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Zine Dream is a summer zine fest that has been held since 2008, growing from smaller venues like the Tranzac Club to this year’s Great Hall on Queen St. W. The event is pay-what-you-can, and upon entering you’re greeted by a large variety of art from local artists, like patches, stickers, chapbooks, and posters. It was like a Willy Wonka factory for zines and art! Here are a few of my favorites from the fair, along with some suggested background music.

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Stained 

by Kenzie Smithson

This zine tells the story of someone who goes to a punk show and gets kicked around in the mosh pit while the lyrics to “Transgender Dysphoria Blues” by Against Me! serve as the text. I feel like this zine relates to music communities that are supposed to be for those who have been marginalised, but struggle to find acceptance in spaces that are supposedly “progressive.” Stained is done in a dark purple watercolour; the paper literally looks stained with dark pigment, creating a disorientating effect as if you’re in the middle of the pit yourself. Obviously, you should listen to “Transgender Dysphoria Blues” as it is quoted in the zine. Also check out the EP “TRANS DAY OF REVENGE” by G.L.O.S.S., which was released this June. The artist’s site is kenziesmithson.tumblr.com.

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Chud Blood 

by Patrick Sparrow 

I loved this table because the it was full of campy movie references, and Patrick Sparrow was happy to talk about them. The title Chud Blood is a reference to the epic ’80s slasher film, C.H.U.D. (Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller). Check this movie out if you’re into disgusting monsters and ridiculous special effects. The zine itself carries the same campiness throughout, being full of horror movie pop culture references (how many can you point out?). I liked the pairing of cute ink line drawings with barf bag-inducing scabby details. This ode to the monstrous is a rad zine that’ll make you want to crack out the drinking games for your favourite shitty movies. I recommend listening to “Songs the Lord Taught Us” by The Cramps. To see more of the same, check out patricksparrow.tumblr.com.

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Paper Knife 

by M.H. 

This zine was recommended to me by Ryan Tong from FAITH / VOID’s table. The zine is filled with pictures of nature: flowers, waterfalls, forests, rivers, and a large mountain peak on the cover. They’re noisy in that Xeroxed way, filled with heavy grain and obscure darkness abstracting the collages. The zine has an overall ominous vibe. This technique reminds me of old school zines that were photocopied and stapled together. I think a solid musical accompaniment would be “Swimming Pool” by experimental band Speculum Fight. The bleak, abstracted grain translates into the noise when listening—and no, your speakers aren’t broken.

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