While sunshine finally reappeared in the Mile High city on Sunday after a rainy hiatus, that didn’t stop nearly 100 zinester, illustrators, publications and creatives alike from hanging out inside all day at the McNichols Building for Denver’s annual Zine Fest.

Photo by Josie Lucero

Confused about what a “zine” is? Zines — shortened slang for magazines — are smaller personalized magazines that are packed full of self-expression from the author and in many cases are collaborations between many different artists. From human rights to anonymous secrets written by strangers and just about everything in between, the content that zines cover is limitless — no matter how weird or obscure it may be.

“I think it’s cool to see so many different interests and talents come together in one room,” said Ellie L who is part of Brain Salt Zine — a zine which the creators call a variety show in your pocket which publishes print art, poetry, and debauchery in small hand-bound zines. “You can be interested in any everything from collaging or comic, or just be really into weird types of salts like I am. It’s a really cool dynamic to see.”

Contributing members of the zine “Brain Salt” at the McNichols Building for Denver Zine Fest 2019. Photos by Josie Lucero

Since creating zines are usually highly personal pieces of work, Denver Zine Fest is the one time each year that artists and authors alike are able to see and share what others in the community are creating in a very welcoming environment.

“This is my first event outside on my home state,” said Nathaniel Osollo — who is a self-published comic illustrator from South Pasadena, California. “ Everyone here has been so welcoming and nice, and it’s great to see such a big event of people who want to hang out and talk about comics and zines all day.”

Nathaniel Osollo enjoying his first out of state event at the Denver Zine Fest 2019 in the McNichols Building. Photo by Josie Lucero.

Even though Denver Zine Fest focuses on showcasing the zine makers, illustrators and independent publications, the annual event offers plenty of opportunities for the public to get engaged including stations to create your own zine or make your own buttons.

Later in the afternoon, The Narrators  —  a storytelling show and podcast where the narrators share true stories from their lives, centered on a theme — were back for their third year at Zine Fest. This time they told a story centered around the theme of “Rush.” Zine Fest also teamed up with Warm Cookies of the Revolution to present a mock trial where they put all aspects of the media on trial and the public was encouraged to participate with the discussion of both the good and bad side of the media.

If you missed out on the event and want to check out what zines are all about — don’t despair. You can always swing by Denver Zine Library, which is a local non-profit that houses one of the largest collections of zines in North America with over 20,000 zines that can be lent out at any time.