Category Archives: Zine Fest

1001 Black Men #931


This is a portrait from the East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Fest, at Berkeley City College, in Berkeley, California. I saw this man and his friend walk past, and I had the same thoughts I have every time I see an African American man or boy with the hood on his sweatshirt pulled up on his head; I wondered how anyone could think this man was dangerous, and I hoped he got home safely, that night and every night. After all, an awful lot of people are afraid of Black men, and scared people with guns have ended an awful lot of Black lives.

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men–#640



I participated in my first zinefest in August of 2012, and since then I’ve adopted a few strategies for interacting with attendees. For example, I always do a few drawings while I’m sitting at my table. I do the drawings using my standard medium, Pigma Micron pen (.08 or .05) on paper. It’s a great way for me to document my experience of the festival, and it’s also fun to be able to show visitors some actual works in progress.

I did the outline for this drawing at the Alternative Press Expo (APE), in October of this year. I passed these two men as I was driving to the second day of APE. They were standing in front of an empty storefront in Oakland, near the corner of Foothill and 50th, dressed in their Sunday best. I don’t know what kind of sermon they’d just heard, but whatever it was, it must have been hilarious.

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men–#626


This is the first of a series of drawings I’ve put together in a ‘zine called What Do Brothas Do All Day. The title is a reference to a book by children’s author and illustrator Richard Scarry. His 1968 picture book, What Do People Do All Day, was an introduction to the grown-up world of work and chores and errands. The activities Scarry depicts in his book are really little more than the mundane stuff of everyday life; but to children, this view into the activities, occupations, and locations that shape the daily lives of adults is an absolute revelation! As a child, I was absolutely fascinated by Scarry’s vision of daily life. And just as Scarry’s book responds to the curiosity of children, my ‘zine responds to many grown-ups’ curiosity about the attitudes, activities, minds, and bodies of men of African descent. It’s a curiosity that sometimes looks more like obsession. The next several drawings are taken from the What Do Brothas Do All Day ‘zine. If you’d like a copy of the whole book, you can order one on Etsy or you can drop by my table at Art Murmur Oakland (12/6/2013 at Uptown Body and Fender) or the East Bay Alternative Book and Zinefest (12/7/2013).

Ajuan Mance