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Expozine's Alternative Press Awards: and the winners are...

Posted by Jade / March 8, 2007

Expozine celebrated its 2nd annual Alternative Press Awards last night, honoring the best of the best in zines, comics, and small-press books. A follow-up to its November 25th fair which showcased over 230 small presses, self-publishers and literary artists, the Alternative Press Awards was designed to feature some of most outstanding examples of do-it-yourself publications that are currently out there.

Drumroll please for the best of the independent press.

Best English Comic:
Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

Best English Zine:
A Queersafe Zine by Mary Potter, Leah Newbold, Adriana. Drawings by Sarah Mangle

Best English Book:
The Theory of the Loser Class by Jon Paul Fiorentino, Coach House Press

Best French Comic:
Hasermeister (spécial Halloween) by Frédéric Mahieu

Best French Zine:
FAS: Non-apprivoisable et non-domesticable, by

Best French Book:
Cyclope opus #3 / Plan cartésien, Éditions Les 400 coups

Andy Brown, co-founder of Expozine and publisher of Conundrum Press, says, “[The Alternative Press Awards] are good. […] You’re nominated, maybe you win, and that’s a good thing. It’s good for people’s egos, and more, it’s amazingly simple to be able to do that, to say ‘Let’s have an award,’ and to make someone so happy. Everyone should do it. Everyone should come up with their own award, nominate people, and just have a winner and they’ll be so happy.”

After a moment of consideration, he continues. “And you know what? If we did that, it would solve the problems in the Middle East. It really would.”

Check out more of my interview with Andy on the next page.

MP: Have any difficulties come up in dealing with both English and French at Expozine and the awards show?

Andy Brown: There’s no real difficulties, [though] we do have some difficulty trying to get Francophone content at Expozine. It’s less than 50%. We aim for 50% all the time, but for some reason—I’m Anglophone, so I don’t know—it’s just not as embraced in the Francophone milieu, but I think those who do embrace it really appreciate it. It’s interesting to note the difference in the media between the English and the French. Because we’ve been around awhile and we have our contacts, we just call the English people the day before and they write an article. The Francophones have to have months in advance. It’s much more formal in the French world. But I think that’s why there might be a bit more Anglophone at Expozine. It’s about a 60-40 split, I think.

MP: It sounds like you are drawing a lot of people from Ontario up here and from other parts of Canada…

Andy Brown: Well, Expozine has been around for five years now. The last couple years there have been people coming up from New York, New Jersey, Chicago and Toronto. What they’re seeing is that Expozine is an event that is actually larger and more interesting than in other places. There’s more art zines and arts-related books, it’s not as commercial, it’s much more underground, it’s bilingual and more bizarre. So they come back. There’s a distributor in New Jersey who comes every year and goes to all the events in the States, and he says Expozine is the top event for him, that it’s one of the best events. The guy at Drawn & Quarterly, Chris Oliveros, says it’s the second best event in North America, after New York. It’s great to hear [how] Expozine has really magnified.

MP: What do you want to see happen next year? What do you want to build on?

Andy Brown: I’m not sure. From a personal point of view, I’m hoping that younger people, like the people who have their zines nominated this year, are going to pick up some slack and take over. We want some young, eager, fresh blood to come in. I’m happy to pass on the reins. But Expozine is something that should really just continue as it is. It’s not something that should be tampered with. I think there’s a big problem with a lot of these events as they try to go corporate or just try to get more funding. One of great things about Expozine is that it’s very much independent, it’s very much underground, and I would just like to see it stay that way. Constant growth isn’t necessarily good—[Expozine] is more like… recycling. I’d like to see some recycling, that’s all.



Anna Pants / March 9, 2007 at 07:01 pm
Actually, there's a mistake - Welcome to Gayside by the Third Leg was the best English zine winner (I was on the jury). Though Queersafe is very good too.
jade / March 12, 2007 at 05:43 pm
thanks anna! sorry about that, i copied all the winners from the website, and i must have misread or miscopied...
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