Tampa Bay ‘Zine and Comic Fest
by Josh Sullivan
December 10th, 2003 – The Globe Coffee Lounge, St. Petersburg, FL
(pictures by Bill and Linda Terrell and Josh Sullivan)
I had been waiting for this magazine and comic festival for the longest time since many sleepless nights had gone by while preparing for it. I had never done anything like this before but I knew it was going to work.
The sign that should’ve been made by a five-year-old.
This event was not only a way for people to get out and meet some of Tampa Bay’s most creative people but it was the release party for Stand Together, a book featuring almost 100 pages by people from all over the world. This was the biggest book I had ever published and I spent almost four months working really hard promoting it and gathering pages for it. With the majority of the contributors being from St. Petersburg, Tampa, and Clearwater, most of them showed up to mingle with the other attendees.
The fest kicked off with many different people of all ages showing up to check out Stand Together, buy books by some of the area’s self-publishers, or to just hang out and feel the aura of amazing creativity.
Stand Together contributors Joy Fuller and Tiffany Weber conspire with Chris Mayhew to beat up Josh Sullivan.
The Globe Coffee Lounge was the setting for the festival and it was a complete madhouse right from the start. I was running back and forth making sure everyone was happy and things were going good. This was like a miniature comic convention but was way more hectic on me since I was the one running the show.
There was a free table set up for comics, ‘zines, and anything else people brought to give away. Marck Generous brought copies of his exclusive ‘zine fest issue of Sink Hole ‘Zine and Anthony Anderson from New York sent down a whole bunch of mini-comics he has done. I set out copies of the local city-funded teen mag Impressions as well as many other books I had been collecting for awhile. Andy Nukes brought some of his incredible books and sticker sets to unleash on the masses. Matt Rhodes brought copies of his mini “Jorge the Robot” to give out as well as a preview for his new book “Ska Sucks?”. Matt is only 12 and he’s already published about five books and is almost done putting the final touches on his first ‘zine anthology called Rigid Pig ‘Zine.
Matt Rhodes falls asleep after Josh makes him take copies of the big ‘zine around to get autographed by everyone.
Jeff Gill gives a thumbs up to let us know he hasn’t fallen asleep.
“Stop taking my picture! Oh no, my jaw is melting!”
‘Zine contributors Matt Coleman, Michelle Wyant, John Ventura, and Cindy Linville.
Cindy Linville debuted a new book as well as dolls she made of my character Chauncey the Pigdog. She was one of a large number of female comic artists to attend and show off their work. There was also a huge batch of kids that came out to express interest in the idea of making comics or self-publishing their own books.
Carrie Price and Greg Vondruska
DJ Clone 13 and Jim Pike
Towards the end of the night, “Stand Together” was in everyone’s hands and was being passed around to get autographed for attendees of this amazing event promoting unity. We had all sold a lot of our own stuff, as well, which was a relief for me because that meant I didn’t have to lug a bunch of it back home.
Everything was a huge success and it was about ten times bigger than I thought it ever would’ve been. Thanks to everyone who came out to it and for those who missed it, I’ll be having another ‘zine fest next year.
Oh, those silly comic artists.