Top Picks for Zine Fest

Maybe you thought that zines, those self-published missives that pop up at independent media stores and events, were facing extinction because of computers and blogs. A trip to Chicago Zine Fest, April 29-30, would prove to you that the community is as vibrant and strong as ever. Many authors, and especially comic artists, started out in the world of zines. Here are some top picks for local zine artists with work in the library.

Before Jeffrey Brown catapulted to fame with his massively popular Darth Vader and Son, he was a struggling artist creating the crudely drawn relationship comic Clumsy. He self-published, it was picked up by Top Shelf and the rest is history.

Corinne Mucha's Freshman is a highly relatable autobiographical tale of teen angst. While trying to fit in and make friends during this crucial year, Corinne remembers hopeless crushes, bouts of depression and failing at sports. Corinne's distinctive style draws out the anxiety of her characters and adds humor to a classic coming-of-age tale. She can often be seen selling her zines at Zine Fest.

Young adult author Julie Halpern has been very vocal about the fact that she polished her writing skills by creating zines. That is also how she met her husband, Matthew Cordell. Halpern has since published many young adult books, including Get Well Soon, about a young girl's stay in a mental hospital for depression. Cordell has published many picture books, including Trouble Gum.

Support local art and enjoy a zine!