Zines are meant to be shared. For those who publish them, it’s about giving their desires the ability to create a fantasy. And the fantasy begins on the front page, where a mixture of words, images and colours come together to take the reader on a ride through something powerful. Sometimes the experience is stimulating and thought-provoking, and sometimes it is narrow and uninspired. But it is certain that for every person that picks up a zine, he or she will experience something entirely unique.
Since most zine artists are self-published, self-funded and self-disciplined during the entire production process, their readership is dependent and limited towards its targeted placement. Fortunately for us, the Quebec Public Interest Research Group at Concordia is holding Zine Show & Tell on March 20, where Montreal’s zine artists will come together to showcase their work in an informal setting.
Among those headlining the event is Robyn Maynard, a writer, social justice advocate and musician from Montreal. According to QPIRG, Maynard will be talking about “a two-part zine effort about the Black Panther Party” as part of her work with an organization that supports non-status individuals called No One Is Illegal. Maynard is expected to share extensive interviews that support her cause as well.
Also among the lineup is Coco Riot, who self-publishes her zine in Spanish, her mother tongue. Riot’s zine, Llueven Queers, is a mixture of comics and illustrations that puts her personal reflections as a queer individual under a lens of humour and humility. According to Riot’s website, her zine tends to “range from queer politics, [to] social and personal memories, [to] living in different languages and the experience of migration,” all the while showcasing her “desire for bright colours and the love for poetry and repetitive pattern.”
If there is one thing unique about the zines being presented at this event, it’s that each of their writers and designers bring something different to the table. The idea behind the event is to bring
those tables to the forefront so that those under-appreciated zines that circulate throughout our
city can get the appreciation they deserve.
Jaggi Singh, QPIRG’s working groups and programs coordinator, commented that since the event’s announcement, the number of individuals slated to showcase their work has doubled. “We’ve now got about 12 different people coming in,” Singh said, “and a couple more that have yet to confirm as well.”
QPIRG is a student-funded and volunteer-driven not-for-profit organization that strives to provide a voice to students and communities on social and environmental issues. The Zine Show & Tell is part of its resource library’s author series.
Despite the undergraduate strike set to take place from March 15 to 22, the date for QPIRG’s event will go on as scheduled, as the group is an independent organization that is not reliant on Concordia’s administration or its student union.
Zine Show & Tell takes place March 20 at 6:30 p.m. at QPIRG Concordia (1500 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W., suite 204). Admission is free. For more information, check out www.qpirgconcordia.org.