Friday, June 08, 2012

Scranton Zine Festival is this Saturday

The Scranton Zine Festival is this Saturday from noon to 6 PM at the New Visions Studio and Gallery at 201 Vine Street in Scranton, with a poetry reading to follow from 7 PM - 9 PM.

What's a "zine," you might ask? Zines are sort-of first cousins to blogs. They share the same pedigree but have diverged in execution: whereas blogs are creations that exist in cyberspace for the most part (until the blog hits the big time and gets published as a book,) zines are ink-on-paper creations that have a real presence in the physical world (except when the zine creator, or "zinester," decides to create an online component to the zine - sometimes in the form of a blog!)

Zines are at once more permanent and more ephemeral than blogs. Permanent in that they have a real physical presence as an object, rather than as a website that exists only on some server somewhere; ephemeral in that zines are always "limited editions," while a blog can exist in any numbers anywhere that the blog site can be accessed.

I first became aware of zines during my college years in the late 1980's, assuming we don't count the comic books that my brother and I hand-drew in limited editions of one. The only zine whose name I can recall was called "Whose Opin-yun?" and exists to this day as a single reference on the internet. (That will change once I publish this post.) But I forgot all about zines for something like twenty years, until a conversation with blogger, hiker, and zinester Erin Delaney reminded me that such things exist.

The Scranton Zine Festival is an opportunity for zinesters from Northeastern Pennsylvania and beyond to meet, mingle, and share their creative work. Well, not literally "share;" if you're going, take along a supply of small bills to purchase zines you find interesting - and help keep the zinesters in paper, toner, and whatever other materials they need to practice their craft. (For a list of zinesters and others taking part in the Scranton Zine Festival, go here.)

I'll be in the area this Saturday anyway - my writing group meets in Scranton every Saturday, so it's just a quick walk to the New Visions location. I'm planning to take a stack of blog cards with me, both for Another Monkey and NEPA Blogs. Who knows what sort of connections I'll be making!

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