All photos by Stephanie Rivera.
Newspapers may be dying, but not zines—as evidenced by the second annual Long Beach Zine Fest which on Sunday took hold of the Museum of Latin American Art once again to showcase the DIY subculture of exposing the public to artwork and think pieces in creative ways.
“It’s kind of my outlet for being able to talk about [life experiences],” said 27-year-old painter Annie Chang who was tabling various forms of zines. “Because they are pretty personal and I feel […] it’s the perfect platform for that.”
For Chang, those experiences usually revolve around feminism and drug addiction. One of the smaller zines at her table was titled Stupid shit people say to Asians. One page read: “Come on, let’s go out on a date. We can get sushi.”
Chicago transplant Rebecca Lu came out Sunday because of her interest in illustration and because of the strong sense of community among zinesters.
“The community is really strong to me,” Lu, 23, said. “When I first came here [California] and started going to zine fests, everyone was super nice and I felt like I could relate to a lot of people here. Just the stuff they were doing was really cool.”
This year the zine fest saw a new participant—the Long Beach Public Library, which in November 2015 started its very first zine collection thanks to its newly hired librarian Ziba Perez Zehdar.
With over 400 titles and counting, any LBPL card holder can check up to 25 zines at a time for three weeks at either the LBPL’s Main Library or Mark Twain Library. According to Perez Zehdar, this makes Long Beach the only public library in the state circulating zines and one of about five in the country.
“We just really want access to information for all,” Perez Zehdar said. “We want people to be able to take the time to take 25 zines home and read them and be inspired to make their own zines.”
It was during a visit at one of these public libraries, the Salt Lake City Public Library, that Perez Zehdar was inspired to create a zine library. Their collection includes more than 3,000 titles, making them the largest circulating zine collection west of the Mississippi—a feat she hopes Long Beach will beat.
Perez Zehdar also showcased new zines she purchased for the library’s collection on a recent trip to Cuba.
Currently all zines are stored in the library’s adult graphics section but Perez Zehdar hopes that once the collection grows, personnel can take the time to categorize zines suitable for different age groups.
Donate zines to the Long Beach Public Library at 101 Pacific Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90822.