CZF 2015 after party: Dance ‘n’ Draw!

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Chicago Zine Fest closes the 2015 festival weekend with an official after party at the International School of Comics located at 1651 W Hubbard St. from 9-11 pm.

The Dance: Get up and move to a DJ mix provided courtesy of CZF organizers from responses we’ve heard from the community.

The Draw: CZF organizer Alex Nall brings his signature Saturday Night Drink ‘n’ Draw activities to the crowd. Join in on a collective jam comic or bring your own work and have a good time. All drawing supplies provided by our hosts at the ISoC.

The Drink: There will be a limited open bar. Plus it’s BYOB. Snacks will be on hand while they last.

The event is free to the public. It is all ages. It’ll be a bunch of fun, y’all, we hope you’ll join us! Facebook event here.

Volunteer for CZF 2015!

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CZF is a few weeks away & we need your help!

Poster Promo!

We’ve printed hundreds of gorgeous zine fest posters to hang up around Chicago! Want to help us out by hanging some up in the libraries / coffee shops / stores in your neighborhood? If so, let us know at!!

Volunteer at CZF!

We’re filling volunteer roles for Chicago Zine Fest weekend! Each year nearly fifty volunteers help with staffing the info table, monitoring the workshops, doing set-up & tear-down, and much more. Volunteer duties are simple and most shifts are just two hours. If you are a big-hearted soul who has some time to spare on Saturday May 9th, email us at for a complete list of roles and shifts!

Oh, and if free stuff sways you, all volunteers get a free CZF poster & postcard pack! Designed by Corinne Mucha, risograph printed by Perfectly Acceptable Press, loved by all!


2015 Workshop Schedule

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Below is the workshop schedule for CZF 2015. All workshops are on Saturday May 9th at Plumbers’ Union Hall, 1340 W Washington Blvd.

Italian And European Comics Culture // 12-1pm (1st floor)
The International School of Comics in conjunction with Italian artists and creators Marco Cosentino and Annalisa Vicari bring Chicago Italian And European Comics Culture! A discussion of the international comics scene followed by a hands on illustration session in the style of the masters: Moebius, Enki Bilal, Ugo Pratt, Paolo Serpieri, and so on!

Make a Button Zine // 1-3pm (balcony)
*This is a hands-on workshop that you can drop in on throughout the workshop time. Supplies are limited.*
Create your very own button zine with Busy Beaver Button Co.! You bring your creativity and drawing skills and we’ll provide all the materials to make a 4-page 4.25×5.5-inch zine with an attached pin-back button. This all-ages workshop is a drop-in event, as long as supplies last. Led by Busy Beaver’s Denise Gibson.

Bad Bitches // 1:15-2:15pm (1st floor)
Bad Bitches is a workshop facilitated discussion with a group of QTPOC/WOC folks about resisting assimilation into white radical culture and honoring our intense survival skills. Facilitated by Nyky Gomez, Ari Perezdiez, and Mimi Thi Nguyen.

Horrormones: Perform Coming-Of-Age Comics with the Teen Creative Agency // 2:30-4pm (1st floor)
Share, illustrate, and perform true-life coming-of-age stories at Horrormones, an all-ages workshop led by the Teen Creative Agency from the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and Lyra Hill, the creator of Brain Frame. Join us for a strange and hilarious experiment in a judgment-free zone.

Erasing Oppression with Erasure Poetry // 4:15-5:15pm (1st floor)
So much of the existing literary canon is built on the erasure of marginalized voices and experiences. In this hands-on workshop and discussion we will use the Erasure technique to create our own new literary canon that breaks away from privileged and oppressive narratives. Bring your own text or use pages from the ones provided. Provided texts will be a range of books, periodicals, and other materials considered to be traditionally oppressive. Facilitated by Danielle Susi of School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC).

Friday night readers at CZF 2015

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We’re pleased as punch to announce the zinesters who will be reading at Friday night’s exhibitor reading:

  • Annie Mok (Worst Behavior)
  • Celia Pérez (I Dreamed I Was Assertive, Ofrenda: A Zine Anthology)
  • H. Melt (Second to None: Queer and Trans Chicago Voices, Straight Talk, SIRvival in the Second City: Transqueer Chicago Poems)
  • Martha Grover (Somnambulist)
  • Matt Davis (Perfectly Acceptable Press)
  • Mimi Thi Nguyen (Slander, Pander Mafia)

Join us Friday May 8th at Access Living (115 W Chicago Ave)–the panel will start at 5 pm, the youth reading will begin at 7 pm, and the folks listed above will be reading from 8-9 pm. Be there!!

Who’s who at CZF 2015

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The list of exhibitors at Chicago Zine Fest 2015 is now available! Fair warning: the folks listed are gonna rock your world. Check it out here! (A map of the exhibit hall will be available soon.)

Friend of CZF: CHIRP Record Fair, April 11th

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CHIRP Fair flyer
Our sponsor CHIRP Radio is hosting their 13th Annual CHIRP Record Fair on Saturday April 11th at Plumbers Hall (the same venue we’ll be holding zine fest!!!).  Drop by to dig through thousands of crates of vinyl records, tapes, CDs, posters, and more.

As an added bonus, visit Chicago Zine Fest as we lead a small zine making workshop at the fair between 1-3pm.

Entry is $7 (or $5 with a CHIRP flyer). Early Bird entry allows collectors to enter before the public at the rate of $25 (or half price with this coupon from the Chicago Reader:

This is a benefit for CHIRP – Chicago Independent Radio Project as they look to hit the airwaves this year on 107.1FM.  You can listen now online at

Statement about increased tabling fees

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We’ve gotten some questions about the increased cost of tabling this year and wanted to explain some of the factors involved.

In previous years, we were lucky enough to have an exhibition venue that we didn’t have to pay for. That’s changed this year, and we’ll need to pay for venue space for both our Friday evening events and the Saturday exhibition. We’re very excited about our move to Plumbers Union Hall, as it will allow us to host more tablers for an even bigger and better zine fest!

Some of our other costs include security, insurance, printing promotional materials, small stipends for invited guests, and CART captioning services for the deaf & hard of hearing. Our total costs for this year’s fest will be more than $10,000.

The CZF organizers didn’t take the decision to increase to registration fees lightly–we recognize that any increase in fees is not ideal. We’re constantly working on raising funds for this year’s fest with a variety of events, but increasing exhibitor fees has become a reality to close the gap.

We feel strongly about the need to keep CZF free to the public. We greatly appreciate your understanding and commitment to ensuring CZF’s longevity and success!

Our CZF 2015 panel lineup

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We’ve been quiet lately but plenty busy–just under 8 weeks until CZF 2015!

Our programming is shaping up to be absolutely fantastic, beginning with our Friday May 8th panel “Zines: a Future Craft” with zinesters Julia Eff (Every Thug is a Lady, Read Once & Destroy), Jonas (Cheer the Eff Up, The Greatest Most Traveling Circus!), and Ocean Capewell (High on Burning Photographs). The panel will be moderated by zinester/librarian Jenna Freedman (Lower East Side Librarian), and the discussion will focus on the past, present, and future of zines and independent publishing. It’ll run from 5-6:30 pm at Access Living (115 W Chicago Ave). We couldn’t be more excited!!

Stay tuned for more announcements!

CZF 2015 is sold out! Register for the wait list here!

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Registration for CZF 2015 is now open!

CZF 2015 is now sold out! Register for the wait list here!

UPDATE: While you are still encouraged to sign up for the wait list, please know that it’s grown to 80+ people! We are getting as many people off of the wait list as possible, but will most likely not get through the entire list. But should a registered tabler decide not to table at CZF 2015 between now and the day of the fest, you will be notified via email if you receive a table through the wait list. Thanks for your patience!

IMPORTANT: Please note that once you fill out the registration form, pay through our Big Cartel page, and receive confirmation of your payment from that site, then your table spot IS confirmed and you don’t need to worry! And if you’re paying by check, you’re good to go once the registration form is filled out (just don’t forget to send in that check!).

Registration for CZF 2015 Opens Sunday, Feb 22 at 12 pm (Central time)!

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Registration for the 2015 Chicago Zine Fest opens this Sunday, February 22 at 12pm (Central Time)! Table space is first come, first served, and it sells out quickly (although we do get some people off the wait list each year, too).

Registration Details

  • We have set the standard unit of table space to a half table (3’ wide x 30” deep). Due to high demand, full tables will not be available.
  • Please note that while we love crafts and artwork, we ask that exhibitors focus their tables towards zines. At least 75% of your table should be zines or directly related to self-publishing.
  • Lunch will be provided by Upton’s Naturals to exhibitors at the cost of $5 per sandwich. All sandwiches (either a BBQ slaw or chicken salad — your choice!) are vegan & contain gluten. Payment must be made with registration, as Upton’s sandwiches will NOT be sold on site.
  • In the past, some exhibitors have shared their half table with a friend. Chair space is tight this year & we encourage everyone to register for their own half table.
  • Extra chairs will NOT be available on the day of the event. If you have two exhibitors per half table, you must purchase a second chair at registration for an additional $5 fee.


Half table registration is $30.

Save the date!

CZF will be on May 8 + 9, 2015! An opening panel, youth reading, & exhibitor reading is on Friday. Exhibition day is Saturday from 11am – 6pm. More info on the weekend’s events will be announced soon!

Have questions? Email us at!

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