Yesterday, we began a strange little voyage down your humble editor’s memory lane with a story about newbie television producer Scott Jenkins (CARVERS, premiering tonight on Syfy), an acquaintance from his central Illinois college daze. Right now, we continue the serendipitous trend with another report about a timely happening almost fated to draw from a particular, peculiar past with a heavy sheen of déjà vu.
Beginning at 1 p.m. tomorrow afternoon, Wednesday, March 5, Eastern Illinois University communications assistant professor David Gracon will host “Cut & Paste: EIU Zine Symposium,” taking place in the Witters Conference Room (4440) of the school’s Booth Library. The event will begin with a panel discussion about the history and politics of noncommercial self-publishing, followed by a make-it-yourself ‘zine workshop at 2:15 p.m. and screening at 4 p.m. of the 1997 half-hour ZINED! A DOCUMENTARY, created by Portland, Oregon, media activist Marc Moscato while living in Buffalo, New York, during the height of the form’s resurgence in the United States. All are free admission to the public and materials will be supplied for the workshop. An accompanying publications display can be viewed on the third floor of Booth through Wednesday, March 12.
Participants in the symposium will include Dr. Gracon, a former ‘zine publisher, filmmaker of WALLS OF SOUND: A LOOK INSIDE THE HOUSE OF RECORDS, and Hallways Microcinema steward; Dr. Robert S. Peterson, EIU professor of art history and a published author on comics and manga; Liz Mason, manager of the fabulous Quimby’s Bookstore in Chicago and publisher of Caboose ‘zine; Lainie Duro, a self-professed “zinester, hack librarian, mother, and rabble rouser” from Austin, Texas; and your very own C-U Confidential comrade-in-arms, Jason Pankoke. The panelists will talk about their personal experiences with consuming and/or creating fanzines while also offering instruction during the workshop. Mason and Duro are scheduled to appear long-distance via Skype and conference call, respectively.
As we’ll elaborate in a follow-up post next week, this activity brings about a small flood of recollections beginning with the central involvement of Gracon, to whom your editor was introduced by Moscato through fashionable snail mail nearly 15 years ago. For us at the Secret MICRO-FILM Headquarters, Gracon’s surprise presence in the wilds of Champaign County as of four years ago is simply a good omen.
~ Jason Pankoke