Friday, July 29, 2011

Atlanta Zine Library opens its doors Friday

Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 2:17 PM

Amanda Mills (left) at AZLs June 2011 fundraiser at Cornbred Gallery
  • Credit: Amanda Mills
  • Amanda Mills (left) at AZL's June 2011 fundraiser at Cornbred Gallery
Do you remember zines? Before everyone and their mother had a blog, there were zines—small, DIY, magazines that discussed everything from art, to music, politics and an array of subcultures.

But in a day and age where the focus is less on print and more on digital initiatives, the zine seems especially out of place. Or does it?

Not according to Amanda Mills, founder of the Atlanta Zine Library, which celebrates its opening party this Fri., July 29, at Mint Gallery.

“Some of these zines are truly amazing. The amount of effort and talent put into many of them is just astounding,” Mills said. “They are so obscure and precious.”

This Spring 2011, Mills commenced the planning stages of AZL, which involved her reaching out to libraries, librarians and distros (a zine distribution service) for connections and donations.

Now, almost six months since initiatives began, and following a June fundraiser which brought in nearly $100 towards zine purchases, AZL will open with almost 200 zines in its collection.

Currently located at Mint Gallery, the library houses local, national and international copies, including local zines by Moontrash distro, Mint Gallery and Atlanta artist Josh Feigert.

While most of the publications are on loan to AZL and therefore not available for purchase, a person may borrow copies for up to three weeks upon their third library check-in with their AZL library card. Of those available for purchase, the average price is $5.

Zines are broken down into eight categories: art, comics, fiction, humor, music, perzines (personal narrative, or diary-style zines), political and reference (distro catalogues, educational, DIY). A catalogue of AZL’s collection will be available for viewing.

The opening party will also include readings by eight people, including Sophia Aliz, Laura Calle, Ian Deaton, Amariah Love, Melissa “Measley” Moon, Alex Parrish and Cameron Stuart, plus music by Chandu’s, Red Sea, and Harsh Peggy (with Josh Lyner of The Sunglasses).

“Zine libraries are as essential a space as zines and zine culture,” said Mills. Of the library's ambitions she added, “Zines are meant to be shared. Hopefully AZL can connect with the local Atlanta community and serve as a community space, including hosting infoshops, carrying local publications for loan or sale, and having shows and performances.”

AZL Opening with local readers + Chandu's, Red Sea, Harsh Peggy. $3. Fri., July 29. 8-11 p.m. Mint Gallery, 145 Sampson Street. 404-946-8982. Visit Atlanta Zine Library on Facebook.

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