ZICS!

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Our more eagle eyed followers will remember reading a post earlier in the year in which we stated our resolution to stop being the biggest pikers in zinedom and attend as many zine fairs as possible in 2014. We accordingly pencilled Brisbane’s Zine and Indie Comics Emporium into our diary, then wrote over the pencil in Biro – yes, Biro. Such was our determination to attend. You’ve guessed by now that I’m writing this in way of apology – turns out we can’t make ZICS this year. But we admire the huge collective effort that them Brisbane folks put into it. Hopefully we’ll make it next time, and hopefully YOU can make it this time! Here’s a blurb they sent us, to inspire you:

“Now in its second year, The Zine and Independent Comic Symposium, or ZICS, is a three day event run in the last weekend of August (29th-31st). Held less than 100m away from the Culture Centre Bus Station, The Edge will once again play host to this unique experience.

Featuring workshops, discussion panels, live music, and a space for zine and comic artists to present their work, this event had over 2000 people last time, and this year is on track to be even bigger! The enthusiastic reception of ZICS last year proved that Brisbane is hungry for more events like this, and we’re ready to give it to them!

The event kicks off on Friday night with a ticketed launch event with competitions, guest speakers, an affordable bar, and live music to help kick off the event in style!

The rest of the weekend will be free entry to the public, and there will be plenty of activities to get involved with. There will be workshops on topics like ‘intro to screenprinting’, plus engaging panel conversations covering a range of topics from ‘representation in the medium’ to ‘how to pay the bills’. And, there will be the Comic and Zine marketplace, where local and interstate creators will be distributing and trade their works.

ZICS is a not for profit community collective, all run by passionate volunteers. ZICS has launched a Pozible campaign to help cover costs, which can be viewed at http://www.pozible.com/zics14, so come and get your tickets now! More info at https://www.facebook.com/ZICSymposium”

Many new zines

Love truth and honesty

I am very excited. We have so many great zines in stock at the moment. I just added a whole stack of new stuff to the catalogue and it’s all so frighteningly good. Full descriptions to come, but here’s what’s new and available to purchase right now:

  • Practice your French with Couteau en Plastique No10 (aka Plastic Knife #10), as translated by Giz Medium of Cheaptoys fame (issues of Cheaptoys also available, I might add, and also new in stock is Plastic Knife #12).
  • Five Postcards, a zine made to coincide with the Other Worlds zine fair, and written by Anwyn, who has not made a zine on her own for a long time. You know this is special.
  • Huffin’ Textas: A secret history of Dexter Fletcher. That’s Dexter Fletcher the mysterious Sydney based art gang of two. This zine is 10 000 (count ‘em) words of quality writing on teenage dreams, the Manic Street Preachers, the Mekons, machine breaking, the Miners’ Strike and more, written in a Jump Cuts collaborative style.
  • The Arrivals, a collection of excellent stories set in ‘disappearing towns’, by Shaun Prescott. You can read Shaun’s short story The Coffee Table in the most recent issue of Meanjin (as well as Tamara’s Walnuts, Almonds, Nuts, which we also stock in zine form!)
  • We have multiple issues of Piss Factory available, an infectiously enthusiastic rock ‘n’ roll fanzine.
  • Issue #17 of I am a Camera, Vanessa Berry’s long running zine, this time it’s all about her (and mine, and your’s maybe) hometown, Sydney. It is accompanied by three fold-out Risographed ‘touring maps’ that record a personal psychogeography of Sydney over roughly three decades.
  • Sing Me To Sleep: An annotated bibliography of sad boy songs is back in stock! And even better than that, there’s a second issue, titled Hello Sadness! These are truly wonderful zines that are not just about sadness but about the feeling in everything, including pop songs.
  • And um, oh my god: we have Love Truth and Honesty in stock. Do I need to tell you about this zine? Haven’t you heard about it? Paul’s zine about his fan relationship with Bananarama? Well, it’s been out of print for ages but now you can get it again, and the second issue, More Love Truth and Honesty, and for this you should be immensely grateful.
  • The Wolves at the Door. We have just a couple of issues of this zine that was made by some anarchists in Sydney in 2011. It is a bit out of date but there is a great interview with some of the then-editors of the now defunct Mutiny magazine plus other articles.
  • The Dream Libraries and Untitled by the zine maker who brought you such gems as Hole in the Ground, Village Ghosts and more. The Dream Libraries contains what it says on the box: a collection of short descriptions of imaginary libraries. Untitled is a dreamy, abstract collection of fragments of writing and quotes about cities, uprisings, landscapes and sites of memory.
  • The spade the spanner the work the worker is a new zine by me, Emma, based on an exhibition I had in the window of Sticky. You can see photos of the exhibition here. The zine’s verso pages are the images of Billy Casper that appeared in the window of Sticky facing into Degraves, and the recto pages are the collages, photocopier art and so forth that faced into the shop.
  • And finally, we have some zine lucky dips: please beware that each lucky dip contains slightly different things but there will be duplicates if you order more than one pack, and we can’t pick ‘n’ choose or tell you what’s in ‘em. It’s all up to luck.

Alright. Lots of zines. Lots of really excellent reads.

x Emma

Updates and new stuff

Descriptions (finally) updated. (One day we won’t have to add that ‘finally’):

  • Cheaptoys #11, 13 & 14
  • Come Back (home to me)
  • Flightpath
  • Love Like Pop #10 & 11
  • Sex Industry Apologist #1
  • The Collected Scathings of Ioana Poprowka
  • The Dream of Maxen

New zines, COMING SOON:

  • Piss Factory
  • The Wolves at the Door #2
  • Plastic Knife #10 & 12
  • Five Postcards
  • Love Truth and Honesty
  • More Love Truth and Honesty
  • Sing Me To Sleep and Hello Sadness: An Annotated Bibliography of Sad Boy Songs, Vol 1 & 2
  • Huffin’ Textas: A Secret History of Dexter Fletcher
  • I am a Camera #17
  • $5 zine lucky dip

Catalogue back online

Stock take is done and the catalogue pages are now viewable again. We’ve sold out of a lot of stuff that we’ll hopefully be able to get back in stock very soon – in the meantime please heed the ‘Temporarily sold out’ tags if you see ‘em. We’ve also got some great new zines to put up: back issues of ‘Love Truth and Honesty’, the latest edition of ‘I am a Camera’ and more. Very exciting, check back soon.

 

 

Sell out!

Thank you to everyone who came along to the Other Worlds zine fair today. We’re a bit overwhelmed by how successful the day turned out to be. We hope you had a good time. We got pretty cleaned out of stock so we’ve closed the mailorder temporarily until we’ve done a proper stock take. It’ll be open again soon with some new zines we picked up at the fair!

Plastic Knife w/ Piss Factory at Junior Gazette and Other Worlds Zine Fair

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On 24 May join us for this free gig and the launch of Plastic Knife #12 at:

JUNIOR GAZETTE, Level 1/91 Railway Pde, Marrickville.

Zinesters with acoustic guitars!

Vegan snacks!

$1 cups of ginger beer!

Some new paintings by Emma D!

Other-Worlds-Poster

The OTHER WORLDS ZINE FAIR is happening in two weeks! For those who haven’t heard, Other Worlds was set up as an alternative to the MCA Zine Fair, which is happening on the same day. A few of us Sydney zinesters decided to boycott the MCA fair due to MCA’s relationship with a company called Transfield, who operate services in Australia’s offshore detention centres. These detention centres have been described as an “experiment in the active creation of horror to deter people from trying” [to seek asylum] in Australia. We don’t want our zines to have anything to do with a company that profits from this bad business. From a small group of individual zinesters we’re now a fifty table strong zine fair. We hope you can come, and help spread the word – the poster above was designed by Nicky Minus!

My weekend at the Sydney Anarchist Book Fair and Canberra Zine Emporium, with bonus swipes at Sydney’s public transport system

When I learned that $50 was the asking price for a table at the inaugural Sydney Anarchist Book Fair (22 March 2014) I was a bit disappointed but not surprised. For some reason, that seems to be the going rate at anarchist book fairs. Why? Answers on a postcard to PO Box 4, Enmore NSW 2042, please…

The cost of tables nearly put me off booking, but that would have meant breaking my main resolution for 2014, which was to stop being the biggest pikelet in zinedom and table some fairs other than the MCA* and Canberra this year. I was already going strong on this resolution, managing to get myself, Tim and a suitcase fulla zines to Melbourne for the Festival of the Photocopier in February, FINALLY, having said I was gonna go the previous three years or something, but pike-pike-piking every time.

So I booked, and on Saturday me and Anwyn (Tim having flown to Paris – Paris! Bastard!** – a few days earlier) made our way by the mysterious 428 bus (mysterious in that many have wondered where the fuck it is***) to the Addison Rd Community Centre at the too-early-for-me-hour of 9:30 AM. The big hall at Addison Rd was full of tables that were covered in books, zines and other paraphernalia, and the walls were hung with inspiring banners from rallies and pickets, our favourite of which was one that simply said ‘STRIKE’, in big letters painted red and black on the diagonal. Why beat around the bush, right?

Thank you and well done to members of the Jura Books collective, who were largely responsible for organising the event: it was pretty ace, despite the price of stalls, and I hope it becomes a regular thing. I suck at estimating how much of a given thing there is in a given space at a given time, but there were enough stalls to fill the big hall at Addison Rd, and enough people in attendance to provide a constant, relaxed hum of activity. Highlights for me included getting a long desired back issue of Shotgun Seamstress from Race Riot Distro and seeing the amazing stuff that Negative Press have been publishing from their DIY print workshop. The best zine of the day – though admittedly I didn’t nab them all – was Lou’s ‘Flighpath and other zines’, a compilation of excerpts from zines they made between 2000 – 2007. Everyone should know that these are literally the best zines that were made in Sydney during the early 00s.

There was a lot of other stuff going on at the fair – choirs singing, panels panelling, a yoga class yogaing, speakers speechifying etc etc. The Counter-Revolution crew made some really nice vegan burgers that tasted on par with a Lord of the Fries burger but didn’t give me an upset tummy: delicious AND digestible. Win! I tried to go back for seconds but they’d already packed up, looking knackered. For most of the day I mostly stuck to my seat (literally: it was hot), but S kindly minded our stall for a bit so we could see the Sydney Feminist Discussion Circle give their panel presentation, ‘Casting Spells’, which pretty much went off, in a manner that panels generally don’t. I was reminded a bit of Stewart Lee’s ‘I agreed the fuck out of it’ joke from the latest season of Comedy Vehicle, but still: it can be good to be in a big room full of people who seem to share views about important things, especially in these dark times. See the Golden Barley School blog for a transcript of one of the papers.

The day wrapped up and R gave me and Anwyn a lift home in their hilariously macho ute, manoeuvring the gear stick wedged between A’s legs like the beginning of some horrendously clichéd porn routine. We got home safe before the threatening storm broke, and prepared for the following day’s zine activities: the second annual Canberra Zine Emporium (23 March 2014)!

I must have been feeling pretty hardcore to take on two zine fairs in as many days. There were moments, I confess, when I contemplated copping out on Canberra. But I remembered the time when R (a different one) wasn’t gonna come to an exhibition opening I was having, but at the last moment decided to Toughen The Fuck Up, and I thought, yes: that indeed is sage advice. Anyway, preparation only consisted of filling another gym bag full of zines and writing my home phone number (yes, I have a landline) on the back of A’s hand so she could call me in the morning in case I pegged my mobile at the wall when the alarm went off and went back to sleep. I sleep like a pupa, wrapped up tight from head to toe in my sheets with only a small aperture for air. I am very strict about the quality and quantity of sleep I get, and there are very few things I will sacrifice sleep for. We were catching the coach to Canberra, meaning we had to be at Central before 7 AM, meaning I had to be out of bed by 5:30 AM. Could I do it?

Yep, I did, it all went fine. I even made a Thermos of tea and everything. Only stuff up was that on my way to Dulwich Hill station, gym bag of zines breaking my shoulder in the still pitch black, naughty-cat filled morning, A rang to say that according to her trusty train tracking app the train was running twenty minutes late, so we had to call a cab. Oh Shitty Rail, you never fail to fail! (And I don’t care if you’ve changed your name to ‘Sydney Trains’ and have a passive-aggressive train-bot making all the announcements now, either. Bah). The cabbie let us out opposite the coach terminal and in the wait before boarding ‘someone’ had a chance to do a bit of quick Sharpie work on a Biennale of Sydney poster which, despite the success of the recent boycott, still advertised detention centre profiteers Transfield among its sponsors. A side note: when did everyone stop using ‘Textas’ and start using ‘Sharpies’? Answers on a postcard etc…

On days when I start work in the early afternoon, I usually arrive in time to see my work mate Josefino sleeping perfectly upright in a chair in the lunchroom with his lower jaw dangling open, in a creepy, death mask kind of way. I felt my own jaw slackening involuntarily as I attempted to sleep in my coach seat, but I’d covered my face with a jumper to block out the ever increasing sunlight, so no one saw me dribble into my sleeve. At the beginning of the trip the coach driver had made a long announcement about how the seat arm rests work, why you shouldn’t vomit in the restroom sink, where you should dispose of your rubbish and why you should not accuse him of being drunk if the coach is buffeted by high winds off Lake George as we roll into Canberra. ‘I am perfectly sober’, he assured us. He also said that yesterday he’d knocked 15 minutes off the estimated arrival time, and that he hoped to do the same today.

True to his word, 3 hours and 15 minutes later we arrived in Canberra: ‘we are fifteen minutes early, just like yesterday’, he intoned with modest pride over the PA. We lugged our zines to Gorman House. There, almost everyone else had already set up. We found ourselves seated next to Safdar from the Refugee Art Project, who aside from helping to run that important project is a nice chap and was kind enough to trade his personal zine – Safdar’s Weird Shit – for one of mine.

Every zine fair I’ve been to in Canberra has been good, and this was no exception. Chiara – author of Rhetorical zine and one of the CZE crew – postulated that this is because nothing much happens in Canberra, so when something does happen people are very responsive. Actually, she said: ‘in Canberra, people like shopping’. I would have liked to have been in town for the other zine related entertainments that CZE collective organised, especially the slide-show on Saturday night, but for obvious reasons I couldn’t make it. You’ll have to ask someone else for a run down on that.

There was other stuff going on at this fair, too: CZE collective members announced periodically that a zine workshop was happening here, a magician was performing there… But to be honest, when I go to a zine fair there’s pretty much two things I’m interested in: minding my table, and looking at what other people have on theirs. And talking to people, you know. And food. But that’s just me. There was plenty of food on hand, and I was soon stuffing myself, first with a gozleme then a soysage sandwich then a rather delicious cinnamon doughnut, with what now occurs to me to be a complete lack of solidarity with A’s gluten intolerance. Sorry.

One of the great things about both the SABF and CZE was that very few people asked me to explain what a ‘zign’ is or for me to spruik my stuff to them. What does this mean? That we’ve reached some sort of saturation point in educating people about zines, or that the novelty value has worn off and only those who actually know and care what they are bother to attend zine fairs these days?

By about 3 PM I was feeling pretty tired. I did a bit of looking around, got some stuff from Sticky, Burrows & Co. and individual Canberran zinesters. I am particularly looking forward to reading ‘Better things to do: the early history of Canberra straight-edge’, because I like it when people use zines to document secret, underground histories, and I haven’t thought about Forward Defence in a very long time. I guess the secret histories thing is also why I was so excited about Lou’s ‘Flightpath’ zine. When I have a chance to read everything properly I might do a long overdue zine-haul-round-up post on my poor neglected blog, Flying Machine.

So, the CZE ended at 4 PM. As seems customary at zinester organised fairs, everyone helped stack the chairs and fold up the tables at the end. A and me made our way back to the coach terminal, and then back home to the small area of Sydney where we and all our friends seem to live these days. And that was my weekend. It was lovely to see zine friends from Melbourne and Canberra and other places, and to hang out with friends in Sydney. It’s quite an honour to know so many good people. Thank you all, friends.

X Emma

* Of course, I will be at Other Worlds, not the MCA, this 25 May.

** ‘Paris! Bastard!’ might be the name of my new band, watcha think? Answers on a postcard etc…

*** I actually know why the 428 is always late, but there’s no time to go into it here.

Some notes on sponsorship – redux

Hey folks, I’m just dragging this up (with a few changes to the wording) from the bottom of the post before last where it was first published. In conversations I had on the weekend at the Sydney Anarchist Book Fair and Canberra Zine Emporium (thank you to the organisers of both events) people were overwhelmingly supportive of the idea of boycotting the MCA zine fair over the MCA’s relationship with Transfield, but there was some confusion about precisely what that relationship is. Creating confusion is a pretty good way of obscuring facts, but anyway: this is the information I have found with my limited internet searching abilities:

In a pay-walled article on ArtsHub, the MCA called our use of the word ‘sponsorship’ to describe their relationship with Transfield a “factual inaccurancy”, stating instead that Transfield are a ‘Corporate Member’.

‘Corporate Members’ are listed on the ‘Sponsorship’ page of the MCA website.

Transfield are listed on page 60 of the most recent (2012) MCA annual report in the section for ‘Sponsorship, Donations, Marketing and Public Relations’, as a ‘Corporate Member’.

The MCA are listed on the ‘Community Involvement – Sponsorships’ page of the Transfield website: “Transfield Holdings has been a corporate sponsor of the Museum of Contemporary Art since 2004.” (accessed 24/3/14, emphasis mine. Note that the Transfield domain name and the Transfield logo at the top of the web-page do not make a distinction between ‘Transfield Holdings’, ‘Transfield Services’ or ‘Transfield Foundation’.)

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So, the word ‘sponsorship’ seems to have a slippery definition, depending on when, how and by whom it is used. Clearly Transfield consider their corporate membership to be a variety of sponsorship. The MCA, perhaps, feels differently – although their own publicly accessible information on their sponsors etc is ambiguous. Whatever the difference (or lack of) between ‘sponsorship’ and ‘corporate membership’ in this case, the MCA and Transfield have a brand relationship. As the MCA website outlines, Corporate Membership provides an opportunity to:

“[a]lign with Australia’s leading contemporary arts brand and an exciting range of collections” and[d]evelop and enhance relationships with key clients and stakeholders”.

What would a bit of amateur research be without a visit to Wikipedia? From the entry on brand equity (or as it’s sometimes known, brand value):

Brand equity is a phrase used in the marketing industry which describes the value of having a well-known brand name, based on the idea that the owner of a well-known brand name can generate more money from products with that brand name than from products with a less well known name…”

Cheers,

Emma