I attended my first zine swap the other night, deep in Brooklyn at some dudes’ apartment. I know what you’re thinking: “A zine swap? That sounds so hip it hurts.” Well, I’ll tell you that the zine swap was fucking great and when I receive the text message invite for the next one, I will drop everything and be there. I don’t care if it’s scheduled at sunrise on Christmas morning. Here’s why:
Zine’s are awesome. If you think they’re a stupid fad that sketchy Brooklyn people are into for the moment, you couldn’t be more wrong. The zine has been around since Thomas Paine first printed Common Sense back in 1775 (Wikipedia, son). Old Benny Franklin also dropped a self-published zine around that same time, but I guarantee the rags those relics made were pieces of shit compared to the creative masterpieces that traded hands at the Brooklyn zine swap last night.
The event was basically a righteous house party at a beautifully remodeled loft-style space in the Bushwick warehouse zone. It was mid-week around 11 p.m. and the house was packed with beer drinkers of an even gender balance. Fantastic vibes. But the part that made this different than a regular Wednesday night beer drinking apartment party was that everybody brought zines. It was a literature overload! The hosts built a big wooden display shelf earlier in the afternoon. It was like the magazine shelves in Barnes & Noble, but the DIY version that was a little uneven and made of rough-cut plywood. When you arrive at the zine swap, you say hello, take our your zines, add them to the display shelf, and then it’s on. For the next few hours, you drink beers, read everyone else’s zines, and then you discuss them and meet the other creators, and drink beers. It makes you question why all parties don’t have some sort of medium to get the people mingling. I guess they have that at charity events, but those can be kinda boring.
I brought seven zines (all I had), so I took seven different zines home at the end of the night. It was a bit like going home with seven other people. Any zine maker knows that you share a piece of your soul in those pages. I woke up the next morning and re-read all my new leaflets, feeling totally liberated. I’ve always been a print nerd and kept my addiction partially hidden, but now I know there are many other ziners out there, in a reclusive apartment deep in Brooklyn. Here are the standout editions from my first Brooklyn zine swap:
Damn Your Nails Look Good, by Brittnee Cann
PepBoyZine, by Pep Kim
Vámonos Party Wave, by Tucker Phillips
Get Gone, by Cole Barash
Toña Country, by Brian Kelley
Summer Are Friends, Some Are Not, by Andrew Price
Single, by Dan Zvereff
Jota x Lac, by Maria Jota
If you want to get in on the next Brooklyn zine swap, you can’t. It’s an exclusive club, like the Stonecutters, and invites are only exchanged via text message. However, if you’re still reading this, you’re obviously interested in zines (or extremely bored), so why don’t you round up your creative genius zine buddies and do your own zine swap? Or don’t. I don’t care. Print is dead, anyways. Haven’t you heard?