All ashore that’s going ashore: last stop, Milwaukee

  • Nice looking crowd, right? Especially the cuties in the front row: Eric (my spouse on the left) and Milo (QZAP co-founder and zine reading MC on the right, in the hat).
  • We read at the Tool Shed, an erotic boutique. Other venues included an academic library archives, an art gallery, a public library, a coffee shop, a tavern, an anarchist collective house store front, a restaurant, and a zine store, so a sex toy shop was about the only thing left.
  • The zine reading kicked off the Zine Librarians (un)Conference, an awesome event, which was the only thing that saved me from crying my eyes out as the zine mobile left me behind.

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Penultimate stop: Chicago

I just love the word “penultimate,” don’t you?

  • I described John taking a picture of me taking a picture of the audience as meta. Only the librarians laughed.
  • This was Celia’s last reading, which made me very sad. She read a list of lessons learned on zine tour, which I loved. The final one goes something like, “One person’s douche is another person’s hero,” which I believe was a zine mobile quote from Debbie. At least we left her in the loving arms of her son, Emiliano.

  • It was nice to have Dave Roche in attendance and to go out with Liz Mason after. I’ve read at Quimby’s (which Liz manages) three times, am Facebook friends with Liz and have read most of her zines, but have never hung out with her.

  • We parked the zine mobile around the corner from Quimby’s, next to a restaurant with outdoor seating. People hung out on the street with us for a long time.

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7th stop: Detroit

Jami Sailor (pictured), originally one of the group’s core participants was finally able to meet up with us in Detroit, at the reading she organized at Cass Cafe.


  • It would be impossible to report on this event without mentioning the noise. It was really really loud, which was a problem for the early readers, including Celia. A few more people in, readers realized they had to change their strategy and read short, punchy pieces that wouldn’t be hurt by a little shouting.
  • I’m sorry I didn’t make it to the Trumbullplex Zine Library work day with the others. I skipped out on that to hang out with my friend Julie Herrada, who curates the Labadie Collection at the University of Michigan.
  • I loved guest reader and librarian Andrea Perez’s first piece.
  • We had a great visit with Debbie’s friend Angela Watrous, who put us up in Ann Arbor and who made us the most delicious breakfast of our trip.
  • I think this is the stop where I started to get serious about documenting everyone’s footwear, or lack thereof.

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6th stop: Toronto

July 4th–who scheduled a trip to Canada on America’s birthday? Oh wait, that was me. We read at an anarchist collective house storefront. Dog bless America. Actually there were two cats, which is all the better for our 75% cat loving and 25% in the process of being converted zine tour crew. The locals were suitably impressed with the zine mobile:

Toronto also gave us the kitty that might have turned our one cat-curious person into a potential cat lover:

I shouldn’t sign off on this post without saying how great the local readers were. Kisses to Clara

and Sarah

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5th stop: Cleveland

My camera battery died before the reading even started, but fortunately the one shot I got was of our magnificently generous and kind host, Anastasia Diamond-Ortiz.

  • It was John’s 29th birthday, so we embarrassed him by serving him a cake before his reading. There was also singing.
  • We should have asked the guy who performed before us to stick around for the singing. He probably could have serenaded John in several languages.
  • The crowd was small, but incredibly generous and with a high per capita cat count. Three of us stayed with Bill, the crazy cat lady (man) with four cats. We didn’t want to leave them, and almost couldn’t because of a 4th of July parade blocking not only our way to Anastasia’s house to pick up Celia, but our access to the road outta town.

4th stop: Pittsburgh

We arrived in Pittsburgh after a day off in Yellow Springs, OH (and visited some goats on the way).

goat baby

But oh yeah, we also read, at the Lili Coffee Shop in Pittsburgh, and were introduced by letterpress goddess Artnoose:

Artnoose at Lili Coffee Shop
  • The coffee shop was a really nice reading spot and small enough that it looked packed without much effort. Maybe 20 people attended?
  • It was a joy to see some library workers from the Carnegie Library’s zine collection
  • In PGH restaurants they ask you how hot you want your food on a scale of 1-10. Hint: 10 is not that hot. The scale really goes up to 50.
  • We stayed at the Cyberpunk Apocalypse house

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3rd stop: Murfreesboro

Linebaugh Zine Collection poster

Reading at Linebaugh and spending time with zine librarian Jerianne Thompson and her family was a double treat.

  • the audience was an interesting mix of the kind of folks who more ordinarily attend public library programs, local zine aficionados, a librarian who drove over from Nashville on company time, and some friends of Debbie’s
  • we got to see the library’s zine collection
  • we got to see Zine World headquarters and meet a 6-year-old science fiction geek in training
  • had a neat conversation about zine union catalog ideas with a local coder
  • Debbie was pre-enamored of Tennessee and not disappointed
  • debriefing that night with Denny & Jerianne–one of the most enjoyable evenings of the tour
  • John got to experience Cracker Barrel (he seems unimpressed with the southern phenomenon that is grits and was baffled by the whipped cream that was heaped generously on his pancakes)
  • postcards from Walgreens

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