Picture of the Chicago Zine Fest 2019 mascot, a light blue Lake Michigan Sea Serpent, the size of a person sitting up on and laying across several chairs on the balcony of the Plumbers Union Hall in Chicago, IL. This serpent came alive from 2019’s official poster created by Neil Brideau. Artist Rachel McPadden designed the display based on Neil’s poster art, as seen in the storefront window of Quimby’s Bookstore before the fest.

#CZF2019

Dear Readers,

It wasn’t until Thursday morning in St. Paul, MN when I was making final preparations for the Saturday zine fest in Chicago, IL that I realized how excited I was.  I was up until midnight the night before printing the last zines.  I felt excited.  I felt something.  I was alive.  

I thought about how hard we had worked and for how long to put on the first exhibition of our books and zines.  I cooked ahead all week to prepare food for the trip (homemade granola, rice pudding, coleslaw, German potato salad, baked beans, sausages, and meat salad made with roast beef and served with root vegetable chips). 

Exhibition Day was held from 11 am to 6 pm on Saturday, May 18 at Plumbers Union Hall in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood by Union Park.  The venue was one of the biggest and most beautiful dance halls I have ever seen.  The hardwood floor was perfect and there was even a stage.  I don’t know what those plumbers use it for, but they should be dancing!  I imagined 500 – 1000 dancers dancing the night away there. 

View of the venue for Chicago Zine Fest 2019 from the second-floor balcony in the Plumbers Union Hall in Chicago, IL overlooking hundreds of exhibitors busy preparing for the opening of the 10th anniversary of the event.  Complete with a stage in the front, the venue looks like an enormous dance hall with gleaming blonde hardwood floors and exits in the corners.
View from the second floor balcony of the Plumbers Union Hall in Chicago, IL

Chicago Zine Fest 2019 Exhibitors: http://chicagozinefest.org/2019-exhibitors/

Picture of Chicago Zine Fest 2019 exhibitor Dr. Marie Kube laughing while seated at her half of a table space 36” wide and 30” deep draped over with a black cotton tablecloth and covered with 3 books, 8 zines and sexy postcards. The books and zines are each displayed on individual wire hinged easels. The postcards are laying across the front and side of the table. Free pencils advertising the “Art-and-Smart” website are displayed in a small blue vase while a large crystal vase in the center contains six oversized pink and red roses held in place with glass gems. A large poster advertising the “Art-and-Smart” website hangs across the front of the table.
Exhibitor Dr. Marie Kube with her books, zines, pictures and free pencils at Chicago Zine Fest 2019

We had a great spot in the middle, spot F21, with a lot of really nice people around.  Some people presented alone, but most had a buddy.  Everybody needs a buddy, and I am grateful for mine.  Can you find Michael sitting at our table in the picture below?

View of the venue for Chicago Zine Fest 2019 from the second-floor balcony in the Plumbers Union Hall in Chicago, IL overlooking hundreds of exhibitors busy preparing for the opening, including Dr. Michael Klug in about the middle of the picture wearing a light green, short-sleeved button down shirt.
View of exhibitors including Dr. Michael Klug preparing for the 10th anniversary Chicago Zine Fest as seen from the second floor balcony of Plumbers Union Hall in Chicago, IL

On the morning of the fest I woke up in Chicago wondering why the “Instructions for Helping to Improve the Human Condition” seemed to be the least popular of all so far.  But things were different at the fest.

Chicago Zine Fest was a great, safe space to share our work with others by selling zines as well as trading zines with other zinemakers.  Trading zines with someone takes the money out of the transaction and allows you to feel an excitement so rare, so fresh, so fundamental.  Joy.

There was a steady flow of interested and interesting readers and lovers of art, despite heavy afternoon rain.  It was impressive.  People came from near and far to compose this event.  There was a fascinating mix of attendees and exhibitors from all the Americas.  These people dared to think outside of the box.  They made statements with hats (think sequins or antlers) and t-shirts and hair colors (blue, purple, green, orange) and tablecloths.  My favorite t-shirt said, “Celebrate Neurodiversity.”  Another one said, “You can move a mountain, but not a large dog.”  The day flew by.

Our Lady of Guadalupe picture lit up with green, yellow, and red LED lights on display at Chicago Zine Fest 2019 along with colorful woven blankets.
Our Lady of Guadalupe on display at Chicago Zine Fest 2019

PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) was the most popular topic we have covered, followed by the “Instructions for Helping to Improve the Human Condition!”  Sexy pictures were also popular along with “Scitainment.”  Someone said I was a goddess.  Another said they saw my zine at Quimby’s Bookstore (see https://myspiritualconnection.org/2019/01/18/new-zine-available-at-quimbys-bookstore/ and, on the website that has mature content, https://myspiritualassociation.com/2018/08/18/quimbys-bookstore/)!  Another told me that my ideas about science, spirituality, and nature are way ahead of my time.  A couple of people asked if we were Mary and Michael.

Before we knew it, the fest ended, and we headed straight to the great lake.  We were able to park the car near Diversey Harbor.

Full moon over Diversey Harbor, Chicago, IL at N. Lake Shore Dr. close to Lincoln Park.
Full moon over Diversey Harbor, Chicago, IL
Two goose families with young ones in Diversey Harbor, Chicago, IL at N. Lake Shore Dr. close to Lincoln Park.
Two goose families in Diversey Harbor, Chicago, IL
Boat and pedestrian underpass from Diversey Harbor to Lake Michigan, Chicago, IL under N. Lake Shore Dr.
Boat and pedestrian underpass from Diversey Harbor to Lake Michigan, Chicago, IL under Lake Shore Dr.
Full moon over Lake Michigan with Diversey Harbor signal lights, Chicago, IL.
Full moon over Lake Michigan with Diversey Harbor signal lights, Chicago, IL
Evening view of downtown Chicago from the shore of Lake Michigan with a full moon in the background and two lovers enjoying a romantic evening in the foreground.
Romantic evening view of downtown Chicago on a full moon

I wanted to go out dancing, but I was too tired. 

I felt good on the way home, like we are on the right track. 

For more about the Chicago Zine fest, see https://myspiritualconnection.org/2019/01/21/chicago-zine-fest-2019/

Lots of Love,

Marie

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