The world is becoming increasingly paperless, but don't tell that to the paper peddlers at last Sunday's inaugural L.A. Zine Fest, who proved that if you can doodle something clever, copy, staple and distribute — voila — you've got a zine.
Nearly 90 DYI-ers from Gardena to Portland gathered to sell and trade their comics, drawings and stories at downtown's the Last Bookstore, at an event that also included workshops and panel discussions led by Meltdown Comics, Machine Project and Grrrl Zines A-Go-Go, in addition to a talk with Henry Rollins and publisher V. Vale.
There was something for everyone, from Silver Lake mainstay Secret Headquarters to Tom Neely and and Scot Nobles of Igloo Tornado, creators of the now-ubiquitous Henry & Glenn Forever gay spoof comic book, which, we were pleased to learn, has a new edition. Here are a few other things we learned while perusing with the unwashed hipsters.
5. Female angst makes the world go 'round
Whether it was Sheika Lugtu of OMGCow's cute comic diary or illustrator Mari Naomi's graphic novel Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Resume, Ages 0 to 22, there's never a shortage of young, lonely and funny chicks. Naomi's series of sketches were published by Harper Perennial and even got a plug from Armistaed Maupin.
4. Cassette radios and typewriters may be making a comeback.
No, they're not equipped for social media, but everything old is new again in the hipster world.
3. The wackier the title…
Couldn't decide which of these was funniest: The Doktor Is In's Marry Me, Michael Showalter; Adam Villacin's Famous Skinheads and Dead Wrestlers; or J.T. Steiny's Porniture, a book of drawings about furniture simulating sex, which gives new meaning to the word woodie.
2. Zines helped invent heavy metal
Henry Rollins interviewed S.F. writer-editor V. Vale, who recounted starting his late-'70s punk zine Search and Destroy with loans from Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti before creating RE/Search Publishing. Vale also was a founding member of an early incarnation of the late-'60s blues-rock band Blue Cheer, whose cover of “Summertime Blues” is widely considered the first metal song.
1. Shia LaBeouf is a dick
Before seeing him inside, we spotted the actor outside, sitting with his girlfriend on the sidewalk along Fifth Street. When an MTA bus stopped and pulled up a little too close in front of LaBeouf, he shouted at the driver, “Why don't you run over me, you fuckin' asshole?” Fighting words for a pint-size fella.