In the photo you can see me (to the left) with Dai Jones and the empty chair of Jonathan Prior. The three of us shared a table at the London Zine Symposium last week. It was a very good event: packed with people and nice zines. I didn't find the time to participate in any of the workshops offered, which was a bit of a shame, but I really enjoyed just sitting at the table and chatting to people. I sold quite a few Toastycats too, and some screenprinted patches. Dai and Jonathan were selling their own zine, 12 Gates to the City.
Unlike last year's Symposium, which was quite heavy on radical zines, this time most of what was on offer was pretty art-school. The former are mostly black and white, text-based and not so ambitious formally. The latter are usually in colour, and often experiment with techniques, fomats and materials. There seems to be a gap between these two kinds of zines and I would have liked to see more stuff that tries to bridge that gap. Personally, I'm more interested in the colourful, nicely printed zines but they are often just eye candy. It would be interesting to see some of these engage more with narrative and to exhibit the kind of urgency and energy that you find in a lot of radical zines. Of course, fancy zines mean fancy prices; I'm not feeling very rich at the moment so I didn't buy anything. But there were some things I really liked and would like to recommend: