Visitors at the first PHX Zine Fest on Oct. 23, 2016 at the Ice House in Phoenix.

The 5 Zines We Loved Best at PHX Zine Fest 2016

Written by Alex Scoville Category: Literary Issue: October 2016
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The first PHX Zine Fest introduced Downtown Phoenix to dozens of West Coast zine makers Sunday afternoon.

Zines are self-published, DIY magazines – equal parts grandma’s craft closet and anarchic punk concert (basically, on the opposite end of the spectrum as PHOENIX magazine). Find them at art walks, festivals and independent bookstores and music venues (or, make your own in this easy how-to from Rookie magazinie).

Here are our five favorite zines, both for their unique qualities and for how they exemplified key zine traits: DIY spirit, advocacy, creativity and humor:

Queer Fear
"Queer Fear" by Joseph Dick. Photo by Alex Scoville.
Joseph Dick compares coming out to his parents to “teaching an elephant to paraglide.” Queer Fear is the Phoenix local’s attempt to unpack that experience and make the queer community more accessible to those outside it.

The Succulent
"The Succulent" by Michael Chattem. Photo by Alex Scoville.

The Succulent is stimulating to the eyes and to the touch. You unwrap a boldly printed envelope to reveal a series of creator Michael Chattem’s abstract and colorful non-narrative illustrations.

Desert Series
"Desert Series" by the Dumpster Poets. Photo by Alex Scoville.

Susan Nguyen and Meghan Kelsey (collectively known as Dumpster Poets) dug through old Arizona Highways and National Geographic magazines to craft the found poetry collages in Desert Series.

People I Like
"People I Like" by Billy Russell. Photo by Alex Scoville.
“William Dafoe just seems like a good guy.” Billy Russell’s offbeat and minimalistic look into his favorite celebrities, People I Like, is full of these hilarious little platitudes. The favorite of his faves? John Waters, the cover star.

The LA-based "Reflekt" is more mag than zine, but still retains DIY charm. Photo by Alex Scoville.
This Los Angeles-based style magazine's classy production and larger page count has it toeing the line between zine and magazine, but the alternative POV helps maintain its DIY edge. The latest issue, “Family,” is less focused on trends and more on gang fashion and chosen families.