Hot off the presses: The memorable smells of the Brooklyn Zine Fest (slide show)

The printed-matter expo offered a range of intriguing things to bury your nose in—and we should know, we sniffed them all

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  • Photograph: Sylvie Rosokoff

    Brooklyn Zine Fest 2014

  • Photograph: Sylvie Rosokoff

    Brooklyn Zine Fest 2014

  • Photograph: Sylvie Rosokoff

    Brooklyn Zine Fest 2014

  • Photograph: Sylvie Rosokoff

    Brooklyn Zine Fest 2014

  • Photograph: Sylvie Rosokoff

    Brooklyn Zine Fest 2014

  • Photograph: Sylvie Rosokoff

    Brooklyn Zine Fest 2014

  • Photograph: Sylvie Rosokoff

    Brooklyn Zine Fest 2014

  • Photograph: Sylvie Rosokoff

    Brooklyn Zine Fest 2014

  • Photograph: Sylvie Rosokoff

    Brooklyn Zine Fest 2014

  • Photograph: Sylvie Rosokoff

    Brooklyn Zine Fest 2014

  • Photograph: Sylvie Rosokoff

    Brooklyn Zine Fest 2014

  • Photograph: Sylvie Rosokoff

    Brooklyn Zine Fest 2014

  • Photograph: Sylvie Rosokoff

    Brooklyn Zine Fest 2014

  • Photograph: Sylvie Rosokoff

    Brooklyn Zine Fest 2014

  • Photograph: Sylvie Rosokoff

    Brooklyn Zine Fest 2014

  • Photograph: Sylvie Rosokoff

    Brooklyn Zine Fest 2014

  • Photograph: Sylvie Rosokoff

    Brooklyn Zine Fest 2014

  • Photograph: Sylvie Rosokoff

    Brooklyn Zine Fest 2014

  • Photograph: Sylvie Rosokoff

    Brooklyn Zine Fest 2014

  • Photograph: Sylvie Rosokoff

    Brooklyn Zine Fest 2014

  • Photograph: Sylvie Rosokoff

    Brooklyn Zine Fest 2014

  • Photograph: Sylvie Rosokoff

    Brooklyn Zine Fest 2014

Photograph: Sylvie Rosokoff

Brooklyn Zine Fest 2014


The third annual Brooklyn Zine Fest took over the Brooklyn Historical Society last weekend, and by the venue's official count, more than 2,500 people turned up to rally around the self-published booklets and posters. The whole affair got me thinking about the continued appeal of printed matter (as a magazine editor, the issue has some personal relevance). What is it that brought together the fest's zine makers? Some 150 participants hawked gag comics (the hashtag adorned #foodporn), highly personal essays (the grief and loss periodical The Worst) and absurdist experiments (&, which reproduced the first and last pages of the works on the BBC's 100 greatest-novels list), with nary a through line besides the medium itself.

It begs the question, what are print's intrinsic properties that resist translation to the electronic format? Print has a weight, a texture and a smell. You can read it, tack it on your wall, hand it to a friend, and you can admire its unique fragrance.

In fact…let's talk about that: Each product has a defining scent. Take for example the floral aroma of the risograph-printed CybrMall. Sweet, certainly memorable. Street-art zine Carnage comes in a sealed bag to lock in the perfume (fresh paint and pretzels). AlexZine's photocopied pages carry an earthy, herbal fragrance. Next time you find yourself with a Kindle in your hand, take a breath and consider just what you might be missing. (FYI, the new issue of Time Out has a nostalgic, vague acidic bouquet—pick it up if you really want to know.)


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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

marley.lynch@timeout.com

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