Page-turning text and eye-catching art lined various tables at the National Hispanic Cultural Center this past weekend as the ninth annual Albuquerque Zine Fest (ABQZF) took shape. ABQZF is now the longest-running zine event in New Mexico.
Zines are self-published magazine-type booklets. Often, creators will use them to showcase their original artwork and literature. The ABQZF has created a noncompetitive, diverse, queer-friendly and creative environment for such artists for almost a decade.
The event is founded and run by women of color and featured 62 diverse artists.
Zac Finger, an artist representing the Tucson Zine Fest, said his primary interest behind his writing is sci-fi. He said other artists from the Tuscon Zine Fest will often focus on sci-fi, video games, politics, a mix of all three and more.
Ross Wood Studlar, another artist, said that as a child he always wanted to work for Marvel Comics.
"Like many young boys, my favorite superhero was Spiderman," Wood Studlar said.
Since then, he has been inspired to write stories and create engaging comics. As someone who has been working as a ranger in New Mexico's forests, Ross writes scientifically accurate and hand-drawn nature comics.
Cleveland-based illustrator John G. said he has drawn over 300 posters for grilled cheese restaurant Melt Bar & Grilled. He writes and illustrates horror, sci-fi and post-apocalyptic themed comics. His art style resembles that behind Mad Max and Borderlands. One of John G.’s most notable comics is "The Lake Erie Monster."
Another artist named Samantha was from Dungeon Maven. All her art focuses on the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons.
"By the end of my first Dungeons and Dragons session, I was hooked," Samantha said.
One of her zines included a mini-zine about how to play Dungeons and Dragons and how to choose your character. Another included stories from games she has played and lessons she has learned. She also sold fortune tellers that help you decide what character you should choose, dice for playing Dungeons and Dragons and T-shirts.
Sara Karola, another person at the event, runs the Etsy shop "HerDirtyDishes." She started her artistic journey with adult material. She then decided to expand her horizons and write about pets — primarily cats.
Some things that she displayed at her table were X-rated stickers, X-rated coloring books and cute animal-related zines. Her focus with her art is to make pornography and self-love less of a societal taboo.
"(My art) is to celebrate communication, consent and climax," Karola said.
Artist Avy Jetter started drawing in kindergarten and writing comics in 2013. Jetter a horror fan, and it shows in her drawing style. When asking what her favorite horror movies were, she said she was a fan of the classics.
"'The Conjuring,' ''Halloween' (the 1978 original) and 'The Strangers' are some of my favorites," Jetter said.
Aside from her horror works, Jetter creates a lot of personal stories— primarily, her experiences with micro-aggressions and racial bias.
Along with the art, there were activities scattered throughout the event. They had a mental health counselor that anyone could talk to if they were interested in learning more about mental health services.
The ABQZF also had members of Tea Talks Zine talk about how to end gender-based violence. Other activities included registering to vote, zine readings and meetups.
ABQZF is an event for anyone who is interested in comics, traditional art, magazines, clothing, accessories and supporting local artists.
For people interested in ABQ Zine Fest 10, it will take place on Oct. 3, 2020. More information on the event can be found at ABQZF.com.
Caitlin Scott is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Caitlin69123118