The L.A. Zine Fest, Southern California’s largest festival dedicated to showcasing zines, DIY print culture, and independent publishing, returns for its 10th year this weekend in Long Beach for its first in-person event since 2019.
The festival will take place at the Expo Arts Centerin Bixby Knolls on Sunday, May 28. The free, one-day event will feature nearly 150 zine vendors, hands-on workshops, panels featuring marginalized voices, local radio DJs, independent bookstores, and grassroots community groups.
With so many vendors, it can be hard for an attendee to know where to begin. LAZF organizers (I’m also one!) are here to help. From niche subcultures to social commentary, personal stories, to experimental formats, we got together a few days before the fest to determine who and what we’re most excited about seeing this weekend.
For the last 20 years, Todd Taylor’s been publishing a monthly zine featuring outsider art, longform essays, record reviews, and interviews with local musicians, activists, intellectuals, and artists. He’s been a big supporter of L.A. Zine Fest and we even did a fundraiser together last month. His latest issue features a fun zine crossover: Slaughterhouse interviewed by Giant Robot co-founder Martin Wong. But we also wish he was bringing back copies of his Dodgers zine, which was all about the history of Chavez Ravine (hint, hint).
Table: Knock LA
Knock LA is a media collective based in Hollywood that reports on L.A. City and County. For their first L.A. Zine Fest, they printed at least six different, entirely new titles (their first zines!) about organizing, composting, direct action, and one featuring messages from incarcerated writers. But we’re most excited for the “Knock LBC” zine, which turns the nonprofit media outlet’s prowess onto the city of Long Beach and its toxic policies on housing and encampment sweeps.
“Be Easy, Stay Safe”
Table: Brown Recluse Zine Distro
“Brown Recluse is from the Bay and they don’t come down to SoCal very often with their zines. ‘Be Easy Stay Safe’ is a zine made by and for sex workers. There are different volumes,” - Enri, LAZF
Succession Riso Print
“That riso print is really beautiful and all their other stuff is nice too. You definitely can’t get a Succession riso print anywhere. Will the Succession finale hurt L.A. Zine Fest attendance?” – Daisy, LAZF
“They’ve been blowing up in the past few years. The author has a claymation-type vibe where she takes photos of miniatures and uses that as her zine. Comics about Asian American issues and general gripes with the world.” –Noah, author
“It’s political. It’s radical. It gives a voice to Asian identities, especially Asian women and immigrants and what they go through.” - Daisy, LAZF
Mini Tote Bag
Table: Bruxita Linda
This adorbs tote had all the organizers talking at our meeting last weekend when witchy artist and tarot reader Analissa Garcia dropped this 8” wonder on Instagram. Tote bags are a zine fest staple, but mini totes? For our mini zines?! We’re just mad we didn’t think of it before.
You and Your Phone Are Boring
“It’s about the relationship between people and their smartphones and the boundaries that can be crossed. Your relationship with your phone in public and private. They’re from Portland so it’s rare to see copies of this zine in L.A.” - Enri, LAZF
Table: Place Long Beach
I'm going to throw in a shameless plug for my latest creation, which is a compilation of old stuff from my days as an L.A. emo kid hating on everything and writing columns in my high school newspaper to cope. A scan of my actual high school notebook is the cover.
All three of Cain Carias' puppets, El Triste, La Smiley, and his Little Mr. E puppet, were in the trunk of his 2003 Red Honda Civic Coupe, which was parked at the corner of Santa Monica and North Heliotrope Dr. before being stolen.
A 31-year-old man attacked five people at about noon yesterday in the Belmont Shore area of Long Beach, leaving four, including a two-year-old, with minor injuries. The man was stopped by a police officer who shot him, leaving him non-life threatening injuries.