Last weekend I went to a sleepover. As an adult I don’t get to enjoy many of these sorts of activities anymore, so it was a real delight. Particularly because it was a sleepover with a purpose: zine-making. Quimby’s is a great comic shop in Chicago that organizes all sorts of interesting events, including the “Zlumber Party.” The description in the Facebook event:

“Hey zinesters and comics artists! Come to our Zine Slumber Party (Zlumber Party, geddit? Gosh we’re clever.) This is the fourth year in a row we’re inviting you to come in and spend the night with us working on your zine, because we’ve had so much fun doing it in the past. The store closes at 10pm on Sat the 31st and then you’re invited to spend the night here (and yes, you can leave whenever you want). So bring yer jammies and a sleeping bag if you wanna take a break to catch a few zzzz, then leave in the morning with what you’ve been workin’ on.”

photo by Liz Mason

Photo by Liz Mason

How fun does that sound? I was super pumped for it. I asked Quimby’s Liz Mason how the idea for the zlumber party came about. She said, “We liked the idea of hanging out at Quimby’s working on zines. But adding the overnight element added a slumber party atmosphere!”

I packed my drawing supplies, a robe, some snacks (my friend brought ALL of the Trader Joe’s snacks-yum!), and a productive attitude. We got there a little early, and I realized that my phone was dying. Though I had remembered to pack extra socks, I had forgotten to pack my phone charger. So, no pictures from me of the event.

Normally, my trips to Quimby’s are pretty fast. I usually already have a purchase in mind, and I stop by the zines section to pick up a few new options each time. After all, they are one of the few stores in Chicago that will consign zines. It’s a great space located in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood and filled with unique finds.

We set up our supplies on tables in the back of the store, met a few of the other early-comers, and eventually got to working. Time flew by and suddenly we were all eating pizza at the front of the store, exchanging stories. Mason told me that her favorite part of the event is “the weirdo conversations that spring up in the middle of the night!” We definitely had a few of those. The lack of sleep really began to slow down my productive streak, but I was still having a great time.

photo by Liz Mason

photo by Liz Mason

“I think two people took a nap this year. Everybody else stayed up. But people left at various times: some people left around 2am, some 3pm, some stayed til 8!” Mason informed me. My friend and I ducked out around 3 am which is super past my bedtime. Though I had planned on staying the whole night, it was snowing heavily outside, and I could hear my bed calling to me from across the city. Right before we left I enjoyed a heaping portion of the Zynes Cake one of the other guests had brought.

I didn’t finish a zine while I was there, though I had intended on getting at least one one-page zine done, but I did start a lot of projects I’ve been meaning to bring to life. Mason commented on productivity at the event: “I think you’d have to ask each individual person, since everybody is different. I got a fair amount done, but that’s just me.”

All in all I had a great time. If you’re in the Chicagoland area I highly encourage you to check out Quimby’s. For those of you elsewhere, encourage your comic shops to host more community events, or join in on more of the ones they already offer.