OC Zine Fest 2016 Infused Downtown Santa Ana with Rich DIY Culture

Downtown SanTana was livelier than usual yesterday as artists, writers, indie presses, zinesters and alternative culture vultures gathered to represent the DIY (Do It Yourself) art scene at the third annual OC Zine Fest. 

The lower level of the parking lot behind Native Sons Alehouse seemed like an unconventional venue for the ever-growing festival. Yet the lot proved fitting for the unconventional gathering as it offered plenty of shade and ventilation on a blistering Sunday in July along with literal underground vibes. The free event housed two large rows of tables hosting works of nearly 100 zinesters who socialized, networked, sold, and traded art with fellow creatives and curious stragglers—all with an unpretentious and friendly spirit. 

For a newbie to the zine scene, OC Zine Fest (run by our own calendar goddess, Aimee Murillo) felt like the perfect introductory event with a wide yet manageable selection of edgy pamphlets that didn’t overwhelm, and welcoming zinesters that didn’t intimidate. From political zines to food zines to even perverse ones, an eclectic selection of the paper, ink and staples trifecta satisfied folks with even the most particular of interests. An OC zine archive and OC queer zine archive even educated newbies and old timers alike to the local scene’s history and growth. 
While everyone got their zine on at the parking lot, the The LGBT Center OC’s youth center upstairs from the parking lot hosted panels in an intimate art gallery setting. Themes discussed included how to get your zines in the library; DIY music and art spaces in flux because of sustainability issues, queer and feminist activism through writing and music as resistance in conservative Orange County; and an intimate discussion with comics legend Jaime Hernandez moderated by the Weekly‘s Mexican-In-Chief. 

After fulfilling their Zine Fest fix, attendees walked across the street to Diego’s Rock-n-Roll Bar & Eats for the festival’s after-party with sets by SLICE, MoonFuzz, Dirty Merlin, and YAAWN. Teenies and older millennials mingled as each band brought an eclectic variety of music to the cozy venue, from punk rock to experimental beats.  

As the event came to a close, many walked away ogling at their newest and coolest festival come-ups. Downtown SanTana—hell, OC in general—has never seen so many zines, stickers, pins, and other DIY knick knacks at one time, proving that OC Zine Fest is keeping the local DIY scene alive and well, one annual zine-filled day at a time. 

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