The Eighth Annual Portland Zine Symposium once again offers a full weekend of workshops and panels, a chance to check in with your favorite zinesters and discover new ones, and, of course, an opportunity to mingle with other like-mind ed self-publishing aficionados. As always, some things have changed and some things have stayed the same—we spoke with one of the symposium's organizers, Christina "Blue" Crow, about what to expect this year.
MERCURY: Can you explain this year's slogan, "Back to DIY, Back to Community, Back to Roots"?
CROW: It's about the idea of reminding people of the importance of self-publishing and putting your material out there yourself, and the community that comes with that, rather than sending your zine to a larger [distributor] to publish for you. A lot of zine history involves meeting people at a convention—you trade zines, you start writing each other letters, and it's very personal. Some people feel like the zine community is leaning away from that more and more, and we would like to remind people how important that is, by celebrating it with our symposium. There've been some issues within the zine community of zinesters' work being published without their consent—one of our workshops is going to be about self-publishing and copyright and how to protect your work.
How has the festival changed over the years?
Every year it has a different core of main organizers, and each fresh set of organizers obviously has different priorities. For example, I've put a lot of effort into booking us a wrap-up party. I booked us a show at the Red and Black Café, and that also continues with our idea of getting back to the community and working with other community organizations, 'cause Red and Black is a collective.
Who's playing that show?
Please Step out of the Vehicle; Wooden Indian Burial Ground, who played at PDX Pop Now!; the Taxpayers, a great punky, political band with a lot of great songs; and Letters.