Gluestick Festival is returning this year to bring zine fans both locally and regionally to one place, where they can share their creativity and network.
Last year’s gathering at Irvington Vinyl and The Irving was so big that they ran out of space and sold out due to a triple in vendors and participants. As a result, this year’s event will be held at the Fay Biccard Glick Neighborhood Center on July 7.
Gluestick is Indianapolis’ zine and small publishing festival,” says founder Kelsey Simpson. “They showcase handmade zines, which is short for magazine and handmade comics. They’re also open to paper based artists. The idea with zines is that you make it yourself. They can be about anything as long as they’re handmade.”
Simpson says that the festival attracts people of all different ages, background, and gender.
“It’s nice to invite people of different age groups because a lot of people have a different idea of what a zine is,” she says. “When we bring them together they can share their views and experiences with zines as well. We had a really good run the first two years in Irvington.”
Gluestick,” says Simpson, isn’t just the name of the festival.
“It’s sort of an organization as well because the festival was so successful,” she says. “We started doing other events, so now we’re known as Gluestick collectively no matter what we do.”
This event gives zinesters a place to gather, trade, and learn from one another. Before it was founded, Indianapolis didn’t have any outlets for self-publishers (at least not for zines). Kelsey Simpson wanted to bring something similar to the zine festivals held in Chicago and New York to Indy. She organized Gluestick Fest in 2016 and it’s been growing each year.
This year’s event will have a free market, which means everything is free, says Simpson: There will be gently used goods and supplies.
This year, Gluestick’s third year, there was a collaboration with The Oilwick, which held the Gluestick preview event Fold! Staple! Riot! on June 30.organized by Sean Yager, who wants to turn The Oilwick venue into a hub of zine publishing.
“This year’s Keynote is an adventure therapist, Mishara Winston,” she says. “She owns a business called, To Indy With Love. It’s a therapy company that incorporates hands on activities to help with therapy.”
Simpson says that there will also be local paper-based artists at this year’s event along with a performance from New Wave Collective.
“I wanted to bring people together as a community to create and kind of just share a publishing culture,” Simpson explained. “We don’t have a lot of bookstores locally. We don’t have a lot in terms of paper based art being traded. I initially started it with my best friend. We did a zine from when we were 13 to 19.”