San Francisco Zine Fest Roundup

August 22, 2009


Thien Pham and Lark Pien were there with a make-your-own-button offer, as well as their comics. Thien, who drew a comic for us way back for issue 2 of Hyphen is in the middle of telling me about a monster bowl of noodles he's going to attempt to consume during dinner. Lark is signing a book for me. She's got a new children's book, Long Tail Kitty, featuring a pointy-eared character of the same name. The book hasn't been released yet (it's coming out in a few weeks) so it was treat to get my hands on a copy.

zinefest-jasonshiga.jpgI also gave some of my hard-earned money to the award-winning cartoonist Jason Shiga. I love the cover of Bookhunter there at the bottom of the photo. Even though it's been out for a few years, I haven't read it yet, so I bought it. It's a tale of espionage and intrigue that takes place in the Oakland Public Library. Yes, the library. I can't wait to read it.

zinefest-mahruelahi.jpgThe writer and zinester Mahru Elahi, a friend of mine, was there selling her comic zine Blame it on Pluto. It's like a diary in comics covering a year of her life. A good read.

zinefest-motormouthpress.jpgThese aren't comics, but they grabbed my attention. They're cute and cheery cards by Laurie Coughlin of Motormouthpress. She specializes in food-themed cards and stationery. I'm a sucker for food, and a sucker for stationery, so I was pretty much a goner and had to take some cards home with me.

zinefest-hellenjowork.jpgHere's the work at Hellen Jo's table. Not only is she a talented musician, but a cartoonist as well. Her boyfriend Calvin Wong is a cartoonist in his own right. Here, Calvin looks on with envy as Hellen eats the last bit of a donut. Listen to this interview with Hellen and Calvin over at Comix Claptrap (which is run in part by Thien Pham.)

zinefest-hellenjo-calvinwong.jpgEven Goh Nakamura bought some comics.

zinefest-gohnakamura-calvinwong.jpgGoh played some songs outside the Zine Fest and in other parts of Golden Gate Park with our friends The Invisible Cities. By the way, they'll all be going on a mini tour soon, hitting up Chicago, L.A., Austin, New York and Seattle (not necessarily in that order). Dates and venues not confirmed yet but check their blog for developing info.

zinefest-invisiblecities.jpgAnd that's day 1 of the zine fest. I'll be back Sunday for the how-to-start-a-magazine workshop. Hope to see you there. We'll be giving away some free back issues to the audience.


Melissa Hung

Founding Editor

Melissa Hung is the founding editor of Hyphen. She was the editor in chief for the magazine's first five years and went on to serve in many other leadership roles on the staff and board for more than a decade. She is a writer and freelance journalist. Her essays and reported stories have appeared in NPR, Vogue, Pacific Standard, Longreads, and Catapult, among others. A native Texan, she lives in California. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.