Monday, 17 August 2015

Three Zines You Should Get

Last weekend I went to the Leeds Zinefair that Footprint organise, in a deconsecrated church now called the Left Bank, in Headingley.

Good folk from Newcastle were there, and also various other familiar friendly faces that I haven't built up or retained close friendships with. That's a factor about zine fairs: they're a lot about social interaction and for someone introspective and introvert like me, that makes them quite an occasion. I always get butterflies before, and gabble a certain amount of shit in my excitement when I'm there. I always leave with a mix of nostalgia and missed opportunity. Nice, huggable nostalgia, and only vague and unrealisable missed opportunity. So it's all good, and good brain food for the likes of me.

The quality of zines has surged in the last couple of years. My impression is that zine fairs and the culture they represent took a dip last year (2014), but in 2015 the scene is as strong and the paper artefacts as inspiring as ever. Maybe people spent the year getting good work done. 

I would even stick adjectives like luminous and sublime to zines. You see I'm smitten, and I hope I'm smitten for life.

I might do a second blog for other great and recommended zines, there were so many. A personal highlight for me was the centrala comics stall, all high-spec production, full colour beauty, comics in the European mould (mold?) that I love. Hence this pic :

This blog post however, is to tell you, advise you, plead with you, to get three zines in particular.
Number one :
Number two :
 Number three :

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Redefest 2015

This year the only outdoors festival for which I'm doing a workshop is Redefest. And I'm happy because it's the best year yet.

In preparation I got the kids from Kids Kabin to cut down 46 willow trees from the lovely willow maze that is permanently on site. This was the first challenge they had to perform in order to then get some tents to sleep in on Thursday night!

Then on Saturday morning, student volunteers Rebecca, Ruby and Echo came with me to help dig holes and plant this willow into a traditional maze shape, slap bang in the middle of the festival.

half way
Then we tied string between the trees to make the walls, and friendly helpers Chris and Nathan helped us finish it off.
After that, we set up a table for painting and drawing, and used the willow maze-cum-race track as the exhibition space. The sun shone, hundreds of people came, and we felt good about contributing a nice free activity to a lovely grassroots festival. One to savour!

I've uploaded a few video clips to youtube:
Volunteers constructing the mini maze here and here.
The time trial being attempted here.
The ukulele orchestra producing an Elvis medley here.
And the Ceilidh here.

And here are some panoramas of the festival. There were so many young people there, and all the generations mixing: grandparents playing with diablos while tribes of children picked through the spare willow stalks and made up games to chase around with.

Thankyou to all the volunteers who organised Redefest, it was perfect this year!