This weekend, Printed Matter is taking over MOCA's Geffen Contemporary for the L.A. Art Book Fair. Running from January 30 through February 1 (with a preview on January 29), the event is bringing together publishers, artists and writers from across the globe, with special emphasis on the Californians.
Panels, signings and performances will take place throughout the whole weekend, leaving no shortage of things to do. Amongst the exhibitors, monographs will certainly be available. However, we suggest looking for the zines too. These small-run publications pack a punk rock punch of art and ideas for, typically, a small price. Below are a few locals who will have a selection of zines on hand at their booths.
Chicano/Latino group Maricón Collective uses music and art to make a social impact and have fun while they're doing it. At the core of the group's work are parties-- member Rudy Bleu is a longtime L.A. DJ-- and pop culture-centric projects. The group will have the current issue of their zine on hand at this weekend's event. Created by collective member Manuel Paul, it includes party pics and photos from their recent video shoot for the band The SHHH. Maricón Collective is also reissuing "Homeboy Beautiful," a rare, late 1970s zine created by Joey Terrill. "So many people have never scene this other than certain scanned images or in glass cases at museums or galleries," says Bleu. "It's important to see this work that was being done in Los Angeles by queer Chicanos that is rarely seen or talked about. It was ahead is it's time and pushing boundaries, making a statement while having fun with it."
Edie Fake has been making zines for "a couple of decades" now. The L.A.-based artist has a whimsical and intricate style of drawing that can relate political, feminist topics with humor and sincerity. He will have a variety of publications on hand at L.A. Art Book Fair, including "Memory Places," a "large format zine" that pays tribute to "queer and feminist spaces" in Chicago and "Gaylord Phoenix," a collection of mini-comics. "I think it's just a really powerful format," says Fake of zines. "I feel like I've gained so much from trading zines with people." Fake is also contributing this year's "ticket edition" print.
Chinatown radio station KCHUNG is setting up shop with DJ tapes, art and zines. Evan Walsh, who is an artist and photographer as well as a KCHUNG DJ, is releasing "Publicity." This zine is a collection of Instagram pics taken to help promote the show. There are only 15 copies of Publicity, which were printed at KCHUNG. Swan and Julie Moon, of the monthly show "Divided Daughters," are bringing copies of their annual film-centric zine. "It's like our top films that we've watched for the year, but they could have been made at anytime," Swan explains. This year's zine includes a few flicks that Swan caught at the New Beverly and the overall selection emphasizes "art, underground or classic films."
L.A.-based small press house Fathersons concentrates on art zines. The works are released monthly, each one 20 pages and in an edition of 20. Amongst their offerings is the Art Book Fair exclusive "Psychic Windows" from photographer Dan Monick. Fathersons also announced that acclaimed artist Sage Vaughn will be doing his first zine with the publisher and copies will be available at the event. They also have a few copies of artist Zoe Zag's recent zine "Chain/Smoke."
Giant Robot started out as a zine in the 1990s heyday of the medium. Today, the business focuses on exposing folks to artists through their West L.A. store and art gallery GR2. At L.A. Art Book Fair this year, the emphasis is on books; they'll have signed tomes from James Jean, Terada Katsuya and Edwin Ushiro on hand. However, on Saturday, Montana-based artist Theo Ellsworth, whose new show opens at GR2 that night, will appear with zines. Ellsworth's intricate art has graced the cover of Flying Lotus' "Pattern + Grid World" and he has published a number of comics.