The Portland Zine Symposium
PSU's Smith Center, tabling occurs August 5-7, Fri 12-5 pm, Sat 10 am- 5 pm, Sun 11 am-4 pm; for a full schedule of other events

No demographic is more evocative of Portland's art-for-the-love-of-art mentality than its zine culture. Toiling away with letterpresses, stencils, home printing devices, and many other tools, zinesters labor 'round the clock to create lovely little bundles of homemade goodness that only the tiniest fraction of a fraction of the general populace will ever get the chance to read, or see, or hear (FACT: zines aren't necessarily a traditional paper magazine, but can involve all mediums, from sound recording to woodcarving!). You just have to love the creative tenacity of these zine-making fools in the face of such relatively infinitesimal popular appeal--indeed you can't love Portland otherwise. The two are one and the same.

The work of these lovable artists culminates, as it does every year, with this weekend's 5th Annual Zine Symposium, which will attract zinesters from all over the country. They'll flock to the Smith Center on the campus of PSU to hawk their meagerly priced wares, to provide a slew of fascinating workshops and seminars, and to straight-up party. Check out for a full schedule of everything that's happening. Some highlights:

• Of the 80 artists selling their zines at the tables, you can catch Joe Biel of Microcosm (produced the zine documentary $100 & a T-Shirt among many other zines, books, patches, and posters), Vladimir (creator of the phenomenon known as "Vladmasters"--Viewmaster reels that incorporate music, toys, and other odd ephemera for a truly unique zine experience), and bizarro-schlock novelist Carlton Melick III (Jesus Burger, Razor Wire Pubic Hair).

• Of the more than 20 workshops, forums, and seminars, you can catch "Zines 101" (what ARE these strange things called zines? How do you make one?), and "Zine Tours and Promotion" (now that you've made the thing, how do you get people to read it?).

• Get zine-funky at the Symposium's fifth birthday party, with DJs, "mini-bike dancers" the Sprockettes, boardgames, cake, and a raffle (Liberty Hall, 311 N Ivy, Sat Aug 6, 7 pm, $3-5).