Enjoying the Zine-ry 

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The zine is sort of the last line of defense for free speech, a completely democratic system designed to send out the thoughts, art and politics of the little people. Without the sanitation of the big media machines, a zine is often rougher, darker and more weirdly beautiful than those the massive printing presses squeeze out. It's a manifesto with a Kinko's card. Richmond's about to have a Zine Fest, and since it's been 13 years since the last one, no doubt some people have forgotten what it's all about. Here's your quiz.

1)What is a zine?

a. An energy drink that college students insist on mixing with cheap liquor.

b. Something French and tricky.

c. Independent publications on a variety of topics, often printed and distributed by the author.

d. Like a zipper, but made out of hemp.

2) If someone says to you "DIY," what are they saying?

a. You are really Deadly in Yahtzee.

b. You're very Do-It-Yourself.

c. You haven't Danced in Years.

d. You own a Drive-In Yacht.

3) A Distro is a…

a. A bistro for anarchists.

b. A disco for anarchists.

c. A zine distribution service, mail-order or online, sometimes run by anarchists.

4) At this year's Zine Fest, 49 zines and distros will be peddling their wares. Which of the following is not a real zine?

a. "Dear America, I'm Lost" by Jacob Cunningham

b. "Little Stupid Things and Graveyards" by Shelley the Wee

c. "Blitzkrieg Koala" by Aaron Shoemaker & Josiah

d. "Baskets of Biscuits" by Peter Penumbra

5) In addition to the vendors' tables and workshops, there will also be readings by some authors. Which of the following is not a real reading?

a. Sarah Rose considers the subject of casual sex with a reading from her zine "Tazewell's Favorite Eccentric."

b. China Martens, editor of punk parenting zine "The Future Generation," reads from her book about same.

c. Aspen Clark relates the joys and horrors of the foot fetishist in his zine "Crestfallen Arches."

d. Ariel Gore of the zine "Hip Mama" (www.hipmama.com) teaches us how to become famous writers.

6) True or False: Zinesters abbreviate names for everything because they're in a hurry.

7) What is considered the first zine?

a. Thomas Paine's "Common Sense"

b. Karl Marx's "Communist Manifesto"

c. God's "Ten Commandments"

d. "USA Today"

8) The distro at www.richmondzinefest .com sells many different zines. Which of the following is a subject not covered in any of them?

a. Fans of the movie "Fight Club."

b. The relationship between democracy and chicken pot pie.

c. MySpace.com.

d. Direct and poetic translations of German words.

e. Healthy and unhealthy sexual relationships.

  • See the answers.

  • The Richmond Zine Fest is Saturday, April 28, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Firehouse Theatre and The Camel. Admission is free. Call 355-2001 or visit www.richmondzinefest.com. S

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