: Photo: Emily Lang/Wired.comSAN FRANCISCO – More than 100 zine-makers packed the County Fair building in Golden Gate Park over the weekend to celebrate San Francisco's annual Zine Festival.
The two-day conference featured a wide variety of DIY arts and crafts, zines, comics and a gypsy-like atmosphere. Attending noobs were also treated to hands-on workshops, from bookbinding to illustration and Q & A sessions with accomplished self-publishers.
For zinesters, zines are like the blogs of the print world. They're an essential part of offline geek and underground culture and their DIY aesthetic has influenced an entire generation of designers and writers.
Click through the gallery for highlights from this DIY ComicCon.
Festival-goers browse through the plethora of independently published zines and books.
: Photo: Emily Lang/Wired.comJonathan Fetter-Vorm, one half of the production company Two Fine Chaps, displays an array of his self-published work. His work ranges from a large, full-color illustrated book of the poem Beowulf to a very small, hand-made, three-dimensional pop-up fable titled The Clockmaker's Joy.
"I wanted to make books that are fun to hold, interesting to read and beautiful to look at," Fetter-Vorm said.
: Photo: Emily Lang/Wired.comRani Goel's Typecritters zines feature letter art made from mirroring and layering type. Her booth also displays her Servings zine, which tackles the issue of body image and our cultural obsession with weight and food.
"There's something about someone's handwriting, something more real about it than a MySpace or a blog, something raw," Goel said. "And there's room to be messy, it doesn't have to be perfect."
: Photo: Emily Lang/Wired.comJennie Hinchcliff (left) and Carolee Gilligan Wheeler, of Pod Post, model their zine merit badges.
"We wanted the merit badges to be about something we care about," Hinchcliff said. "Merit badges for book and zine making." "Instead of cookie selling," Wheeler adds.
: Photo: Emily Lang/Wired.comAmy Martin, a cartoonist, gets a little work done at her booth and perhaps a head start for next year's festival.
"Last year was the first [festival] I did," Martin said. "The shows are great and you get to meet lots of people."
: Photo: Emily Lang/Wired.com Matt DeLight, illustrator and co-producer of several comics, described his work as autobiographical, funny and tragic.
"It started with a love of comics as a kid," DeLight said. He stumbled upon an issue of Too Much Coffee at 16 that detailed how to make your own mini comic. "It blew my mind to think that I could go to Kinko's and make my own comic."
: Photo: Emily Lang/Wired.comThe 2008 SF Zine Festival moved to the SF County Fair building in Golden Gate park this year in anticipation of more exhibitors and a larger crowd than ever -- twice the size of last year's.
: Emily Lang/Wired.comKelly Lee Barretts (right) mans her street-photography mini-book booth with Jon LaSalle (middle).
"I had taken a bunch of photos and was rolling around with them on the floor of my room one night and decided to make a book out of it," said Barretts, a UC Santa Cruz graduate. Barretts has books available in three different sizes, from the miniscule to the pocket-size.
: Photo: Emily Lang/Wired.com Lori Stein (left), author of Ranger Strange Bunny, shares table space with professional Yo-Yoer and ziner, Doctor Popular.
Doctor Popular peddled his zines, hand-made iPhone cases and yo-yos. "Three things keep me alive: yo-yoing, crafts and tailoring," Popular said. "Some of that is represented here."
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