Event: Leeds Zine Fair 2015- Kristyna Baczynski and Sophie Wright


Apologies for the late posting of this, it’s been a really busy week again. On Saturday I decided I need to get out of the house and wanting to go a bit further afield, ended up at the Leeds Zine Fair. I was on the fence about it, but a week full of general awfulness that came to a head on Friday resigned me to the fact that I needed a change of pace and scenery. I certainly got that in terms of scenery when I couldn’t find the venue. I managed to get to the road it was on and walked up and down the road, until finding it in the direction I was first going a little beyond where I gave up and turned around. In my defence it wasn’t signposted up the street at all, the only indication being the banner outside when you get to it.

With a few comics creators listed on the Footprint website, I thought there would be a bit more of a mix of comics and zines. It’s not going to be a popular opinion, but I’m not sure that zines are for me. It’s difficult to know where to start with them, and I don’t have a solid frame of reference to judge them on. I don’t understand them as a platform either. I get how historically they were cheap and easy way for people to communicate ideas on a range of niche or marginalised subjects in the past, but can’t wrap my head around how it now seems to that blogs and the like would be better suited to that? Surely they would be more effective and have a wider audience? However I can more than get behind people wanting to produce a physical object, I’ve mentioned more than a few times how I still prefer reading actual books to digital. While the organisers in producing there program and ‘zine in a day were using some really interesting print techniques, risographed and the like,  I found the cost of the majority of the very slim, handwritten and photocopied to be extremely off-putting.

Recently I’ve been making a more concerted effort to be to generally more open to people and have a more positive, accepting attitude and outlook on life. I’m also trying to be less rigid in my thinking so I’m more than open open to anyone willing to sing their praises, challenge me on their relevance and change my mind on them.  Perhaps the fact that they still have a very strong and dedicated fan base and passionate creators putting a lot of effort into the medium speaks to their appeal. I’d never deny anyone the chance to express themselves or limit that in anyway but at the moment I guess I just personally don’t ‘get’ them.

Regardless the main aim was to do something new, and it fulfilled that. I ended up chatting to a few people, a few like Nautical Mile Comics, I surprisingly knew already and still picked up a few things to make it worthwhile.

I went with the intention of picking up a few things from Kristyna Baczynski and despite wanting to reign in my spending a little bit, really wish I’d bought up a few more. I wrote a post about her comic Vessel recently and this time around I got Hand Me Down and A Measure Of Space. Once again I’m struck by how she illustrates the passage of time through her comic, some moments can linger while on other pages hundreds or years can pass by in a matter of panels. Both beautiful comics, I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing the longer story she has been working on this year.

One of the other two comics creators at the fair was Sophie Wright who had the adorable Meet Cute full of cute wolves and bunny rabbits in 50’s hairstyles and fashions. It’s a sweet little read told entirely though the casts facial expressions and actions, and I just couldn’t resist buying it.

Such a charming comic, I do however feel that after buying something like Baczynsk’s comics that Meet Cute might have been overpriced at £5 for a simple black and white comic. It’s stitched together but it’s simple print it doesn’t do justice to Wright’s delightful artwork. At the same time I think the sketch portraits of people she was doing at the fair on the fly were vastly under priced and left me wishing I’d have gotten one.

I’d been looking out for this one for ages and OK comics came through for me by having it back in stock. Jason Conquers America is a collection of rarities, interviews and tributes both from and too Norweigan cartoonist Jason. The inside cover has a full colour tribute featuring classic monsters by another of my favourite artists Mike Allred that makes this worth the price alone. I love the simple art and the deadpan humour of Jason’s comics and had already bought two of his other books this week. I’m hoping to interview him before the release of his next collection of short stories.

Third and last stop of the day, Forbidden Planet. On the way in I heard someone bemoaning that it’s more like a toy shop these days, and it does rather seem that way with the comics and books resigned to the basment. They’ve had the longest sale I’ve ever seen and have finally managed to pair them down into two unloved boxes near the stairs. I feel bad for Blank Slate Books overall. I’ve managed to buy all of Oliver East’s excellent Trains are Mint books for under a fiver. They were reduced to £2, but also, buy one get one free. So I grabbed Sleepyheads and got Playing Out for a friend as I already own it.I know unusual and non superhero books can be a bit of a hard sell at times but It’s a crime that Playing Out is in the £1 box! Set in Manchester with three teens, it should be instantly recognisable to anyone growing up in an English city who found the summer holidays dragging after three weeks. It’s one I might come back to on here in the future.



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