If news of Portland's Seventh Annual Zine Symposium strikes you as a bit ho-hum, there's a really good chance that you need to get out of Portland more. Take a trip through the Boises and Fresnos of the country—places where creative kids work in relative isolation and would kill for the opportunity to spend a weekend with hundreds of other DIYers like themselves—and then tell me that the Zine Symposium is something to roll your eyes at. That Portland has the energy and grassroots infrastructure to organize a weekend-long symposium devoted to the art of the zine is one thing, but to do so seven years running is nothing short of heart-warming.
Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC) Zine Camp Reading: For the past month, Portland youth have been toiling away at summer zine camp, where they meet zinesters, learn about the history of the medium, and of course, make their own zines. Tonight they read from their final projects in what's going to be an inevitable mind-explosion of pure cuteness. Reading Frenzy, 921 SW Oak, Thurs Aug 9, 7 pm
Zinester Potluck and Open Mic: Make some new friends, eat some homemade food, get turned on to some new zines, etc. Sounds like a damn fine Friday night to me. IPRC, 917 SW Oak, #218, Fri Aug 10, potluck 7 pm, open mic 8 pm
Afterparty: Hey, nobody said binding and stapling is easy. And neither is macking on coeds during the "Etiquette in Zine Culture" workshop. That's why there's a big afterparty blowout to wrap up the whole symposium. Bring your best hand-screened T-shirt for this one! Parkway North in PSU Smith Memorial Union, Sat Aug 11, 7:30 pm-midnight
Tables and Workshops: This is the real (soy)meat and potatoes of the festival: dozens of artists peddling their wares, which often include prints, T-shirts, and other cool swag. When you're there, check to see what's going on in the workshops; you might be surprised at how broadly the term "zine culture" can be applied.
Tables: PSU Smith Ballroom, Third Floor, Sat Aug 11, 10 am-6 pm, Sun Aug 12, 11 am-5 pm; Workshops: PSU Cramer Hall, Sat-Sun Aug 11-12, 11 am-4 pm