By Alec Clayton
The fifth annual Olympia Zine Fest comes to town this month. The three-day event celebrating DYI publishing takes place in multiple venues in downtown Olympia.
This year’s festival brings to town special guests Hope Amico and Artnoose. Both zinemakers have long histories of incorporating the art of letterpress into their zines. They will appear at a kick-off event at the Olympia Timberland Library October 25, a reading at Octapas Cafe October 26, and Community Print’s letterpress open house on October 27. Their zines will be available for purchase during the Olympia Zine Fest Expo on October 26 at the Olympia Center.
Amico is a collage artist living and working in New Orleans. “This is my first time at [Olympia] Zine Fest. I am excited to be a co-guest of honor, especially because I have been reading Artnoose’s zine Ker-Bloom! for years and years,” she says.
Amico has been making zines since 1995, including Where You From (stories about homes and hometowns) and Keep Loving, Keep Fighting (stories about living in New Orleans before and after Hurricane Katrina).
“I am looking forward to catching up with some zine folks I have known throughout the years who will also be there,” mentions Artnoose. “I’m also glad to get a chance to spend time in Olympia again. I’ve always enjoyed my visits.”
Artnoose’s zine Ker-bloom! has been printed continuously for more than 20 years. She writes about relationships, traveling, bicycles, reading groups, parenting and playing punk rock music. She also creates custom stationary and printed goods under her imprint Deep Ink Letterpress.
A former Olympian now living in Spokane, Sabalu publishes Glean Zine and has published a compilation about DYI ethics and community called DIY or Don’t We? and a comic zine called Shadow-Ghost. Other organizers are Kelsey Smith, Agatha Burstein, Melanie Shelton, Signy and Summer Schief.
“An exciting thing about zines is that they can be about anything and everything, and that’s reflected in the wide range of topics covered in the zines that community members can find at the expo on Saturday,” Sabalu says.
The festival includes workshops, a “spooky themed” reading, a letterpress open house, a show-and-tell at the library and a brunch. The main event will be an expo on Saturday where folks can purchase zines and meet the zinemakers.
“I think that there’s a real craving for tactile forms of expression as digital forms of communication become more entwined with our lives,” says festival co-organizer Nicki Sabalu. “The longevity of both zines and letterpress may be a testament to that.”
Olympia Zine Fest
Kickoff 6:30 – 9 pm Oct. 25, Olympia Timberland Library, 313 8th Ave. SE
Expo 11 am – 5 pm, Oct. 26, The Olympia Center, 222 Columbia St. NW
Reading 7 – 8:30 pm, Oct. 26, Octapas Cafe, 414 4th Ave E
Letterpress open house noon – 3 pm, Oct. 27, Community Print, 316 Capitol Way N