Making Zines for MoCCA Fest 2020

Kutztown University has applied for a table to display student zines at MoCCA Fest 2020. We find out in Mid-January if we get the table. Let’s think posi!

Ugly Cat a zine by Morgan Nadin

My Illustration II class will be making zines. Any KU student who makes a zine is welcome to display it on our table. The Dean’s office will provide a subsidized ($20) bus to Bryant Park which is in walking distance to the festival. Admission is $10 for the day. The event is NYC’s biggest indie comics fest and held at on Manhattan’s west side at Metropolitan West.

A Day in the Life of a Piñata

What is a Zine? (Pronounced ZEEN) The word “zine” is derived from magazine and has come to be defined as a small self-published booklet or comic book. How many pages in a typical zine? Generally between 8 and 32. Since a sheet of paper folded in 2 gives 4 pages, the number of pages should be ideally be divisible by 4. A standard sheet of copy paper is 8.5 by 11 inches. Folded in half that becomes 5.5 by 8.5 inches, a good size for beginners.

A zine can be about almost anything. I must admit I get tired of zines about two bros sitting on a couch playing video games exchanging snappy patter, but it can be about that, too.

One of the bestselling KU zines at MoCCA 2015 was a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood by Kristen Tully. The story was told in crisp black and white line art and the cover was printed on Kraft paper. As I recall it sold for $5 and she sold the 20 copies that she brought to NYC.

Subject manner? Students have drawn zines based on old tales like the one above. Others are serious contemplations of issues like body image or LGBT autobiographies Honestly, issue-oriented zines are not the bestselling zines, but that are certainly meaningful for the individual artists and other students who share their experience. Sometimes students go to the expense of creating full-color covers as in the example below by Meredith Shriner. Typically the interior pages are black-and-white.

A Most Bothersome Bat © 2018 Meredith Shriner

As my zinester son, Daniel McCloskey always says, ” Zines are a great calling card for an artist. Zines have a life of their own.” Very often the original reader will think of a friend who likes a particular sort of story and pass it on. And so on.

Trina Robbins photo by Kevin McCloskey

Besides the opportunity to sell one’s zines, MoCCAFest also gives students a chance to hear star cartoonists talk about their work. This year’s featured artists include Trina Robbins, the first woman to draw Wonder Woman. I wrote about meeting her here. Other special guests include Jillian Tamaki, Chris Ware, and Ronald Wimberly. Bios of the featured artists and info about MoCCAFest can be found here.

Any Kutztown Student who wants to talk to me about making a zine, come find me in Sharadin 303. Happy to help!

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