Montreal's 8th Annual Small Press Expozine

Yesterday, I took my kids to Montreal's Expozine at the Saint-Enfant-Jésus Church on St. Laurent Boulevard. I'd gone several years ago and was intrigued by all the handmade zines and unconventional narrative styles. This year, the church basement was heaving with creative, quirky and nerdy types of all ages and enthusiasm levels, which ranged from the depressed and withdrawn to the downright exuberant.

Expozine is a small press, comic and zine fair, which this year, brought together some 300 exhibitors, making it one of the largest in North America. In addition to attracting artists from Canada, the US and Europe, Expozine gives out awards for best zine, book and comic. The beauty of these awards is that high-tech is not de rigueur. One of the winner's in the zine category this year, Delf Berg for Fanzine #3, Toxico, did his work entirely by hand. A judge's comment on his work, "Very simple and low tech, the work of an obvious talent with an original voice."

I was surprised to see that the quality of the zines, comics, books and characters in all their manifestations (buttons, T-shirts, fridge magnets, stuffed animals and cushions. Yes, cushions!) had improved tremendously. I saw every type of character from sexist to feminist, cute to horrifying. My kids loved the buttons and fridge magnets and adored a certain Hasemeister bunny (see picture above). I wish they had been as enthusiastic about my comic and zine browsing. Nevertheless, I still managed to spend $45.00 before the heat of the church basement forced our sweaty bodies out into the street. We narrowly escaped some crankiness, but had the added bonus of listening to a country & western accordionist on the church steps, which gave our short trek a David Lynch kind of feel.

If I'd been on my own, I would have most certainly taken off my coat (a free hand oblige) and spent a lot more money. The young woman who'd made scary character cushions would have been my first stop. I would have also had the time to speak to some of the exhibitors who were obviously thrilled to be showing their labours of love.

Don't miss it next year!


Post a Comment