Zines have been having a something of moment in Northwest Indiana.
Zines like Mythos, Appendix Z and GloomWorld's Headaches and Heartbreaks have been finding a readership. Last year the Gary Poetry Project widely distributed a zine of poems about the city. Green Door Books in downtown Hobart hosts regular zine nights. Now Michigan City is going to host a Zine and Small Press Fest starting at 10 a.m. April 21.
The Lubeznik Center for the Arts, the Michigan City Public Library, Mythos Publications, The Literary Underground and Calumet Artist Residency are hosting the daylong festival celebrating the underground self-published zines, DIY photocopied magazines that often are distributed at places like coffee shops and record stores. Indiana Humanities and National Endowment for the Humanities funded the festival that will bring a number of authors, poets artists and scholars to town.
"The Zine and Small Press Fest celebrates the amazing works of zine artists and indie authors from the Region and beyond and highlights these literary works of contemporary documentation, community activism, and storytelling," Lubeznik Education Director Hannah Hammond-Hagman said. "It's simply time to acknowledge this important and relevant work, and we look forward to a great crowd on April 21 for all of the fest events."
The Michigan City Public Library at 100 E. Fourth St. will host an all-ages zine-making workshop from 10 a.m. to noon. Then at 12:30 p.m. the Lubenik will host a keynote address by Fred Wright, a college teacher who wrote “From Zines to Ezines: Electronics Publishing and the Literary Underground," published the literary zine drinkdrankdrunk and penned reviews for "Zine World: A Reader's Guide to the Underground Press."
Then a panel discussion about the resurgence of zine culture will take place at 2 p.m., followed by poetry readings from 3 to 5 p.m. Attendees also can check out original artworks and prints from regional artists in the "Material Culture" exhibit about zines, comic books and graphic novels at the NIPSCO Education Studio, or browse the zines and books of more than 40 zinesters, who will sell or give away their work in the main gallery.
“I'm convinced part of the reason there's been an influx of interest in zine culture within Northwest Indiana is because a handful of local creatives have a difficult time identifying with the ritzy 'HGTV' styled art markets," Mythos Zine publisher Alec Villarreal said. "Zines are oftentimes grungy and down-to-earth in their appearance or content, and this is precisely what makes the artistic nobodies of our region, like myself, say, 'I want to be a part of that.' The Zine & Small Press Fest is just another tangible expression of a network of artists that’s being formed in NWI, and I’m excited to be part of it."
Then at 6:30 p.m. Gregg Fraley, William Taylor Jr., Iris Berry, Michael Grover and A.S. Coomer will read their work at the Artspace Uptown Artist Lofts at 717 Franklin St. in downtown Michigan City. A cash bar will be available at the reading for mature audiences.