about: 

Zines are a big idea: a medium for everyone, with no gatekeepers, no startup costs, and no divide between makers and readers. So why, in the Bay Area in 2014, do our zine collections still look so different from our communities — and how do we bridge the divides of social capital, unpaid work, and real accessibility? In this panel, we talk to folks building new things with old ideals, and we explore the future of zine culture by going back to its roots.


Panelists:

Anna Anthropy — videogame designer, cultural critic, author of Rise of the Videogame Zinesters and ZZT, and maintainer of the game history archive annarchive.comauntiepixelante.com

Anna Anthropy

Pendarvis Harshaw — Oakland-based writer and photojournalist behind street-interview blogOG Told Me, and a recent graduate of UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. Pen has worked with NPR, the Huffington Post, and the San Quentin News, one of the world's only inmate-run prison newspapers. ogtoldme.com

Pendarvis Harshaw

Nia King — host of the podcast We Want The Airwaves and author of the forthcoming book of interviews Queer and Trans Artists of Color: Stories of Some of Our Livesartactivistnia.com

 

Moderated by Channing Kennedy. 

This workshop takes place Sunday, August 31st, from 2:00 to 3:00pm.

 

Thank You for making SFZF 2013 Awesome!

Dear SFZF Community,

We just wanted to take a moment to say THANK YOU for participating, volunteering, and attending this year's San Francisco Zine Fest. We have a strong team of organizers, but SFZF would be nothing without you. It's always impressive to see all of the talented exhibitors' work. It's fun to hang out with such a warm and tight group of creators. You all make it worth the effort that goes into organizing this event. Here's a sample of the creativity fostered over the SFZF weekend, and a sample of what makes this community the very best: 

A special thanks to Chigbarg (of the Double Elvis Ghost Library) for creating this Bingo masterpiece. And a big shout out to our featured artists Justin Hall, Roman Muradov, Sophia Foster Dimino, our guest readers, and our wonderful volunteers. 

A special thanks to Chigbarg (of the Double Elvis Ghost Library) for creating this Bingo masterpiece. And a big shout out to our featured artists Justin Hall, Roman Muradov, Sophia Foster Dimino, our guest readers, and our wonderful volunteers. 

SFZF Featured Artist Spotlight: Justin Hall

“As our concept of queerness changes and our concepts of comics change as well, there’s a lot new material that is happening and new undergrounds are forming.” ~ Justin Hall

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Justin Hall referred to the emerging voices that appeared over time. The research he did for his anthology, No Straight Lines, proved there was a lot of material that hadn’t been archived into queer comic anthologies. No Straight Lines was his attempt to change that by including a wider perspective and representation of both comics and queer history.  

A lot of the stories he included in No Straight Lines  were originally underground comics and zines, created by people who didn’t identify with gay stereotypes. Even though mainstream culture has been more inclusive of gay characters over time, most of the characters that appeared in novels, comics, and television were created by straight men, and failed to represent a diverse community.  But the queer comics scene showed a huge collection of talented individuals, who wanted to tell their stories their way. What those independent creators did was form a wider range of identities that broke stereotypes. They were poetic glimpses, and first-hand accounts, that ended up challenging the canon of art and our concepts of what it means to be queer.

The significance of archives like the Center for Sex and Culture’s library, and anthologies like No Straight Lines, is their ability to make underground art accessible to a large audience. It increases the public’s understanding of queer culture, art, and sex. It also forms a model or paradigm of sorts, but with a different lens. “A painter is going to know this canon of art history to fall back on and look over,” Justin explained. “Where as for cartoonists, for so long, there hasn’t been that conversation of who are our great masters. What’s the art history of comics? So that’s important. And the same thing is true for queer people. Who are our role models? How do we validate the experiences that have happened in the past, that we can learn from and grow from? Who do we give props to?”

After reading Justin’s work, looking through the CSC (Center for Sex and Culture) archives, and meeting the artists at SF Zine Fest, a few insights emerge: an artist’s imagination can break through all limits, and that fight for survival has the power to create a cultural shift.

To learn more about Justin Hall’s work, come through to our panel tomorrow, Saturday, August 31 at noon.  

SFZF Featured Artist Interview: Sophia Foster-Dimino

Sophia Foster-Dimino never saw another option but to make art her living. Though she knew from a young age that she was an artist, she still worked vigorously to become better at her craft. She tried one process after another. When something inspired her, she would study it over and over again. The people around her encouraged her to keep going. The result of all her efforts can be seen below. Her line work is light and captures movement. And her work shows the amount of thought she puts into each piece. Every detail has a purpose. Every line leads you to another treasure, be it color, figures, or words. 

1) When did you start identifying as an artist? 

I drew from an early age, though that isn't unusual. When I was in kindergarten, I remember using a whole box of markers to draw a rainbow. The rainbow had every color available, including black, grey, brown, and pink...

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When I was a little older, in second or third grade, I remember drawing a painstaking copy of a Lisa Frank folder that had a bunch of orcas on it. Some older girls from the fourth grade saw it, and they were incredibly impressed. I kept it up in my free time after that. I think that's the way these things usually go – you're marginally better at something due to chance, you get a little encouragement at an early age, and that's enough to shape your entire identity.

I attended the MICA pre-college program when I was fifteen, and that cemented my desire to pursue art as a career. I think that was the single biggest turning point – I never really considered any alternate life options after that.

2) What artists / writers inspired you or influenced you the most? 

When I was just about to graduate from high school – like, the day before graduation – my classmates and I were bumming around a used bookstore in Sarasota, Florida, and I found a beaten-up copy of 32 Stories by Adrian Tomine. It's a collection of his Optic Nerve comics. Before then, my experience with comics had been limited to Sandman, Archie, and whatever random manga I could find online... Optic Nerve was my entry point into another world of comics. Within a few months I'd found Chris Ware and (most importantly) the anthology Mome, which I read religiously all through college right up until its demise, just after I graduated. It had been my masochistic fantasy to be featured in it one day... it introduced me to some of my favorite cartoonists: Eleanor Davis, Lilli Carré, Jim Woodring, Gabrielle Bell, Anders Nilsen, Dash Shaw, David B., Laura Park...

Right now I am very drawn to geometric cartoonists like Joost Swarte. I take influence from fine artists, graphic designers, and furniture/ designers as well. One of my favorite cartoonists right now is Henry McCausland – his work is transcendental to me. Some of his comics have been published by Nobrow, and he puts his own zines out as well. I love how he mixes perfectly rigid, cold, metal architecture with chaotic overgrowth... shrubs, twigs, ferns, and grass. His worlds seem bleak, but his characters are very happy-go-lucky, and innocent.

I don't read as much as I want to, but I love Italo Calvino, Umberto Eco, Borges, Atwood, Nabokov, Lem... I like stories of solitary narrators exploring strange buildings, thinking about human interactions from a remote point. Within the past year or so I read a novella called The Invention of Morel, by Adolfo Bioy Casares. It was very much in line with my sensibilities. I like it when fiction is serious in theme, but not in tone. I also like pulp, I love sci-fi. I really love movies and videogames, and I try to let them pollinate my art somehow...

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3) What is your creative process like?

I do a lot of planning. I do many layers of sketches. Drawing takes a long time, for me. I'm trying to loosen up a bit, but every time I adjust my process it seems like I just get further into a rut. I'm getting more and more obsessed with geometry, so I draw all sorts of intense guide lines for my images. Sometimes it's all too much and I wind up feeling like I'm just assembling Ikea furniture, there's no spontaneity to it. To try and combat this sensibility, when I draw in my sketchbook I go straight to ink so that I can't be too much of a perfectionist.

Right now I think my process is controlling me a bit too much. I should find some way to snap out of it. When I was in college, I did a lot of printmaking. I've had some trouble finding facilities in San Francisco (or maybe I'm just dragging my feet) but I think a change of medium would help me to relax. I've been wanting to try ceramics, too.

4) What's the most challenging thing about creating your work / the most rewarding thing about it?

Because I tend to over-plan, I sometimes get stage fright while drawing, and nothing comes out right. All it takes is a little bit of resistance and I start worrying – "Why isn't this working? Have I lost it? It's true, I'm a fraud after all..." It's exhausting to try and shake loose from self-doubt. It follows me through almost every piece. And then I can't wait to just get it out the door and never see it again. Only months after completing a drawing can I look at it with any kind of objectivity.

It's rewarding when I discover something new by accident. Or, conversely, when I point all my efforts at a visual problem and finally figure out a solution. When things go well, it's usually by accident, though.

I feel happiest when my peers like my work. I'm friends with some insanely hard-working and brilliant artists, and their encouragement really makes it all worthwhile.

I'm also happy when someone has an emotional connection with my work. Sometimes complete strangers are on my wavelength, they take something empowering or encouraging from my drawings, and that really makes me feel like it's all worthwhile.

5) How important is it for you to have a strong community of artists? Where did you find that community?

Community has been really important for me during the past several years. When I was in college, I was severely introverted, a real shut-in... I felt moody and restless all the time, and it was difficult for me to make a lot of friends.

When I graduated I moved to the other coast, and I found myself even more isolated. I eventually reached a breaking point and decided I needed to commit myself to making connections with people no matter how uncomfortable it made me feel. So I joined twitter and started reaching out. It's been a huge help, an amazing comfort, to see that the artists I respect so much struggle with the same weird anxities. I've learned a lot (both "professionally" and personally) from engaging with the twitter illustration/comics community. And I've made a lot of friends.

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Whenever I go to a major comics convention like TCAF, SPX, MoCCA, APE, etc, I wind up running into all these people. I guess this is a situation unique to artists, or at least people who are buried in the culture to the degree that I am, but knowing someone personally really enriches their work for me, it contextualizes it. I've fallen in love with a lot of obscure or difficult work after getting to know the person who made it. I know that comics and illustrations are meant to stand alone on their own merits, but I also feel like one of the most important functions of art is to bring people together, so I guess I'd say that I have both objective and subjective lenses for viewing creators and their output.

6) When did you start tabling at conventions/ or Zine Fests?

The first convention I attended, aside from miscellaneous anime conventions in high school, was MoCCA in 2009. I did table there with some fellow RISD students (we were juniors at the time). I went to SPX for the first time shortly after, though I didn't exhibit. I first exhibited at TCAF, which is my favorite convention, in 2012.

For major conventions, I usually team up with Collective Stench, which is a loose group of ~15 artists – many of whom graduated from RISD, many in my class. They are all incredibly talented and I love to table with them.

SF Zine Fest and APE were a big part of getting to know San Francisco and the local community, for me. I actually first talked to my future husband at Zine Fest 2011!

7) What do you take from events like SFZF, as an exhibitor and as a guest?

Conventions and fests are exhiliarating and a great way to meet new artists (or ones you've covertly obsessed over for months). They're also pretty stressful for me, since I have trouble with crowds. But, to my relief, most artists seem to feel the same way. We all manage. It's a good experience overall.

When I was in college I worked at the school library, and I remain very attached to the concept of a physical library, even in the face of e-books, etc. I've taken a long time to figure out what it is, in particular, that I like so much about libraries, and I think it's something similar to what I like about conventions and fests. When you live and work online, you learn about the things you research, and you learn about the things your friends buzz about, but there's not really a digital equivalent of wandering in a diverse space and finding something completely unexpected. I really value being able to stumble across something I've never seen or heard of before, something I didn't even know was possible. Humans have a natural desire to organize and make things coherent, but the world is never going to be like that, so although the effort is noble (sometimes) it's just as important to accept and absorb how unique and uncategorizable people (and their various forms of expression) are.

 

SFZF Featured Artist Interview: Roman Muradov

Roman Muradov started off as an engineer, and then came to terms with the fact that he was an artist. His work reflects his many talents and takes from poetry and literature, music, and the symmetry and wonder of moving machines. Roman's shy demeanor misleads the passing eye, for his world is full of color. He works in layers of contradiction, making a few brush strokes form a world of beauty, a world of sadness, irony, but most of all sharp wit. It's no surprise that his work has gained so much recognition in a short amount of time. 

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1) When did you start identifying as an artist? 

I've always had mild artistic aspirations, most of them successfully repressed until my 20s, so I still have a lot of catching up to do.

2) What artists / writers inspired you or influenced you the most? 

I've always been attracted to artists who challenge the reader's expectations and the medium they're occupying, particularly Saul Steinberg, Marcel Proust, Georges Perec, Marcel Duchamp, James Joyce, Tove Jansson and Vladimir Nabokov. The comedy of Armando Iannucci and Chris Morris was a huge influence on me, as well as music of the Fall. My favorite cartoonists are Seth, Tim Hensley and Jason.

3) What is your creative process like?

I have a few approaches, but for most of my work I draw with brush/pen & ink, then color it digitally. I try to keep the roughness of the medium, so I use wellworn brushes and deliberate mess up the bristles or smudge things with my finger. Most of the time I'm trying to create the feel of a beautiful melody played on a tuneless instrument by someone who's on the verge of having a breakdown.

4) What's the most challenging thing about creating your work / the most rewarding thing about it?

The only rewarding part is the beginning, when it feels more like playing with words and ideas, rather than work. Everything else is pretty torturous.

5) How important is it for you to have a strong community of artists? Where did you find that community?

Drawing comics is a tedious and lonesome pastime, and with the intensely unrelatable subject matter that I pick it can feel pointless and unappreciated. So when I do hear from someone who gets what I'm doing and derives some pleasure from my work, it's always hugely motivating. I met most friends & colleagues through posting work online and festivals.

6) When did you start tabling at conventions or Zine Fests?

I first tabled at ZineFest in 2011, before that I felt too insecure to sell my stuff. Of all the festivals, ZineFest & TCAF are my favorites--both are well-curated and pleasantly located, very different from the more commercial and pop-culture-ridden funnybook conventions.

7) What do you take from events like SFZF, as an exhibitor and as a guest?

ZineFest is often the only event of the year when I get to meet and chat in person with fellow cartoonists, as well as share zines and comics. I like the idea of never reprinting my zines so that each one goes directly into someone's hands as a little artifact of that year.

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Featured Artist for SFZF 2013: Justin Hall

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We are pleased to announce that the multifaceted Justin Hall, will be a featured artist for SFZF 2013. Justin's work includes True Travel Tales, Hard to Swallow, and Glamazonia The Uncanny Super Tranny. He is also the editor of No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics, an anthology of LGBTQ comics that happens to highlight history and culture. Justin just won the 2013 Lambda Literary Foundation Award for Best Anthology, and has been nominated for and Eisner Award. Justin has been a pillar for SF Bay Area cartoonists for the past decade. It's an honor to have him as our guest.