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Festival of the Photocopier Zine Fair

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by Kerry Lander (subscribe)
Kerry has been writing radio copy for donkey's years, & also dabbles in short stories & travel writing. She works, plays and explores largely in the CDB and inner suburbs, gets everywhere by public transport and is the self-professed Zone One Queen.
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Sweet zines are made of this
The celebration of unbridled creativity is back. Melbourne's largest zine fair is taking place on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th February at Trades Hall, Lygon Street.

Bigger and better than ever and run by zine store Sticky Institute, The Festival of the Photocopier has now expanded across two afternoons, due to popular demand for stalls. Yes, zine-making is growing and Melbourne zinesters want to show you their wares.

Do the words "zine fair" have you puzzled? What is this 'zine' of which I speak?

The zine short for 'fanzine' - has been around since the 60s and 70s, growing in popularity as a form of underground publication by a sole person or group of individuals. Covering topics such as specific fandoms, music reviews, art, anti-establishment or counter-culture writing and photography, a zine was distributed at street level, straight to the fans / fellow conspirators.

zines at Sticky Institiute
Zines at Melbourne zine store Sticky Institute.

Often typed on an old-school typewriter, hand-penned, hand-illustrated or with photo montages applied roughly or smoothly, the photocopier was the zinester's ultimate weapon. A punk aesthetic informed many, indeed, to appear too polished in those days would be to arouse suspicion into its authenticity.

Zines of the digital age are also likely to be constructed with layout software and scanner, but ultimately they still possess that DIY hand-made format and resonate strongly with young creators. In an age where personal publishing resides mainly on social media or blogs, the zine remains tangible hard copy; printed onto paper, sewn, bound or stapled into small booklets.

zines at Sticky Institiute
Sticky Institute, complete with useful zine-making tools the photocopier and long-arm staplers.

They're a pleasure to handle, with a plethora of styles and topics: from graphic comics to photo essays, personal stories to movie and music reviews, geeky obsessions to opinionated rants. You'll find these and so much more at the Festival of the Photocopier - the ultimate weekend to discover and support your local zinesters.

Entry is free. But do bring all your spare change on February 9 and 10 zines can often be purchased for a handful of coins, even as little as $2. Bring your kids it could inspire them to make their own. Or you.
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Why? See and support an explosion of creative writing, art, comics and photography - completely offline.
When: Saturday Feb 9 - Sunday Feb 10, 12 - 5pm
Where: Trades Hall, cnr Lygon St and Victoria St, Carlton - just north of the CBD.
Cost: Free entry. Zines very cheap.
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