28 October 2008

The Hawthorn Zine Fair is a small fair/market that is FREE for exhibitors to sell their works to the general public. And... FREE entry to the public.... it's ALL FREE! Setup in the main town hall of Hawthorn... its quite nice.

(An art exhibition was on at the same time around the corner, so it would potentially draw in a few extra people this year.)

Last year I dropped into this event, and was impressed by the setup & intent of it (ie. local/small press). My only minor disappointment this year, was that only half the hall was used. I thought last year's set up was much better where all the tables were in one main place... and even though it still looked like a intimate event compared to others - it felt that this big hall was just waiting for you (the self-publisher) to FILL it next year... which made me eager to contribute the following year. This year's felt a little 'dislocated' and smaller due to the separated/smaller layout. But, I'm just being pedantic, and I think its still enormously worthwhile and a great opportunity to sell your self-published stuff. Do it.

This year's Zine Fair was a short Sunday event between 11am-4pm. It was very relaxed and was a chance to get local people (who may not read or be interested in comics, though possibly interested in 'art') to see my work. It turned out to be a really worthwhile thing. The books I had on sale were $1, $2, $5 & $7. By the end of the day I had made about $70.

So it was good.

Memorable moments:
  1. A nice long chat with my fellow creator Jason Franks about the craft & motivations of making comics. He also brought in his newly printed KAGEMONO#2 for me to hold & smell (ah, fresh print.)
  2. Seeing/chatting to familiar local faces like Bernard Caleo, Joe Waite, Ive, Greg Gates & Philip Bentley.
  3. Grabbing Philip Bentley's latest WORD BALLOONS magazine. A nice publication... and you can get it from Philip's blog here.
  4. Chatting to non-comic folk who bought my books. I was surprised how they knew about certain comic 'novels' & 'authors' (like Dave Cooper's RIPPLE, and Dan Clowes' EIGHTBALL) - but people were surprised that there were local Australian authors publishing comics too. It's still an ingrained perception that comics are U.S superhero material aimed at teenegers. It just goes to show that this medium of comics (done well) has a broader audience out there just waiting to enjoy it if we can only produce things that they'd be amenable to. There just needs to be enough diverse genres for people to choose from (read: Not just spandex) done in this medium to a professional standard... and be placed in the market for them to buy.
  5. The free coffee and muffins. (thanks Mardi!)
  6. Contributing a panel to the day's 'jam' comic.
  7. Zora's help, snacks & badges.
So... I highly recommend you get a stall at general/art events such as these (ie. Fairs, Markets, etc) - because its a way to get your work in the hands of people who haven't been exposed to comicbooks before... and hopefully put a smile on their face, and a few gold coins in your pocket.

For more... check out John Retallick's account of the day over at
The Comic Spot.


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