Graphics courtesy of San Anto Zine Fest

For the past few years, independent publications have embodied the DIY ethos in San Antonio–from the Gnostic Anthropology zines handed out of small cult-esque houses on the southside to the highly active St. Sucia zine, which is not included in the Latino Collection Resource Center at the San Antonio Library.

These publications are referred to as zines and are becoming increasingly popular.

What exactly are zines? Short for magazine, zines are self-published, printed materials of any size or shape that hold stories, poems, illustrations, photos, articles and comics.

Zines are self-made and self-published in limited quantities for small audiences typically with a niche focus.

The most notable zines are created in varying ways but the most popular way to make zines include printing and hand-making.

Six brave writers and artists are holding the first ever fest delving into these publications–the San Anto Zine Fest.

“This is all organized by women of color, and I think that’s amazing,” said Isabel Castro, one of two creators of St. Sucia. Isabel Castro, Natasha Hernandez, Claudia Cordona, Suzy Gonzalez, Isabel Ramos and Ana Ortiz are the six organizers of the San Anto Zine Fest. “We wanted to create a space for publishers in San Antonio,” said Castro.

A zine festival is a function where independent publishers get a chance to showcase and sell their zines. The most popular genres are “perzines” personal magazines; “info zines” how-to’s; “chapbooks” poetry and prose collections; and comic books.

“Independent markets like zine fests are a place where creators can share their work with the community and connect with other artists and writers,” said Castro.

The San Anto Zine Fest will be held on Oct. 7 at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The programming includes a Screening/Filmmaker Q&A: Pretty Vacant by Jim Mendiola; “Listening to Latino Voices” with Dr. Juan Alonzo, Professor Nathan Madrid and Rhyma Castillo from Texas A&M University; a D.I.Y. Panel; a UTSA Special collections Presentation with Amy Rushing; “How to use Zines to Connect with Teens” with SAPL Librarian David Gallin-Parisi; and a Zine Making Workshop with Isabel Ann Castro.

St. Sucia, Chiflad@ Zine, Yes Ma’am, La Liga and a myriad of other zine publications will be at the festival.

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