ALT PRESS FEST 2012 (LOOKING BACK)

Salt Lake City’s Alt Press Fest on Saturday, July 7, was amazing!

The Alt Press Fest is a one-day independent zine festival featuring artists and authors, music, demos and workshops, held at the Salt Lake City library, home to one of the largest zine collections in the world!

I was invited to set up a table, which I filled up with sketchbooks, comics, stories, coloring books, look-and-finds, original drawings, temporary tattoos and t-shirts.

(Photo by Casey L. Kim)

The Alt Press Fest crew did an amazing job of organizing the event, pulling in scads of artists, writers and musicians, and providing plenty of eye candy for the hundreds of people that came to get their hands on new zines, comics, and underground publications.

The highlight of the event was its guests of honor, artists and zine pros Mark Todd and Esther Pearl Watson. Between the two of them, Mark and Esther have created dozens of zines, published a handful of books, and had their works displayed in art galleries all across the U.S. They also teach at Art Center in Pasadena. Their book, “Whatcha Mean, What’s a Zine?” was my gateway into the world of zines. Their book helped define the medium and open my sights to new artists and publications.

I was fortunate enough to have a table right next to Mark and Esther, and we got plenty of time to talk about self-taught painters, publishers, and the massive amount of work they’ve managed to pump out over the years. Just look at how much fun their table is! Autobio comics, mini books, failed superheroes, monsters, scribbles…they’ve got it all.

Toward the end of the evening, Mark and Esther hosted a zine-making workshop, where we got to make two zines of our own. I made a little book with drawings about a pet tortoise that I found in the gutter when I was in grade school, and another book about my first job as a soccer referee.

It was so great, being able to talk with all the creators about their work, and I came back with a bag filled with books, artwork, and drawings, like these:

Coloring Outside the Kitchen” a coloring book featuring great women from history, by Casey Landau.

Dithering Doodles” by Steven Anderson (PremiumDeluxe@hotmail.com)

Chiaroscuro #38

How to Dye Your Hair with Kool Aid” by Lucy Myers

“Al Press Fest” compilation 2012

I even got to trade monsters with Mark Todd! I’d been eyeballing My Monster Notebook for some time, and finally got a chance to slip and line and get a copy of my own. Mark drew a little monster inside the cover, and swapped with me for a copy of my Monster Coloring Book. Crazy to know that he has that thing, somewhere.

You can bet that I’ll be at next year’s event. Thanks to everyone that came out, and to all the organizers. Long live the Alt Press Fest!

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