About Hallozeen

Hallozeen is an annual group zine launch for Halloween-themed zines, now in its 10th year! (decayed decade)

It’s a magical time of the year to drum up creative encouragement, make a new zine, and celebrate what everyone’s made together at a communal zine launch.

We’ve seen so many kinds of Halloween-themed zines at Hallozeen over the years. Australia doesn’t have a super established tradition, so it’s a nice broad topic. Hallozeens can be about witchy folklore, anxious autobio, horror movies, pop culture riffs, costumes, death, life, fear...

Alex e Clark has been running the event since 2015 and with Sticky Institute since 2017. Each year, more and more zinemakers take the challenge to make something new and halloweeny for Hallozeen. It wouldn’t be possible without everyone who takes part. Thank you for everything.

History of Hallozeen

- Alex e Clark

It all started back in 2013. Ive Sorocuk invited Squishface Studio’s circle of comic artists to make Halloween-themed comics and launch them together at Brunswick Arts Space. I made a comic about a rusalka luring men to the river. The deadline motivated me to completion, the launch rewarded my effort, I felt encouraged. On the night, there was spooky live music, storytelling, cool snacks, and a costume competition. All the comics were sold from one table with the proceeds divided later so artists and friends could mingle.

There was no Halloween comic launch in 2014. The gallery celebrated its decade anniversary in October with a big exhibition and we were busy with uni degrees.

In 2015, we held the first Hallozeen. We hosted a costumed life drawing night at our house and took turns dressing up, posing and drawing. We invited friends to make Halloween-themed art and booked the gallery for the weekend; art exhibition opening on the Friday night, zine launch for halloween-themed zines on the Saturday, and second-hand comics sale on the Sunday.

Constant surrounding construction shut down the gallery, so 2016’s Hallozeen was held in a temporary cafe near Jewell station. The launch was a hot, crowded afternoon. People came in costume and sales were mostly between zinemakers. I filled showbags with one of each zine to encourage bulk purchases and wore the cost.
I was dispirited by Brunswick’s accelerating excavation and I didn’t know where I’d hold 2017’s Hallozeen. Sticky Institute offered the store under Flinders Street station. Interested passersby dropped in. Hallozeen in the big city felt glamorous. We’d continue to hold Hallozeen with Sticky.

The eve of the 2018 launch was Hallozingles; a single zinemakers’ evening to make a minizine about themselves and swap copies. I wrote monstrous prompt questions on a red paper tongue rolled up inside a plastic skull. It was alright, but we never did it again. The launch had 18 artists, double the previous year.

The 2019 launch featured a big spread of halloweeny snacks. Ive and I married one week after Hallozeen. Busy and exhausting but entirely within character.

For the 2020 lockdown, Hallozeen was online. I recorded video interviews with zinemakers, solicited featurettes, zine readings, and musical numbers for a video premiere. Zinemakers sent in their hallozeens as PDFs and we hosted them on itch.io/hallozeen/2020. It lacked a mechanism for profit, but preserved the social, creative exercise.

2021 was a big year. Sticky’s major zine fair, Festival of the Photocopier, ran online. Beck organised a postal zineswap to exchange 10 copies of a new zine for an assortment of 10 in return.

Beck later ran the same system for Hallozeen. The submission deadline was weeks earlier so they’d receive their assortments by Halloween. It was everything I’d wanted Hallozeen showbags to be with much more finesse.

The Hallozeen collage kits Sam Riegl put together for a lockdown workshop

Hallozeen was planned to run entirely online. Sam assembled Hallozeen collage kits for mail order. I taught zoom workshops for collaborative zinemaking. I hosted Hallozeen Hotline to video call zinemakers about their Halloween feelings and Ive edited them all down to 3 hours. I built an online zine fair gather.town with table information for 53 zinemakers’ new hallozeens (including international artists).

In August, restrictions eased and Sticky was obligated to spend their year’s funding running a physical zine fair. We collaborated on organising the event. Mission to Seafarers was booked because we were captivated by the Norla Dome. 2021 was the first Hallozeen where each zinemaker had their own table. We launched the online content on the Saturday and the zine fair on the Sunday. We had 53 artists worldwide and 26 tabled at the fair.

We met with Sticky to plan Hallozeen in June 2022. Beck ran the postal zine swap again. Liz and Zoe installed a dark, ominous haunted house in Sticky Institute with glowing graffiti wall inside. I held 2 workshops leading up to the fair; monster-maker zines and a collaborative tarot deck zine. I was still enjoying catching up with zinemakers, so Ive and I made another interview compilation. With social distancing eased, 61 zinemakers tabled at Mission to Seafarers, the biggest Hallozeen yet!

I enjoy goading so many zinemakers into making the kind of zines I like. I have an accordion file for each year’s Hallozeens, but the cohort making new zines for 2022 was too unwieldy for me to acquire every new zine!

Hallozeen’s an achievable challenge. Succeeding at the challenge is an important element in planning Hallozeen each year. Workshops where collaborative zines are made in the span of a few hours are less time investment and more entry level. People should leave Hallozeen excitedly planning what they’re going to make next for Sticky’s Festival of the Photocopier 4 months away.