I started poking around online to find pics and commentary about the Helms Bakery trucks (since I was waxing nostalgic and all that). Apparently, the company folded in 1969. But… I was a child of the 70’s. I bought Star Wars cards from the Helms Bakery man (a nice old guy who was very indulgent whenever I took too long deciding what candies I wanted to buy).
Clearly, some other company bought the Helms trucks and offered the same delivery services and such. Or… there was a time tunnel/portal/wormhole/ripple in the space-time continuum on my front lawn. Or… this is another case of those weird remembrances that you can’t determine is actually a memory or a snippet of a dream.
LA Zine Fest 2014 was today and it was stunning! Astounding! Inspiring!
Over 150 exhibitors from all over the US and beyond turned the Helms Bakery parking lot into the Valhalla of zinedom. The variety and craftsmanships of the zine on offer was truly impressive, only three years old, this zine fest is now drawing the very best graphic storytellers at the top of their game. There was a range of presses, artists, and print shops, from the very established, such as avant-garde publishers Giant Robot to quirky up-and-comer independents such as Fiona Avocado and Truckface.
And, at 12:15 an extremely accomplished group of high school students from around LA read their poems, stories and zines, including two of my students and zine club members from the Santa Monica independent school at which I chair the publishing department.
They read impeccably well. With great confidence, bravado even, and I thought for a second how at 17 they would have put many much more accomplished writers to shame!
All in all an incredibly inspiring day. The zine movement reflects the best spirit of this age. Independent thought and and action sustained through creative community. And it all looks so good! This event was literally a riot of color, a blooming chaotic garden of artistic madness. If you missed it this year be sure to check it out in 2015. It’s a gateway into the thriving heart of the Los Angeles’s alternative art world.