RTS Zine Fair, Sat 2nd Dec

The Rose Tinted Spectacular is a zine fair, a gig, a fundraiser for migrant solidarity and a showcase for some amazing DIY artists. The event’s title seems to pre-empt the assumption that zines are a thing of the past, a relic of the ancient times before the internet came along and turned self-expression into a form of data mining. Or maybe it’s just a nod to the fact it’s hosted by the lovely Rose Hill Tavern.

In any case, there’s no doubt that zines continue to hold a special fascination for creative types of a particular persuasion. There’ll be around twenty different stallholders at the Rose Hill on Dec 2nd, from the gorgeously illustrated everyday horror stories of Joel Macpherson, the colourful comic art of Billy Mathers (who helped paint the walls of Sticky Mike’s and has done poster art for Esben And The Witch), to the deceptively innocent line drawings found in Slug Ink’s ‘Old Ladies Swearing’. The RTS zine fair lets you dip your toes into the ever-varied world of small press publishing while stocking up on inappropriate family Christmas gifts.

“For people who make zines,” explains co-organiser Alice Owen, “there is the immense satisfaction of creating a tangible thing that snapshots their crazy inner worlds, opinions, commentary on life, exploration of identity etc. I also think that a zine has more value as an aesthetic thing that can be touched and smelt and felt – everyone loves touching stuff right? Sure they do.”

As well as providing a chance to touch stuff, zine fairs are typically more of a social event than most art markets and the fact it’s taking place in a pub certainly helps.

Adam Moore, who also runs the event, told us: “I think there’s a general trend for some people to be moving away from desiring mass produced items to focusing on handmade or small run items. It’s happening in lots of areas and zines could be seen as part of that. There’s also the sense of community and human interaction that you get at zine fairs that is unique in the publishing world. Not many journalists also work in a newsagent’s and get to chat about the story they’ve written directly with the reader.”

Appropriately enough, the zine fair turns into a gig after 7pm. There’s live music from the widely travelled and bewitching folk singer Captain Lovelace alongside some charmingly lo-fi indie courtesy of Jimmy And The Worn Out Shoes. Interspersed are humorous slideshow talks from Catalyst Club’s David Bramwell, ‘Famous Poet’ Chris Parkinson and SOURCE editor Ben Bailey. You’ll also get stand-up from William Stone and some down-to-earth and witty poetry from Sophie Brown. All proceeds go towards local migrant charities.

“Zines have always been very connected to music and politics,” says Adam. “Which I guess is because those are things that young creative people tend to be passionate about. However, I think a lot of the things that are currently being made and sold as zines are more related to illustration really and could maybe be classified more accurately as DIY art books. But I think that’s cool in itself, maybe it’s not inherently a subculture but it feels like it’s a progression or variation of what zines can be. Mostly people are making them simply for the enjoyment of making them.”

Rose Hill Arts Club, Saturday 2nd December 2017
For more info go here
Image by Adam Moore

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