Arriving downtown late afternoon, I park right across the street from the famous New Life Evangelistic Center. It is the last walk-in shelter in St. Louis and the last of only a handful like it in the country. It’s nice to see all the people out front and the stories of stabbings and sex acts are pushed to the back of my mind. As I walk by I over hear some of their conversations mostly about food and where they would like to shit next. It’s overcast on this late September day and the breeze chills to the point of early jacket weather. But the day will get better.
I am on my way to check out the St. Louis Print Expo at the STL Library Downtown. A collective of artists from a variety of trades have come together to communicate through print in their own unique ways. Today at the event you can find comics, books, magazines, zines, stickers, posters, postcards, buttons, and just about everything you could possibly make to give away and sell.
I have gotten a tip about the event from a former professor who is involved in a print shop called Work Press & Publication ( workpandp.com ) making books and custom prints. Tate and Will are here today representing. I’m lucky enough to get one of his “Buy American” books, a custom silkscreen print. Check out the website for more info on Work press & publication.
I start to walk around some more and take a look at all the work. There are a lot of comics. They range from grunge skat style comics like “Shitty River Comics” to graphic novels. I pick up one of the Shitty River Comics from a man dressed in clown make-up and open it up to the middle where the saddle stitch binding flex’s its way already. Inside is a funkadelic alien dancing around the words “smoke weed not war”. This one is a giveaway so I take it with me. I exchange a few words with the guys but quickly move on.
My bag of things starts to fill. The giveaways are amazing. In my bag I find stickers with dicks, cards with humorous illustrated takes on classical paintings, the list goes on. On my way around I find something that really hits home, however they are from New Orleans. The guys at Tenth Zine are here supporting their homebrewed publication. The magazine is beautiful. On the cover of the magazine is a man tangled in rope with an American flag around his head. There are no masthead or article headings, just a beautiful photograph sized just right to leave a white boarder around it. On the back you find the information and not a tobacco or beer ad. The magazine is beautiful. I talk to the guys for a bit but for more info go check out their website here: www.thetenthzine.com
For a full list of vendors and artists that were there go to : www.stlouissmallpressexpo.com