Photo by Asia Morris from the inaugural LBZF.
Congratulations, you did it! You’ve made the wise-beyond-your-years choice of attending the 2017 Long Beach Zine Fest. You read up about the whole shebang, and now you’re ironing your socks in preparation for this fun and free event. But wait—there’s like a zillion zinesters! Egad! Who to check out? Worry not, my sweet friend, for here is a handy list of zinesters you should check out, handpicked by this writer.
DAVE VAN PATTEN
A local stalwart of the Long Beach art scene, there’s no way you’ve lived here and haven’t seen his work. The new mural on the side of Alex’s Bar, a magazine cover for indie imprint The Edge, even the freakin’ fonts at Portfolio Coffee. Dave Van Patten is Long Beach. Currently working on a graphic novel, Van Patten will be at LBZF to share his zines that detail “comic compilations with themes of societal absurdity.”
Jason Keam is on the verge of exploding. Not in the spontaneous combustion kinda way (ew), but as in his star is set to supernova (sorry for the metaphors!). Keam’s fingers have been in the pies (metaphors!) of commercials, art galleries, animation, even partnering up with local ice cream spot Long Beach Creamery. Keam’s zines this year feature archives of his cartoony paintings and sketches.
Splattergirls are making their maiden voyage to LBZF all the way from good ol’ Bakersfield (say that in the slowest Southern drawl you can muster for maximum effect). The collective’s work focuses on “the female experience translated through our eyes and written down as poems, raps, and stories.” These pieces confront subject matter ranging from pro-immigration to surveys asking, “What does gender mean to you?” Maybe Bakersfield ain’t so bad after all.
From the LA scene of comics is Dave Baker. Dave’s relatively small in stature but HUGE in ideas and concepts. For instance, his comic ACTION HOSPITAL. Here’s just the back blurb: “ACTION HOSPITAL chronicles the exploits of the employees of the eponymous Action Hospital. Within this tome you’ll discover super-intelligent plant people, were-koalas, four-armed gondolier assassins, and gay mermaid hunters.You’ll also witness plenty of existential angst and heartbreak.” Existentialism and angst *on top* of were-koalas? If this doesn’t interest you in the slightest, I truly hope you can one day experience joy and love in your life as it is clearly absent.
Nicole Goux is an art wunderkind. Surreal, subtle, —there’s nothing Goux hasn’t turned to gold with her talents, even Seinfeld. This year, Goux will be bringing comics and zines, some of which will feature the diverse likes of mini horror stories, gay skater girls, and road trips.
PRO TIP: There’s a scene in Nicole Goux and Dave Baker’s TEENAGE SWITCHBLADE (A Fuck Off Squad Story) that is so goddamn relatable you’ll audibly guffaw when you see it.
MOLAA is located at 628 Alamitos Avenue.