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Pencil Sharpener: ZINEmercado makes many homes

Some big, deeply rooted zine festivals settle in, becoming destination events for zinesters far and wide. Others, like Chicago’s ZINEmercado, pave winding paths outward. In addition to their big summer market, this zine and self-publishing project also puts on focused events like FOTOmercado for photography-specific work, PRINTmercado featuring printmaking, and pop-ups in different cities and towns across theMidwest.

“Our logo is named Zeb the Zine Hobo,”explains co-organizer Oscar Arriola, “He’s a traveler, which made us realize we could set up camp anywhere.”

Arriola and his co-organizer CHema Skandal! got into zines through their connections in the graffiti, hip hop, and political communities.Now they’re offering more spaces for these homegrown communities in the quickly changingLogan Square neighbourhood. While the Spanish name certainly means they are approached by lots of Latinx zinemakers, Skandal! says they aim for the project to be as inclusive as possible, adding, “we are open to everybody!”

ZINEmercado happens Aug. 18 at Comfort Station in Chicago. More info here!

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