I grew up in Richmond. Although when I tell people that, I usually have to amend it with “well, the suburbs of Richmond” because to me saying I grew up in Richmond implies this sort of edgy coolness I don’t really have.
Most people proclaim dislike for their hometowns and I certainly did this while I was there (did I mention the suburbs part?). I was convinced absolutely nothing cool was ever going on there. But the longer I’m away, I see how wrong I was about Richmond. There are plenty of cool things going on there (Virginia Commonwealth University’s art department has produced both Charles Vess and GWAR and the German department offers up translations of the original Shockheaded Peter).
So this weekend when I was pointedly failing to go to my high school reunion, I went to Richmond Zine Fest. It was totally cute and I don’t mean that in any sort of condescending way. I really liked it and spent a bunch of money really quickly (here’s a conversation I had with myself: “Weren’t you at Small Press Expo last weekend? Didn’t you buy a bunch of stuff there?” “Yes, but … wait, what’s your point?”). While I love that SPX was as crowded as it was, I found it easier to shop here. I bought more minicomics, a few zines and the first compilation of Nicole J. Georges‘ “Invincible Summer” zine, which is a combination of both comics and zines.
I also saw a lot of the usual suspects there — I’m not saying this is bad, but just that it indicates that perhaps I go to too many small/indie press shows in the Mid-Atlantic. (Of course I’m kidding. You can never go to too many small/indie press shows!)
I would’ve loved stuff like this a teenager (although I didn’t have a car, so getting there would’ve been an issue) So yay for Richmond. I am proud to say it’s my hometown. Even if I do have to thrown in that suburbs part.