I had the pleasure of tabling at the very first OC Zine Fest at Diego’s Downtown in Santa Ana, CA this last Saturday. It was a really fun time, and there were quite a few visitors for a smaller first-time event like this one. I premiered my new zine, Bad Zoo issue zero, and I brought a couple of my Plumdill variants as well. I have to admit that I probably sunk whatever money I made into a few afternoon beers, but it was really nice to be able to relax, and have a few drinks at my table, while talking to folks. It kind of had the vibe of a community art show/party. The organizers were very accommodating, and they even provided lunch to all of us!
As far as comics related zines go, it seemed like it was just me, and another artist there named Kevin Uehlein. He was 2 tables down from me, so I had a nice time chatting with him about his work, and comics in general. He had some amazing zines called Compulse that featured jam-packed pages full of his sketchbook art, and he also had some comics by a friend of his named Pat Barrett(who is doing some kick-ass comics for the new Garbage Pail Kids card series!) I did see a lot of other great art/sketchbook style zines at the fest that could be put in the comics category, stylistically speaking. One artist was whipping out some amazing pen/ink artwork at the As Issued Art & Design Bookstore table, but unfortunately I didn’t catch his name.
I also need to mention one of my other table-neighbors, Elise Bernal, who was an absolute delight to sit next to. She had a lot of great zines at her table, including one that teaches you how to make your own yogurt! She also put on a great workshop for beginning screen printing. I highly recommend her zine “George, you’re a star.” a touching, inspirational little picture book for all ages.
I’m looking forward to the next OC Zine Fest in 2015! I selfishly would like to see even more comics related zinesters there next time around, but that’s not to take anything away from the non-comics people. Just like the LA Zine Fest has, I expect to see this event growing bigger, and bigger over the next few years.