Sunday, October 17, 2010

a day at the 2010 richmond zine fest

Yesterday I tabled the 2010 Richmond Zine Fest along with Andrew Cohen and Matt Dembicki, who were there representing The D.C. Conspiracy. Early in the morning I drove out to the Vienna, VA Metro lot, where I met up with Matt and Andrew, who were waiting to pick me up before taking off for Richmond, Virginia.

I almost didn't make it this year, so I'm glad Matt told me about it. It was my third year tabling the fest, which took place at the Gay Community Center of Richmond. Last year we were at Gallery 5, which is a beautiful old converted fire station, now an art gallery. I completely forgot to bring my camera that day though. While I preferred the location and gallery, the GCCR had a ton of space for folks to table and browse. You couldn't miss it too, with the big painted rainbow stripe going around the building - a nice splash of color in an otherwise drab locale. I wished I could have checked out the Diversity Thrift shop, right next door, but I was mostly kind of stuck behind my table yesterday. I remember a few years ago they had some cool records and books.

Andrew, Matt and I arrived around 10:30 AM, after about an hour-and-a-half drive in Matt's car. The fest officially began at 11 AM, though folks were still slowly getting set up. There was no need to hurry though, since the first couple of hours were pretty quiet. It wasn't until about 1PM that things really picked up. There was a pretty steady stream of people from then, until about 4:30PM.

I was so fortunate to have met a bunch of great people at the fest. My neighbors tabling beside me were really cool, and the people who dropped by to talk or buy some of my stuff were truly wonderful. While I was making some decent green from my Splotch Monsters mostly, I also made some "real" green in the form of fresh produce from some way cool organic farmers who traded me some kale for some monsters! I also made several book trades with folks as well, and I look forward to featuring some of these great zines here at the blog soon.

In between selling things and talking to people, I decided to keep busy and make some Splotch Monsters as well. I managed to crank out eleven altogether yesterday, which made the time fly by pretty quickly. I figured that it would also be great to share with folks the process behind these things.

Andrew and Matt are two of the best comic book artists on the planet. They were there supporting their ever-growing empire of comic book awesomeness, including their latest collaboration "The Brewmaster's Castle", Andrew's excellent "Howz It Funnies" "Shhh! (You'll Wake the Dead)", and "Dr. W", Matt's amazing "Xoc" and "Mr. Big", "Spadefoot", Matt's son Adam's awesome "Ant Army", and the huge "Trickster Anthology". Here they are getting psyched up for the fest. I was lucky their table was right behind mine yesterday. I give 'em a ten for presentation, and that little knight statue at the bottom right was a nice touch.

I started the day off tired and cranky due to procrastination and trying to get things ready the night before (on a Friday night nonetheless) and wished I could have gotten another five hours of sleep Saturday. As the day progressed and as I met more and more great, kind individuals, I realized once again why I decided to do this again.

Here I'm talking with Eric, who with his girlfriend Sara, put out a great zine about their adventures in record collecting called "Vinyl Vagabonds". I really loved reading this book last night, and I look forward to checking out their blog of the same name.

Until next time, BIG thanks to the festival organizers and to all those who stopped by my table to talk, check out my books and art and buy some of my work! It is always much appreciated. And a REAL BIG thanks goes out to Matt, for most of the photos you see here and for the ride to the fest, and to Andrew, for the beverages. Looking forward to next year's event!

On a final note, I'd like to give away a pair of my two new art zines "Splotch! VOL 1" and "Tales From the Natural World" to the first two people who drop me a line here at this post. They both go for two bucks each and compile some of my favorite art I made from the past year or so. They're black & white, sixteen pages, signed, numbered and limited to sixty copies each. Good luck!