AUSTIN, Texas — Austin artists got to show off and sell their work at the 2019 Lone Star Zine Fest held Sunday. 

  • A zine is a self-published pamphlet
  • Can feature art, illustrations, essays, poetry
  • Opportunity for artists to meet, network

“People don't go to these events selling comics so that they can just make a lot of money, it's more like the passion of comics and zines and sharing that experience with people around us as well," comic and illustrator Kat Fajardo said. 

Short for “magazine,” a zine is a self-published pamphlet filled with any kind of art, ranging from comics, illustrations, essays, and poetry. 

“The comics I make the work I make is self-reflective," Fajardo said. "So I do a lot of self bio comics based on my experiences as a Latina, so dealing with racism, sexism, assimilation and just a lot of self love and self acceptance, based on my own experiences.”

“These are what I call slice of life comics," Yvonne Weng, an artist and illustrator said. "They’re just like little moments from my like that I captured, I’m like ‘Oh my god I want to draw this out, record it in a little comic, and share with everybody.'”

A key part of zines is that they’re all independently made by the artists themselves. 

“I just really like how accessible they are and how self-publishing makes it so that you know anybody can make a zine," said cartoonist Ashley Franklin. 

The low barrier of entry allows for a zine community that’s incredibly diverse. 

"Usually [zines] have an alternative viewpoint or a perspective that you wouldn't find in modern media," Morgan Thomas, a designer and illustrator said. "So you can pick it up and learn about someone's life that you wouldn't have normally found in mainstream media.”

“As POC creators and like marginalized creators, we don't really have a voice in the mainstream media, especially in you know comic industry as well. It's very very limited," Fajardo said. "So going these zine festivals, and having a work that represents who you are and what your voice is, it's kind of nice to share that with a smaller community and for people who like actually get it.”

Events like the Lone Star Zine Fest are also an opportunity for local artists to meet, see each other’s work and build community.

“It’s such a vibrant community just like a wide diversity of voices and styles and stories. It's just really fascinating. Something for everyone," Weng said. 

“Just how warm and inclusive everyone has been, how accessible it is," artist Robin Borre said. "I just had a conversation with someone who was looking for some insight about making their first zine. I remember not very long ago, me being on the other side where I was asking for, like, you know, insight into making my own zine. So, I like that, how welcoming everyone is and how accessible it is.”