The Fourth Annual Brooklyn Zine Festival returns this weekend to the Brooklyn Historical Society with an exciting lineup featuring 150 zine creators, performances, panels, and more. Zinesters from all five boroughs and beyond will be on hand to discuss their art compilations, publications, comics, and lit-mags with varied topics ranging from food, politics to photography and more. I spoke with Matt Carman and Kseniya Yarosh, the team behind the BZF, to hear a bit about their love for zines and to get the scoop on this year’s lineup.
How did you get into zines?
Kseniya: I stumbled onto zines in college. I was involved in the film community and had so many talented friends in production. I made a personal zine that focused on taking a closer look at films others considered garbage. The result was I Love Bad Movies which has had six issues featuring a wide range of writing and artwork.
Matt: My introduction to zines was on our first date, when Ksenyia handed me a copy of her zine.
Kseniya: Then I made him a zine out of some of his writing!
Matt: After participating on Cash Cab, I created a zine about game shows called Come on Down.
What inspired you to start the Brooklyn Zine Festival?
Matt: There are not a lot of events for lit journalism, comic makers, or print heavy works. We have a good mix of lots of types of publications this year.
This year’s festival will kick-off Friday night at the Standard ToyKraft in Williamsburg. What can attendees expect?
Matt: It will be a fun arts night to kick-off the weekend. In collaboration with performance group The Consequences, the event will feature a live variety show of exhibitors, illustrators, dancers and comics. In the lineup of acts is nine-year-old Edison, who will be performing a puppet show with his parents. Edison also has his own zine about dragons. You know, classic nine-year-old stuff.
Kseniya: Edison came to the festival last year and thought this was something he could do. He will now be part of the festival, which is pretty exciting.
What panels are planned for the weekend?
Matt: There will be a Food + Drink Culture in Zines panel on Saturday at 1pm, followed by Black Lives Matter: Zines & Activism at 3pm. The moderators will offer different viewpoints; it will be exciting to see where the conversation goes.
Are there a lot of new zine creators involved in this year’s festival?
Kseniya: About 60-70% of this year’s participants are new!
Matt: There were hundreds of applicants and 150 spots to fill. Some of the zine creators have participated every year, but most are new.
Can you talk more about the student section of the festival and who is involved?
Matt: The student section includes college art students and even some high school students showcasing their work.Two tablers from the student section last year will be at regular tables this year and part of the festival overall.
What are you most excited about for this year’s festival?
Ksenyia: All the new participants- that is the most exciting aspect.
Matt: I am excited to work with the Brooklyn Historical Society again this year. It is a beautiful building and a great space. BHS gives way to marginalized voices; our missions sync up.
Kseniya: Many of the exhibits at BHS tie in with self-published works. Their library has examples of self-published work from centuries ago.
Matt: This will be our biggest and most rewarding year yet!
Check out the Brooklyn Zine Festival site for more details about the events this weekend!