Saturday, November 23, 2013

12noon to 5pm
Saturday, 23 November
James Cabaret, 5 Hania Street, Wellington

Follow #wgtnzinefest for updates

Thursday, November 14, 2013

It's all go leading up to this year's Wellington Zinefest - here's a quick summary of the upcoming programme in date order:

The Lightbox: A Zine Exhibition
The Zinefest Committee curates an exhibition of zine spreads drawn from the Best-of-the-Fest archives and personal collections.

Getting the Party On: DIY Bunting & Cardboard Letters

2013 Wellington Zinefest is just around the corner and we need your help to make the festival look, well, festive. Expect materials to include glitter and colourful things!

Zine-Maker Talks

Pens down, folks. Let’s kick back and remind ourselves of why we make zines: to meet cool people & learn cool things. Our line-up of speakers are all cool people, wanting to share cool things with you. We hope you can join us.

Wellington Zinefest! Make A Collaborative Zine

Join us in our celebration of zines, DIY culture and the joy of reading by making a page to be included in our collaborative zine. All materials supplied, a copy of the final zine will be sent to you to keep and show off to your friends!

2013 Wellington Zinefest

Wellington Zinefest’s seventh annual free event will be held this month, featuring a new venue and plenty of new ideas.

Designed to celebrate and promote zines – small-circulation, self-published works of a multidisciplinary nature - Wellington Zinefest invites zinemakers from across the country and beyond to meet, be inspired and share their work by selling, buying and swapping zines.

Featuring approximately 50 zine stalls and a collaborative zine-making workshop, the event is open to people of all ages and is preceded by a public programme in the weeks leading up to the big day, which includes includes workshops at Matchbox Studios, a lightbox exhibition outside Thistle Hall and talks presented by key people in the literary and zinemaking community.

Wellington Zinefest afterparty

Stand-up comedy and music take the day to a happy close at this year’s Wellington Zinefest after-party, following the presentation of the Best of the Fest trophy to the top zine-maker for the 2013 event. Come down to Mighty Mighty to celebrate all things creative.


Demystifying the ISBN: A Talk

Wellington Zinefest presented 'Demystifying the ISBN: A Talk' at the National Library this month, as a part of the public programme which leads up to the main 2013 Zinefest event.

The talk brought experts from the National and Wellington Central libraries together with experienced zinemakers to discuss the value of ISBNs to this artform.

You can see pics and catch updates on our Facebook page:

Friday, November 8, 2013

Zinefest poster designer Hayden Currie: "My first zine came out when I was zero"

Wellington Zinefest committee member Brent Willis chats with Hayden Currie, a Wellington-based cartoonist who draws cartoons and designed our 2013 Zinefest poster.

I first came across your work in Book, a zine you have produced with James Roswell and Matt Henley. Was Book your first zine or had you made other zines before then?

My first zine came out when I was zero. But it was drawn in blood on my placenta, so it was kinda controversial and ended up being thrown in a bin of medical waste and burned. When I was six I started making these badly stapled comics with felt pens and crayons. They followed the adventures of me and my little bro’s GI Joes and soft toys. It ended with my brother's turtle (Little Deedle Fozzie) decapitating his Mum (Bambi) with an axe. It's all been downhill from there.

Are there going to be any more editions of Book?

Yeah definitely, even if it’s just me and my cruddy comics like Tinny Cops and Hempie Hoedown.

Some of the humour in Book could be described as a bit 'dark' or 'twisted', which I consider a good thing in comics. What are some of your influences in terms of humour and/or comics?

I grew up on a small sheep farm in the Waitahora valley about a half hour out of Dannevirke, staring up at a big hill. It rained a lot. I developed an unhealthy obsession with The X Files. To this day there's a weird Dana Scully shrine in my room. Being a painfully shy dork, I preferred drawing and mumbling to myself to a lot of other things, like talking to people. When I was 6, we visited my Great Aunt in California. It was like seeing the Promised Land. My Great Aunt, with her loud and sunny attitude, her rags to riches backstory, her facelift and Cadillac Lincoln, took us to see Tim Burton's Batman at the movies. We had the trading cards, the comic, the t shirt, pyjamas ... We taped that movie off TV back home and me and my brother must've watched it at least once a week for a year. Later I got into The Simpsons, Ren and Stimpy, Beavis and Butthead...

My Great Aunt's 88 now. She's lost most of her money and she had a stroke this year, but she's still driving about with no license, saying stuff like 'Jeepers creepers, guess I cut him off. It's a Goddamn federal case trying to leave the highway here!'

So she's a huge inspiration. And I always wanted be a cartoon character when I grew up.

A lot of comic makers get into zines and self-publishing because there isn't a mainstream comics industry in New Zealand. Do you consider yourself a comic maker or a zine maker, or do you think there isn't much of a difference between the two?

I make comics, but they’re mostly A5 and only seen by a small group of deformed morons so they’re really zines. One day Book might be read by over 1000 people, at which point it will cease to be a zine and become a real comic.

Are you going to do any more editions of John Keywi Key?

A third and final Keywi Key should be out before the next election. A local art collective has expressed an interest in drawing it on the side of a school bus and launching it at Key from a giant slingshot. He’d be crushed to death. That may seem a bit harsh. Key has a family, kids. But apparently they’d be killed also. No one left to grieve him, so essentially it’d be a victimless crime.

Can you give some background to the 'Word' project?

That was a wordless comic collection I made with some local artists and a Creative Communities grant I used to get lots of poster-sized comic pages pasted around Wellington with empty panels for people to draw in, and an exhibition selling prints and original art. The Word book is still available, at Matchbox and Graphic. It's at the Library too.

I've seen your art work on the occasional band poster. Does it appear anywhere else?

Oh yeah, some of my posters are here. And I’ve got a website. I put stuff up on this tumblr and I just got an imgur. I've done paste ups and stickers around town but not lately. You can find some of my stuff, including prints and comics, in Matchbox Gallery on Cuba St.

As well as the afore-mentioned projects and your blog, are you involved in any other creative endeavours?

I’ve got a joke rap group but we haven’t done much lately. I’m writing a book on America. And me and this guy I met at a party are starting a new religion to answer all life’s big questions. We’ll start off converting members of existing religions and other gullible types. Picture yourself in the campus library at 3am, cramming hard for finals. You're failing all your papers. They're useless humanities subjects anyway. No hope of gainful employment. Crippling student debt. You're one payday away from jerking off punks for change. Then your phone rings and you're informed that your entire family has just been wiped out in a tragic cooking mishap. You're suffering a nervous breakdown, surrounded by these stacks of difficult books you're supposed be studying. Then I approach, with one book which I tell you is the only book you'll ever need to read for the rest of your life… Our ultimate aim is to be bigger than Islam, Hinduism and Christianity combined, then convince all our followers to kill themselves.

What are you working on at the moment?

A short inoffensive children's book.

Thanks for doing our Zinefest poster this year. How did you go about designing it?

Thanks for thinking of me! I thought: ‘what is a Zinefest? And what kind of a grotesquely ugly freak actually goes to one?’ And I looked in the mirror.

What are your favourite zines at the moment?

Daily Secretion. And 16th and Mission Comics and Bums Of The Bay by the Forsley brothers. These are a few years old now but they're still the best I've seen.

What is your latest project?

A book of quotes and portraits of rappers and comedians drawn with old ink dip pens. For example, Blake from Workaholics: ‘Life is a stage. Smoke weed until you die.’ It's called Great Modern Philosophers. That and the book on America.

Thanks a lot for answering these questions. Are you going to be at Wellington Zinefest this year?

Thanks for asking such great questions! I will certainly be at Zinefest this year along with the rest of you freaks.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Make Time to Make Zines#1

Despite the heavy downpour, zine-makers turned up and made zines.

Some made good use of the collage materials on the table...

'Man as Beard; Beard as Man', 2013, mixed media - includes real human

Some drew, and others wrote...

A hand is about to go on an adventure...

Lots of pigeons are called a 'kit'
 We wrapped up with some show-and-tell...

Stay tuned for updates on the adventures of Hand!

Please consider donating collage materials to the workshops so zines like 'Man as Beard; Beard as Man' can grow and keep going! The question is, where do you find beards to cut out?

It was a great night - lots of focus and lots of making! A huge thank you to Matchbox Studios for having us.

Donations of old magazines are always welcome - please drop off at Matchbox Studios and let them know it's for Wellington Zinefest.

Hope to see you at the next two:

Fri 25 Oct, 6-8pm@Matchbox Studios

Fri 1 Nov, 6-8pm@Matchbox Studios

Stall applications closing in one week - apply now!

Have you applied for your Wellington Zinefest stall?

YES - Awesome, we'll be in touch soon.

NO - register here by Friday 18 October.

Spread the word :)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Register your free stall for 2013 Wellington Zinefest

This year's Wellington Zinefest will be held from 12 – 5pm, Saturday 23 November @ James Cabaret, 5 Hania St, Wellington.

Apply for your Wellington Zinefest stall now to secure your spot in our brand new venue - Wellington’s James Cabaret. All stalls are free.


Tables are 2.4m wide x .75m deep and stalls are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Although you don’t need to sell zines exclusively we ask that your stall is primarily zine-related. Sharing of stalls is welcomed and zine swapping is encouraged. Applications close Friday, 18 October.

Thanks, see ya soon!
The Wellington Zinefest team

Friday, May 24, 2013

Chats with zine makers #1: Lucy Meyle

Remember when you nominated several zine makers who would make your lists of 10 beautifully illustrated zines? You said that Lucy Meyle makes zines worthy of your top 10 list, so we had a chat with her to kick off our monthly series of zine maker profiles:

An experiment in dealing equally with both images and text, so neither would be sacrificed (in terms of size and amount) in order for the exegesis to function.
Ya-Wen: So, to get the ball rolling, how do you feel about having been mentioned as the maker of someone's top 10 beautifully illustrated zine? They didn't name a zine - which one do you think they were thinking of?

Lucy: It’s quite exciting for me to be mentioned- though I'm not sure which one in particular they would be talking about. I try to consider my work with a critical eye but I really don't know what other people will think of it once it goes out into the world.

Ya-Wen: Yeah, I've often wondered where my zines go once they are released into the world. It's a cool connection to discover someone having one of your zines, or talking about it and you happen to come across that conversation. I have the pleasure of owning one of your zines, G O O D G R I E F, - the cover is wordless, an undulating series of waves. Inside, words float among these waves and delicate line drawings of curtains and gesturing hands. I think it was the one you were signing and giving out at the Potroast launch. Can you tell us more about the making of this zine?


excerpts from
Lucy: Yeah, I love finding those connections too! It is really great to talk to someone who has read a zine I've made because their interpretations are almost always more interesting than whatever my intentions were. With most of my zines/comics I don't work in a linear way, but rather assemble them after making lots of little gestures towards an idea. That comic in particular came out of experiments in using an ebb and flow rhythm in text/image to set a tone rather than trying to tell a story.

Ya-Wen: The experiment made your zine special to me. From the little zine history that I do know, prioritising tone over story seem a relatively new way of zine-making - I mean, zines have such a strong connection to voice and narration and story - what do you think of this? What led you to carry out these experiments via the zine form?

Lucy: I guess I'm more interested in making things which resonate with me- my favourite films or songs don't excite me solely because of well-crafted storylines or great lyrics. When other artists give me as a reader/listener/viewer the space to think or to respond without being hit over the head with the 'answer', I am almost relieved. I like when something causes an interruption in how I normally process things- a story that is not a story, a song where I can't fully understand the lyrics. I guess I try to approach making comics or zines the same way, and it has never occurred to me that this was out of the ordinary.

Wall installation: an exploration of fragmentary narrative through comics.
AUT St. Pauls Gallery
Lucy: There is this Deleuze (who is sometimes pretty zzzzzzzz, but this time less so) quote which I find reassuring whenever I think my comics/zines are too boring, which kind of sums up this approach far more eloquently:

"So the problem is no longer getting people to express themselves, but providing little gaps of solitude and silence in which they might eventually find something to say […] What a relief to have nothing to say, the right to say nothing, because only then is there a chance of framing the rare, or even rarer, the thing that might be worth saying."

Ya-Wen: Have you read Roland Barthes' The Neutral? It's written tonally too, and mimetically teases out the nuances of silence. And I think that Deleuze quote is very relevant - it certainly describes my desires in this over-saturated environment.

This may be completely irrelevant, but there's this quote by Kenneth Goldsmith (which I always turn to) that seems to offer another kind of validation of the 'gap', or at least, of creating work out of material that has already spoken:

"The world is full of texts, more or less interesting; I do not wish to add any more. It seems an appropriate response to a new condition in writing today: faced with an unprecedented amount of available text, the problem is not needing to write more of it; instead, we must learn to negotiate the vast quantity that exists."

Ok. So, are you working on something at the moment? Or have plans for something?

Lucy: I haven't, that sounds really interesting though! The Goldsmith quote is so good, I like that idea of 'negotiating' texts.

In the short-term, I have a table at the Sydney Zine Fair so I'm busy trying to reprint previous work as well as putting out two new short comics. One is a follow-up to a short 8-page one which is showing at the Side Way gallery at Artstation at the moment. The second one is an A4 ink comic, called I Am Trying To Concentrate. Long-term, I'm trying to find paid work, on a couple of committees with some cool people, and working towards putting out a long-form comic in September.

Ya-Wen: Oh, I already resonate with that title. The times I have tried to concentrate! Your projects sound exciting - good luck!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

An anonymous Wellington winemaker reports on Paper City 2013

Paper City 2013 Melbourne

So about two months ago I went to the Melbourne Zine Fest in the capacity of a seller of zines. This year the zine fest was going under the name of Paper City 2013, which contained several zine events. I didn't go to the opening  involving several bands playing on the first night, as that was the day I had arrived and I'd been up already for about twenty-something hours hours without sleep. And I missed a guided tour to a zine archive in Melbourne's state library, and some talks because I was in Geelong that day. I did briefly pop into someone's zine launch but couldn't stay long as I had to catch a train to Ballarat.

But I did go to the main event, the 2013 Melbourne zine fair. It was held at the Town Hall which was very grand indeed, so congratulations to the organisers for scoring that venue.  There was plenty of space and enough room to accommodate about a hundred zine makers most of whom had their own tables. I did hear from a few of the regulars that the number of attendees was less than previous years. Possibly because of the Chinese New Year parade outside. But thats OK, its not all about sales. I got to meet people, did some networking, did some swaps and the usual stuff one does at these things.  There was of course, a wide variety of zines there, ranging from the cheaply produced photocopy zines to those who took advantage of Australia's cheaper printing facilities to create flasher looking productions. A  besuited fellow had had also covered one of the tables with little paper houses, a little paper city within the paper city. There were also various musical combos playing on the stage, at an appropriate volume, not too loud, not too quiet. Just right.

So a good time was had by most, maybe even all. If you want to have a summer holiday in Melbourne, try and coincide it with the Melbourne Zine Fest next Year (its usually in February). Check the Sticky Institute blog for information on upcoming zine events in Australia. If you're lucky you might sell a few zines and make some money to spend on beer or trams or museums or Koala food or something afterwards.

Melbourne Town Hall stage

Melbourne Town hall ceiling

The paper city

Sunday, March 24, 2013

All I ever wanted on a page...

2012 Wellington Zinefest collaborative zine All I Ever Wanted on a Page is here!

The 2012 theme was 'Fantasy Fanzine'. Unfortunately due to lack of space the collaborative zinemaking table was pretty difficut to get to, and there was less particiption than in previous years. We carried on at the after party, where some great collages and drawings were added.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

2012 Best of Fest trophy presentation

On Wellington Anniversary day (21 Jan) the official presentaion of the engraved trophy for 'Best of Fest' zine at Wellington Zinefest 2012 was held.

The winner for 2012 was Always Never Fun #6 by Sam Thurston and Cameron 'Big Bird' Ross. The trophy was presented to Sam by 2011 winner Zora Patrick.