The Australian Zine Showcase With Sticky Institute at The Melbourne Art Book Fair

Big title for a long post. 🙂 First things first: I’ll be putting the rest of this post behind a ‘more’ tag because it has a lot of pictures. That way it saves a bit of site loading time and trouble for anyone who isn’t looking to read the full post. So click on that tag to read about my adventures in Melbourne on the 17th.

About a month ago, I was invited to participate in the first ever Australian Zine Showcase by Sticky Institute at the National Gallery of Victoria. This is the first year for a number of reasons, and I was so honoured to be invited to participate.

Yes, these sorts of things terrify me. I do have anxiety – GAD and social – and this sort of thing gets me absolutely ramped up like little else. Even at 30, I’m still getting to know my anxiety, so I bounce, I babble, I sweat, I use fiddly toys when I need to, and, most importantly, I have my Wanderer.

What I also have is a love for zines and knowledge that there is a lot of understanding in the zine community. That goes a long way in helping me to brave these sorts of things.

The Zine Showcase ran during the Melbourne Art Book Fair and featured about a dozen tables with about 100 zinesters rotating in and out with morning and afternoon ‘shifts’. So many people took part that if you are into zines, it was a great weekend to be in Melbourne.

This is the point where my terror started shifting to an all-out excitement because… sign! It felt so official and professional at a time when I felt anything but. My first question (because Wanderer asked the very important “where do we sit” question) was: Do we get to keep our signs?

Zine Ninja had a great time at the showcase. I get so tickled when someone asks me if Zine Ninja has come as well. He also helps my anxiety in his own way.

I was thinking that I’d perhaps brought way too many zines, but it was what it was. (A big spread of zines.) A lot of people looked, and I had some really great, deep conversations with people – some inspired by my zines. That in and of itself was such a lovely experience.

Celuran aka Emily vonapplesauce (on Twitter) had mentioned that she would like to come say hi while I was at the showcase. I get terribly nervous about these things because my hyperness could be a bit overwhelming, but I was still so thrilled that she actually stopped by. AND she brought me some zines!

I was absolutely not expecting that at all, and it was such a lovely gesture that I may have babbled on quite a lot about coloured staples and how thrilled I was that she’d thought to bring me copies of her zines. I still can’t stop smiling about it even as I type this. I can’t thank her enough for being so nice!

Yep. I totally took the sign home, and it is now my official workspace sign. I really like that piece of posterboard. 🙂

My only regret is that I didn’t ask Tash of A Zine Thing for a picture! Tash was seated next to me and was absolutely brilliant company. Great conversation and no mind of my bouncing or babbling on. I even learned a thing or two about engaging in conversation with people at zine events. (I probably should have taken notes. Well, more notes. I literally took some notes.)

I am so lucky to have been to two zine events and been seated next to brilliant people both times!

(The person to my right didn’t seem to want interaction, but that’s okay.)

Of course, when one is at a zine event, one get some zines! Most of my ‘loot’ came from trades. As we neared the time to pack up, a few of us started talking and swapping zines. It reminded me of Festival of the Photocopier 2016 where a bunch of the tables in the row I was in ended up passing zines up and down the row so everyone could trade. Yes, I love to sell zines, but that sort of trading culture is one absolutely gorgeous part of zine culture. Here’s what I came home with…

A better look at the zines from Celuran:

Zines, pins, and a really cool postcard from Tash with A Zine Thing.

A mini-zine trade with an amazing person with an amazing floral headpiece… and I didn’t catch a name. I’m so sorry!

I’m so glad Chronic Illhouse and Sea Green Zines tabled at the same time, as I’ve been after a copy of this for a while!

Any single zinemakers out there? These were handed out, and I absolutely love the idea!

I couldn’t leave without a stop at the Sticky Table…


I’m still a little flat in regards to energy levels, but I’m planning on posting up my thoughts in a more review style rather than ‘this is what happened’ style post tomorrow. Thank you to Sticky for arranging this, all the wonderful people I was able to meet in person, and for everyone who cheered me on.

9 Replies to “The Australian Zine Showcase With Sticky Institute at The Melbourne Art Book Fair”

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