Creator Q+A | Chris C. Cilla

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 Chris C. Cilla. Stay tuned for more!

Q. What inspired you to get into small-press/DIY publishing?
A. In high school ('87?) I met a kid, Kevin Byrd who was xeroxing a comic book and selling it at punk shows & record stores; I was drawing comics & stuff in sketchbooks, and he asked for some contributions. After helping to copy, fold & staple a couple of issues of his comic digest, I realized that this was easy & fun, and I started to meet other people who were doing interesting things (thanks to Trevor Blake [ovo] for giving me a copy of Factsheet Five), and I've been photocopying booklets ever since.

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. I made proto-zine things as a kid, whenever I had opportunities to play around with xerox machines, but after 1988 or so, I started to make 8 page minicomics which I would sell for a quarter around town, then I got a job at a xerox shop & cranked out tons of different format zines by myself and others. The early comics & zines are pretty embarrassing, but I can see some good things here & there, and you have to do the work to make any progress.

Q. What is your all-time favorite zine/comic/etc (by someone other than you)? Who is your DIY hero?
A. I don't have one favorite; I love all of Ryan Iverson's different sized zines, Zak Sally's Recidivist and John P's King Cat get re-read a lot, and Tom Hart & Jon Lewis' minicomics were (& still are) inspiring. I could go on & on with a list like this! I don't have a single zine hero, but I'd like to make special note of Jeff Zenick, his zines are grappling with the world around & within him, with comics & reviews and art.

Q. What would you like to see more of in the small-press world?
A. More home made comics.

Q. What are you working on now? What are you gonna do next?
A. My full length book The Heavy Hand was just published by Sparkplug Comic Books, I have been working on that for several years. I just finished the cover & some gags for Tom Neely's Bound & Gagged, a couple of drawings for a show at Pony Club in Portland, some illustrations for The Pork Torta website, and Stun Nuts #7. I'm drawing more comics, on different sizes of paper, for books of various sizes. I'll also be making some novelty t-shirts soon.