CLOSE TO HOME: Spotlight on Local Artists at Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair 2015 | Edie Fake

January 14, 2015
– By Darin Klein, Public Programs Associate

On many occasions I have packed up my self-published wares and made the trek to Printed Matter’s NY Art Book Fair. Highlights of those trips have included exhibiting and selling my work alongside likeminded individuals, meeting artists and publishers, watching the non-stop parade of cute guys, making new friends, and actively participating in an international community of art book devotees. I was delighted when the fair branched out to LA, and have since shifted my focus and energy to participating here at home. Amidst the hundreds of international exhibitors who will be participating, I want to point out a few locals whose broadly varied projects have impacted me on many different levels. This handful of Angelenos embody the print version of “farm-to-table” culture, so if you like your publications fresh from the farmers, I mean artists, then make a point to stop by their tables, check out their work, and show your support! (PS – I’ll also be exhibiting in the zine section of the fair with my latest project, Box of Books, Vol. VIII. Plus, I’ll be in conversation with The Book Mobile Book co-editor Onya Hogan-Finlay in the Classroom on Saturday, January 31 at 3pm. Come say hi!).

EDIE FAKE – Memory Palaces, Lil’ Buddies, LA Art Book Fair fundraising edition, and more

Darin Klein: How long have you been self-publishing?

Edie Fake: I grew up around self-publishing, and got involved with making zines as a teenager. The series I’m best known for, the Gaylord Phoenix minicomics, started in 2002.

DK: How many different titles have you published?

EF: I’ve self-published over 20 zines and comics and I’ve authored two titles put out by the publisher Secret Acres.

DK: What are you bringing to the fair this year? 

EF: This is the first time I’ll have the new Memory Palaces publication at LA Art Book Fair. Memory Palaces is a full-color oversize zine that collects my most recent drawings - these elaborate building facades that re-imagine queer and feminist spaces. I’ll also be bringing my latest self-published photo zine, Lil’ Buddies, and a bunch of other books and things.

From Memory Palaces (Secret Acres, 2014)

DK: For readers who don't know, what is your relationship to the LA and NY Art Book Fairs and Printed Matter in general?

EF: I’ve been working with Printed Matter for over a decade now – they were one of the first places to sell the Gaylord comics and their support through the years has been incredible. I’ve been tabling at the NY Art Book Fair since the very first one, and I’m so excited to be part of the Los Angeles incarnation. I just moved back to Los Angeles a few months ago, which makes the LA Art Book Fair double-dreamy now. This year I was asked to do one of the “ticket” editions for the fair, and it was a chance to create an edition larger than anything I could print on my own. My artwork is concerned with how an ecstatic architecture can help to embody rad concepts. With this edition, I wanted to put that to work at what is most culturally pressing: visibility, empowerment and justice for black people worldwide.

DK: Can fans expect to see further adventures of Gaylord Phoenix

EF: I’ve been uncertain for years as to whether Gaylord Phoenix would continue or not and I just recently decided that it will keep going. I’m still sketching it out, but I hope to have a new comic ready by the end of this summer. There’s going to be lots of weird magic and I think the drawing style might be change quite a bit.

From Gaylord Phoenix #4

DK: Who and/or what are you looking forward to seeing at the fair this year? 

EF: I’m a book worm, so browsing the fair is always my favorite part. There’s always too much stuff to get through, and I love that—seeing all the activity in every direction. I’m partial to queer zines, and I think the Book Fair helps both to build the future of queer zines and to uncover their past. The event itself turns up so many new artists and networks—it’s really inspiring energy. The programming this year looks awesome, too. I’m amped about Frances Stark, the Black Radical Imagination Mixtape, Bidoun’s reading event and the Sex Archive Show N’ Tell. Also- your Box of Books event with the Bookmobile Project is going to be RAD 

DK: Do you participate in other book fairs or zine fests? If so, which ones?

EF: I do—I try to go to four to ten book fairs every year. Because I make a lot of comics I often find myself at comics festivals—I really like Comics Arts Brooklyn (CAB) and the Toronto Comics Arts Fest (TCAF) and folks in LA just started Comics Arts Los Angeles (CALA). Last year was the first Linework festival in Portland and it was really great. And I’m certainly partial to the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE) which I was involved with organizing for a few years. 

DK: You moved lo LA from Chicago to attend USC - how are you enjoying LA and school? 

EF: School has been great. I’m used to balancing my creative practice with a bunch of other obligations, but now I can give it my full attention, which is awesome. I’m just trying to make the best use of the time.

From Lil’ Buddies #2
Passageway (Black Lives Matter)