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Phoenix Zine Fest celebrates independent publishing this weekend after 2-year in-person hiatus

By Mark Brodie, Steve Goldstein
Published: Friday, September 16, 2022 - 11:49am

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zines about abortion
Wasted Ink Zine Distro
Zines providing information on abortion.

This weekend, Mesa’s Nile Theater will be filled with artists and writers, all in honor of a type of publication called a zine.

Charissa Lucille is one of the founding organizers of Phoenix Zine Fest.

“A zine can be described as a small, self-published piece of paper that contains a variety of topics and contents. It can have photographs, poetry, long-form essays and it’s all based on the creator’s voice, and it’s unedited and uncensored by traditional media," Lucille said.

In an age where just about everything feels mass-produced, zines offer all kinds of creative freedom. In 2015, Lucille went to a zine fest in Los Angeles. They thought that Phoenix deserved its own event to bring together creatives from around the Southwest.

Charissa Lucille
Charissa Lucille
Charissa Lucille tables at the Los Angeles Zine Fest in 2016.

The first Phoenix Zine Fest was held in 2016. This year, there will be around 80 zine makers selling their wares in person for the first time in two years.

Lucille said they love how warm and welcoming the zine culture is.

“Zines historically have offered a space for historically silenced or marginalized voices to have a place for their voice to be heard," Lucille said. "And so the Phoenix Zine Fest prioritizes Black, Indigenous and people of color, as well as LGBT creatives in our community.”

Phoenix Zine Fest runs from Sept. 17 and 18 at Mesa's Nile Theater from noon to 5 p.m. each day.

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