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


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


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.


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.


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 Saturday, August 30th, from 2:00 to 3:00pm.


SF Zine Fest talks with E. Francis Kohler

In three sentences, tell us what your work is about.

I only need one sentence: My work is a tribute, adoration and homage to all things classic horror (old school monster movies).

How did you first find out about zines? What inspired you to make your own zines?

It's been so long I can't really recall my very first encounter with zines, but I do clearly remember coming across some issues of American Living (zines by Angela Mark and Michael Shores) in a free box at the San Francisco Art Institute library in 1986. I also have a very clear memory of finding issue #2 of Kandycorn-Jackhammer (by Johnny Brewton) in a secondhand clothing shop in Berkeley in '91. I had done some strips (for fun and for my Junior college newspaper) and single panels previously, but had never given much thought to zines until Johnny Brewton suggested that I reformat my strip, "The Serious Family" (originally drawn in 1981), into a zine layout. He printed my first zine under his Pneumatic Press imprint in 1992.

What do you do when you’re not creating?

I work at Creativity Explored (an art program for adults with disabilities), take photographs of overlooked details in the SF Bay Area, and make short films.

What is an unexpected benefit that you’ve experienced from reading/ making zines?

Gaining insight into the lives of other creators. This can result in a feeling or sense of connection (of some sort) whether you ever meet the zine-creator or not. I happened to meet one of my best friends ever (Johnny Brewton) through his zine, so that was cool. I know this sounds corny, but making zines and dispersing them into the world is similar to planting seeds - you never know what will grow as a by-product of that action.

How would you advise first timers on making their first zines?

Don't be too ambitious. Start modestly and build up. The fact that you're making anything at all is something to be happy about.

What are you working on for this year’s SF Zine Fest?

My first zine in 22 years (Monsternerd), a wordless fotonovel, some buttons, hand-drawn postcards and a print.

For more from Francis, check out:


SF Zine Fest talks with Gabriel Moore-Topazio

In three sentences, tell us what your work is about.

I like to use fantasy as a backdrop from which to explore the complexities of characters and the worlds they live in. Both society and the individual have the capacity for good and evil, and I like to explore that through the lens of fantasy.

How did you first find out about zines? What inspired you to make your own zines?

My first experiences with zines was mostly through local music shows, where venues would have free zines. What inspired me most is the freedom of creativity that they provide. So much art is limited by finances and connections to gallery oriented art circles, I like that zines and self-publishing are mostly reliant on the artist's ambition.

What do you do when you’re not creating?

Between work, school and creating I keep pretty busy. Creating is a never ending task, and I enjoy spending my time drawing and writing. But when I need a break from it all, I enjoy going out to the beach or to a show as much as I enjoy a day at home with good coffee.

What is an unexpected benefit that you’ve experienced from reading/ making zines?

Zines and independent publishing provide inspiration you can not find in a mainstream comic or magazine. I like meeting other people who make them, meeting creator to creator, there is often a mutual appreciation for each other having an independent spirit and approach to art.

How would you advise first timers on making their first zines?

With the zine format, the risk is so low and printing can be done so cheap, so just do it, and have fun with it. Then learn from the experience, get better and make more.

What are you working on for this year’s SF Zine Fest?

I am showing my self-published comic book Asylum. It is a dystopian fantasy comic about an asylum that parallels an alternate dimension where the patients have superpowers that correspond to their psychosis.

For more from Gabriel, check out: