Milwaukee Zine Fest celebrates its ninth year with a venue change. After seven years of having the media festival at the Falcon Bowl in Riverwest, the one-day event will move to the Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee Zine Fest takes place Saturday, Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event is free.
During Zine Fest, people buy, sell and trade zines. Most zines sell for $5 or less. Screen-printed posters, T-shirts, stickers, buttons and other DIY items are also for sale.
A "zine" refers to a self-published, handmade periodical that is usually reproduced and distributed for free or a nominal fee. Zines usually have a small circulation, appeal to a niche audience and are just as likely to be handwritten as created via computer.
Often a zine includes hand-drawn art, cartoons and anything else the author wants to include – as long as it's easily reproducible.
"Zines are important because they are a form of truly independent media, beholden only to their creators – as opposed to corporate interests or advertisers," says co-organizer Milo Miller.
The decision to move was primarily based on the fact that one of MZF’s organizers, Maria Cunningham, is a rare books librarian at Milwaukee Public Library. Cunningham got involved with Zine Fest because the Milwaukee Public Library is starting to collect zines and chapbooks.
"Because of the move we're able to grow the fest from 40 tablers to 60," says Miller.
"Tablers" is zine speak for people who rent a table at Zine Fest to display and sell their zines.
The new space will also provide workshops in the same space as the fest, something that wasn't possible at the Polish Falcon. Workshops include kids' zinemaking, paper marbling and "Zine Anatomy" which explores binding methods for books and zines.
"Zinemakers control every aspect of production from the writing and editing to layout to printing and distribution. It's a very different model than other media forms like traditional publishing, online media or radio and television. This is especially true for folks who are marginalized and have historically been under- or misrepresented in media culture," says Miller.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.