DC Zinefest 2014 and the Magical World of Zines

We had a great time at DC Zinefest selling copies of Runcible and the ever-so-popular iPad portraits drawn by Malaka! Here are my reactions to Zinefest as the intern/ all around zine/zinefest newbie: I’m new to the world of zines.

My first encounter with one was seeing Malaka Gharib’s friendly face holding a copy of hers on the cover of the Washington Post.

A year later, and I’m currently the intern for that zine. I like to think I know as much as I can about The Runcible Spoon, without actually being the creator herself. I now can give a spiel to anyone about its irreverent and playful take on food, and can certainly put my finger on anything with a “Runcible” flair that I find on social media.

But it wasn’t until I arrived at DC Zinefest this past Saturday that I realized how little I knew about the magical world of zines; I had only just read and loved one.

Our tiny Runcible Spoon table, home of not-so-bland art and recipes and rice pudding, was just one table in the packed basement of St. Stephen’s church.

@runciblespoonDC were especially enthusiastic about their zine on “food and fantasy” at @DCzinefest. #DCZF #zines pic.twitter.com/hvG7f00U3J

— Gina Murrell (@GinaMurrell1) August 10, 2014
At Zinefest, there was a zine for all quirks and causes including childhood arthritis, VHS tapes, historic preservation, and even a zine for the zaniness that is Nicholas Cage.

And right next to our table, created by our very own editor Alison Baitz, was “On Flora,” the most beautiful collection of floral photography I’ve ever seen.

Every time I picked up a new zine I couldn’t help but think, “Well of course this exists.This needs to exist.”

And that thought in and of itself is what I’ve been able to understand about zines thus far: zines are ideas of people, places, and things put on paper so you can hold them in your hand and realize they matter.

My feet, my zines

I may be a little late to the zine craze (roughly a decade), and my friends may have no idea what I’m talking about most of the time, AND maybe I still can’t confidently define a zine when asked for a definition.

But I think that’s why I’m so enamored, and why I think this love story will last; zines are somewhat undefinable, and I find something so alluring and right about that.

– Christina D’Antoni

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