Creator Q+A | Joe Biel

Throughout the month leading up the the SFZF we will be running daily mini-profiles of some of the many zinesters, cartoonists, and other creative types who make the Zine Fest what it is. Today's creator is Joe Biel of Microcosm Publishing. Stay tuned for more!

Q. What inspired you to get into small-press/DIY publishing?

A. When I was a teenager, I thought literature was crap.

Q. When did you create your first zine or similar project? Can you describe it for us? When you look back, are you proud, embarrassed, both?
A. In 1994 I made a zine called Stink in Public. I just did a reading from a zine I made the following year called "Mullet". Both were about pushing the envelope of what I thought was acceptable at the time and were more about my expression than the reader's satisfaction. But neither proud nor embarrassed.

Q. Do you have a favorite memory of the SF Zine Fest?
A. Teaching the workshop about distribution to people of widely varying skill levels that were really appreciative.

Q. If you could give advice to an aspiring DIY creator, what would it be?
A. Research.

Q. What advice do you wish you had gotten when you were starting out?
A. Edit.

Q. What subjects do you wish there were more zines about?
A. Hidden history.

Q. What do you think the general public knows or thinks about small-press?
A. It was killed by the internet.

Q. How can the zine/comics community reach a greater segment of the public?
A. Slowly or with weird breakout successes.

Q. Or is it better to keep the small-press scene more tightly knit?
A. No, I think politically it's better to reach out.

Q. What are you working on now?
A. A feature documentary about the future of bicycle activism called Aftermass.