SF Zine Fest talks with Russell Wilcox

In three sentences, tell us what your work is about.

I'm drawing a mini-comic about our world long after all the billionaire superhumans have gone into space, taking everything and leaving normal humans to go extinct. Two immortal superhumans, more moral and thoughtful than the rest, stay on earth to see what's left, cruising the desiccated world in their solar car. It's a philosophical road movie where all the action is the clash of ideas, esoteric, intellectual and difficult.

How did you first find out about zines? What inspired you to make your own zines?

In first grade, the other smartest kid in the class showed me two little books he had made by stapling folded notepad sheets together and drawing on them. I thought it was a brilliant idea, and started making my own. When I was older, I saw Tijuana Bibles collected in the 1930s by my grandfather, and artist's books by Edward Gorey. But I still have that first grader's books, fifty years later. 

What do you do when you’re not creating?

When I'm not creating mini-comics I create lasers for big science, solar powered electric vehicles, and desert art installations. When I'm not creating at all, I read philosophy, go to art museums, and explore big cities with the hope of getting lost.

What is an unexpected benefit that you've experienced from reading/ making zines?

Thinking I'm cool without anyone else thinking so. I had expected others to agree, initially. But being alone in thinking you're cool is the coolest.

How would you advise first timers on making their first zines?

Do it like I did it in first grade. Make them in the simplest way, and get the joy from it the fastest. Do this over and over. Having no patience at first is OK so that you can quickly identify zine making as a path to happiness.

What are you working on for this year’s SF Zine Fest?

I now have seven chapters in the ongoing saga, with accompanying study guides to explain the sometimes obscure references. The study guides are new since the last comics show I exhibited at. Would you buy a little pocket comic that needs explaining?

For more from Russell Wilcox, check out: