Tag Archives: zines

The Tiny Report is Back, The Micro-Press Yearbook is Here!

You might have noticed that I took a little vacation from the Tiny Report. Excuse number 1 is this: I was away in Alaska visiting family after a long, long absence. (Yeah, I from Alaska. Didn’t you know?)

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My dad and I took a road trip to go look at a glacier. The Dirty Dancing soundtrack was playing the whole way. It was awesome.

Excuse number 2: I was working feverishly on The Tiny Report’s first annual report: The Micro-Press Yearbook 2013. I really, really, wanted it to debut at SPX, and I made it just under the wire.

The Tiny Report: Micro-Press Yearbook 2013
16 pages, 5.5″ x 8.5″
black and white with a Risograph cover and centerfold
Just $3! BUY IT HERE

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Here’s the lovely cover by Chuck Forsman. It was Risograph printed locally by Jesse Hlebo (of swill children). He did a great job and his rates are quite reasonable.

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My essay “What’s a Micro-Press?” takes up about half of this zine. It’s also peppered with photos of micro-publishers and their wares, all taken during 2013.

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This is the double-sided centerfold. It’s basically a directory of all the micro-presses that I could find that were active in 2013 (there’s 52 of them). It includes this information: micro-press name, publisher, location, website, years in operation, total number of publications produced, number of publications produced in 2013, and the names of those titles. I was able to get complete stats on most of those 52 publishers.

tr_3sHere’s the centerfold, unfolded.

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I was able to collect all this information because 40 micro-publishers took part in my online survey. I took some of that data and made some charts and graphs. (Did you know half of these micro-presses are financially profitable? That surprised me.)

tr_5sHere’s the back cover, with the complete 2013 list. I know it’s not a perfect list (some how I left out So, What? Press, and I’m kicking myself), but it’s pretty darn close, I think.

So, that’s my zine. I’m pretty proud of it. Those of you who backed me on Kickstarter, You’ll be getting your copies in the next few weeks.

Now that I’ve collected all this information, this site will need a bit of an overhaul. My list needs to be updated. My definition of a micro-press needs to be updated. And I’ll be posting some (but not all) of the stats and graphs that are in the Micro-Press Yearbook.

Thanks for sticking with me, dear reader! Bonus: if you can name all the publications in this photo, I’ll send you a free copy*.  Email me through the “Contact” link above.robbookss*I doubt anyone is going to take me up on this, but just in case: this is limited to a reasonable amount of winners. Say, ten.

 

Brooklyn Zine Fest Recap

I spent Saturday tabling at the Brooklyn Zine Fest. I have very little but praise for the show and it’s organizers, Matt Carman and Kseniya Yarosh. But there were several changes this year, and each had its pros and cons.

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My friend Preston, helping me at the table.

This year the Brooklyn Zine Fest was a two-day event, with a completely different line-up of exhibitors each day. I’d never seen a festival split their exhibitor list this way, perhaps they innovated this idea? (Feel free to correct me on this.) Since the fest was previously a 1-day event, no one could complain about having a single day to exhibit. Still, there are some pros and cons to this approach.

PROS

  • Twice as many exhibitors could participate in this show at this location.
  • There was an incentive for attendees to attend both days.

CONS

  • Attendees (and exhibitors too) feel like they’re missing out if they don’t attend both days, which might be a bit much to ask of them.
  • Inevitably, there will one day which will be better than the other in terms of attendance, weather, and sales (perhaps in terms of exhibitors too, though there was plenty of good talent on either day).

My takeaway is that this was a effective answer to the problem of too many exhibitors, not enough tables. I have no complaints about it.

The other major difference this years was the fest’s new venue, Brooklyn Historical Society in Brooklyn Heights.

PROS

  • This is a classy venue! You can’t help but feel it dignifies the subject matter.
  • There is an excellent market a block away (Garden of Eden Gourmet). It has a fancy bakery and a salad bar. This saved me!

CONS

  • The exhibition area was not a large central space, but spread throughout the building (I have more thoughts on this, see below).
  • This is an opinion, but one I can defend: the former neighborhood of the show, Williamsburg, is more punk rock and zine-friendly than Brooklyn Heights. I’d bet a large number of the exhibitors and attendees live in or around northern Brooklyn, and getting downtown from the L or M line is a real hassle.
  • Working around the installations at Brooklyn Historical Society was slightly challenging at times, but very doable in general.

Like at Public Assembly, exhibitors were spread through a small number of separate rooms, rather one central room (as at MoCCA, SPX, etc). But at the Historical Society, these room are very separate: two of them were downstairs. The student room was downstairs and around the corner, and exhibitors in there had it the worst: I ran into several attendees who had no idea this room existed. There were lots of small photocopied signs pointing towards these rooms, but you really need something larger and bolder to standout in the crowd. I’d suggest for future shows that some sort of colorful foot path be attached to floor (if that’s possible).

I’m always of the opinion that one large central area is preferable to separate rooms. If you have more than one room, then one of those rooms is going to the best room, and one is going to be the worst. And in this case, the difference was pretty noticeable. The  upper level was airy, light-filled, and accessible to the street by two entrances. The downstairs rooms were uncomfortably hot and windowless. This is my biggest complaint about the show: the downstairs rooms were  just too hot, and too many attendees didn’t realize they existed.

But honestly, these are minor complaints. I understand that putting on a good festival is difficult, and putting on a prefect one is impossible. I enjoyed this show a lot. The venue was gorgeous and the table fee was fantastically cheap. It was just $30 for a half table, which was the only size available (this maximized the number of total exhibitors). Students paid just $15 (kudos to the organizers for offering that discount). The show was well-promoted and it paid off: attendance was great, and people were spending money! Financially, Paper Rocket hasn’t had a more successful show since Comic Arts Brooklyn. I’d like see more festivals like this one.

Since you made it all the way to the end, here are some more photos!

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Upstairs at the festival.

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The Wizard Skull table was a popular one.

bzine4The Triple Lightning table, and more of the upstairs vendors.

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My haul.