Monday, August 09, 2010

Mini Zine Gathering, Shinjuku, Tokyo, July 30th, 2010

One night after infiltrating the Tokyo Book Fair, I found myself in a small bar in Shinjuku with a much smaller but infinitely more exciting group of people.
But let's take a step back and start from the beginning, i.e. when still-unknown (at least to me) Aussie zinester Jeremy Staples mailed me and other Japan-based zine-makers out of the blue announcing his coming. A little scared by his huge beard, wild look and strange zines, I wasn't really sure I wanted to meet him in person, but good Jeremy turned out to be a mellow guy and great conversationalist.
When, on July 30th, I arrived at our meeting place, I found Irregular Rhythm Asylum's Kei-san, Wasabi Distro's Andrea Hope and lilmag's Momo Nonaka (together in the picture below)

Tattoed Jeremy (sporting a less intimidating beard) was sitting next to Ian Lynam, a veteran zinester from US who now lives in Tokyo.

I'd never heard of Ian until a couple of days before when for a strange coincidence I read an interesting interview to him in the latest issue of Xerography Debt.

We were later joined by Takurock, who's running a library to document the history of Japanese zines

a bunch of Japanese zinesters and, last but not least, the omnipresent Jennie Hinchcliff hot from the Book Fair.
All in all it was a fun night of zine trading, free-wheeling chatting and plotting for future actions and publications. I'll keep you posted on future developements.

Jeremy Staples:
The Tokyo Art Book Fair 2010

On July 30th - August 1st the good folks at Zine's Mate (a Tokyo gallery/shop that actually has almost nothing to do with zines) organised the second Art book Fair. If I bother to write about it here is simply because my good friend and mail artist Jennie Hinchcliff of Red Letter Day fame attended and was kind enough to include me in the guest list for the preview/party on July 29th.
I wasn't expecting anything truly special or particularly surprising and I wasn't disappointed in this respect: These people's idea of what an art book is supposed to look like is quite different from mine. I couldn't care less about all those slick publications. To me those are just common books whose content happens to be art-related.

Jennie of course shared my opinion. Among other things, she was also surprised by the tiny space each participant was allowed. Apparently it was back to school. Check those desks out!

The small room where Jennie was "relegated" actually was the wildest and most interesting. Her "neighbour" was a Japanese lady, Aya Muto, who lives in Los angeles and mostly works in America. Her picture zines are very elegant and poetic.

Useless to say, among all those people the real queen of the night was Jennie-chan.

If you want to read a longer & better story about the book fair you'll better check out Jennie's blog at
Are you interested in Aya Muto's zines? Her address is