When people think of zines, they might think of the 1970s New York punk zeitgeist. They might also think of the ever-growing “do-it-yourself” movement or a potentially great skit for a “Portlandia” episode. Event-goers found all this and more at The Miami Zine Fair April 22.
The fair was a community-based event that offered exposure for zines and other local products. Zines are typically self-published booklets with a small circulation. They are created in small batches and are not intended for profit. Instead, zines aim to advance and share an ideology, issue, art or story important to the creator. Zines are hard to define because they can be anything the creator wants.
According to O, Miami, The Miami Zine Fair is the original and largest gathering of Florida’s indie publishers, featuring over 150 local artists, writers, publishers and activists. This year, the fair took place on the lawn near the Lowe Art Museum. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the fair was filled with people discovering Miami’s print world.
WVUM, the university’s radio station, played music for the fair while offering a unique virtual reality experience. In the WVUM office, users could play a game to produce the tones and chords of Hot Sugar’s “The Melody of Dust” album by using VR controllers to create a soundscape. The experience was an entertaining extension of the fair.
The fair offered an impressive collection of cassettes, shirts, books, comics, art and zines. April 22 was not just the Miami Zine Fair – it was also Record Store Day and, more importantly, Earth Day. Earth First brought the environmental activism and excitement of Earth Day to the fair. Walking away from Earth First’s table, guests could see a zine called “Coloring Book for Sad Boys,” which featured a real cigarette and relevant pictures, such as Drake crying. Vice Versa Press’s “Guide to be Being Alone” was a notable zine.
Two zines created by University of Miami students Kevin Sands and Ethan Punal were featured at the fair. Sands’ “My Life of Living Más: A Salute to Taco Bell” came as a “meal deal,” which included three Taco Bell sauce packets and a bag of Doritos. Punal’s “Some Art You’ll Probably Care About” contained 20 abstract animated celebrity portrayals.