Reflections on our first official zine fest!
Milk & Honey has had a lot of indirect convention and tabling experience, mostly through me providing copies for contributor’s tables at a particular event, and their remaining inventory being dispensed as they travel to back home or other places, but I haven’t had much hands on myself. That all changed when Savannah and I went to Asheville, North Carolina for our first official zine fest as a vendor! Asheville was about a five hour drive across the state from our coastal town of Wilmington. One thing I really appreciate about North Carolina is the ability to to the beach to a dramatic landscape like the mountains in a day.
Asheville Zine Fest is three years strong, created by a rad couple we meet, Scott and Jessica. The city is beautiful as always, I haven’t gone often since going for the first time when Moogfest (in 2010) was a thing there, which was an electronic music fest I adored and always seem to go into talking about whenever Asheville is ever mentioned. But any who, after a morning exploring the city, we had shirts, the pair of books, hats, and some stickers all in about three boxes. The Center for Craft was right in the heart of downtown too which was nice. Setting up an attractive looking table is important, but I quickly learned that its possible to bring too much. I just brought all my shirts, where I probably just needed a few of each size.
Special thanks to Savannah for writing out the chalkboards. I felt that everything looked really good, but I’m excited to get more zines and paper products on future tables. Talking with everyone and it was blast With a collaboration like Milk & Honey Comic Anthology, figuring out a quick and clear way to quickly describe the book to people who stopped by was important. I had an impression of the political atmosphere of the progressive mountain region of Appalachia that my anti-fascim hat would be a big seller, and made a chalkboard sign for it in particular. A lot of people engaged with it, but a big thing that I didn’t realize was that a lot of people did not know what a fasces was. The symbol of a bunch of rods or sticks all gathered together into a bundle, was a symbol of power that dates all the way back to the Roman Empire. The rise of Italian fascism took that insignia to represent their new authoritarian government. The hat is a real life insignia of a resistance anarchist group that revolted against tyrannical forces before WWII unfolded. As a childhood of both mythology and especial the Roman Empire growing up, I had recognized the symbol immediately, but since the icon of the fasces was not as stigmatized as German icons, a lot of people may not know. So a little article about it may be in store in the future, talking more about it and why I wanted to make a hat of it.
You can get own hat, available in three colors here: Anti-Fascism ‘Arditi del Popolo’ Hat
I got lucky to have good table neighbors too. Wooly Press are old friends and talented printers. It was absolutely fantastic to catch up to them. They’ve been busy doing some amazing things, including a lot of Jesse Mead’s Baby Knife and Black River series. Seeing Jesse’s risograph comics years ago printed by her sister and brother in law at Wooly was part of the inspiration to start this journey to start with. Another neighbor was ghost scout Print Wizahd John Mansfield, who I was just social media friends with until now, and Meg Golding, who was a rad new friend who was very supportive of Milk & Honey. Thank you all so much! Making new friends and talking to people about how to collectively and supportively grow is what this has been all about for me. I’m excited for more shows this fall coming up and beyond.
I also got a rad print from Ben Sears, which I framed earlier today back at home.
✨📖What I’m Reading: Multiple Warheads 2, Delicious in Dungeon
✨🎶What I’m Listening To: “Walk Away” by Le Youth
✨🎮What I’m Playing: Civilization VI: Rise & Fall