Hey everyone! I’m so excited to tell you about my awesome experience at Milwaukee Zine Fest! This recap post was a little delayed because I’ve been a bit busy (and reading this thought-provoking article about why I should probably knock that off), but I’m done making excuses, so here we go!
Prior to attending Milwaukee Zine Fest (MZF), my only experience with this type of event was earlier this year when I got my feet wet in the zine scene in Chicago (Fun Fact: the “big plans for later this year” I hint at in that blog post is referring to Jelly Legs). I had a great time in Chicago, but as with many things Milwaukee, I found MZF to be far more inviting and intimate. Plus, there was beer available at Falcon Bowl and that never hurts either!
I met some incredible writes, illustrators, designers, and all-around inspiring people. It wad able to talk to so many other bike fanatics who were beyond thrilled to get their hands on a copy Jelly Legs Issue #01. In return, I found myself giddy with pre-teen glee as I scurried along the aisles of zines quickly making trades/purchases. Some of my favorite finds include:
- Neil Brideau’s Write Now & What is This? — Adorable minicomics filled with love and inspiration for children and adults alike. I wish someone would’ve given me Write Now (or told me about zines at all) when I was just a kid who was obsessed with writing.
- Anna Jo Beck’s Biff Boff Bam Sock Issue 4, Nuptial Edition — I haven’t read any of the other zines in this series, but if they’re anything like this one, I know I’m going to love them! She’s got a killer illustration style, and this particular issue definitely melted my heart. Go pick it up!
- Eric’s Junk Drawer Zine — This zine was made for me! I had the pleasure of talking with Eric at the event (his table happened to be across from mine), and we quickly realized that we’re pretty much the quirkiest of kindred spirits. We’re both obsessed with junk drawers and ephemera so his series was right up my alley! Only at zine fest can these kinds of oddball connections happen :)
- Stephanie Lane Gage’s VOID zine — Refreshingly well-designed and fun little zine. However, my favorite purchase (not pictured) is this AMAZING poster I got from her which features her take on Mulder’s famous “I WANT TO BELIEVE” poster. She definitely had some fun playing with the type treatment, and to top it off, portions of it are in glow-in-the-dark ink. To say I’m ecstatic about that purchase would be an under statement. Thanks Stephanie for rocking my nerdy world!
Of course, I got far more zines than those listed/photographed above, but trust me, they’re all gems. Milwaukee Zine Fest, thanks for the incredible experience!
A FINAL NOTE ON COLLABORATION
I had heard time and time again at numerous design events that the work you create in a group will always surpass the work you do alone. I always knew there was merit to that statement, but I never took the time to actively seek out those opportunities. When I first started working on Jelly Legs, I was doing it as a solo endeavor. However, shortly after I had started brainstorming what Jelly Legs would eventually look like, I went on the Bike to Brew ride in Chicago. It was on that ride that Iwas reminded of the close-knit comradery of the bike community that I’d come to love. I knew immediately thereafter that Jelly Legs needed to exist in a larger capacity, and the quality and quantity of responses I received (and continue to receive) from this community is absolutely astounding.
I love that sense of community that organically develops when people with similar passions come together. It’s the reason why I feel so lucky to be a graphic designer, it’s why I love zine fests, and it’s a big part of why I love cycling. Jelly Legs is truly the definition of a passion project for me, and I can’t wait to see how it grows and shifts over the years to come.
Be sure to snag your copy and some sweet stickers while they last!
, you’ll get notified about a sweet Black Friday discount coming up! Shhhh ;)