Q. What inspired you to get into small-press/DIY publishing?
A. I want to get my work out there without waiting to be "discovered." It's also a great way to make friends with other creative people.
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. When I was 12, my stepbrother got a job at the comic store and let me give them stacks of my photocopied comic books as a giveaway item. A Pokemon card-buying parent thought a spaceship on my cover resembled an erect penis, and complained. My comic got booted out and I was pretty embarrassed at the time, though in retrospect I'm kind of proud.
Q. What is your all-time favorite zine/comic/etc (by someone other than you)? Who is your DIY hero?
A. There are a lot of cartoonists I love, but on the DIY level it would pretty much just be a list of my friends. I think the beauty of the DIY movement is that there are no heroes! Anybody can participate and may be make something great!
Q. If you have been to the SF Zine Fest before, do you have a favorite/exciting/cringe-worthy memory?
A. Last year was my first. As soon as I set up, a fellow came to my table and told me my book was absolutely beautiful. Then he saw the ad on the back cover and was aghast at how I'd compromised my vision to save a mere 40 cents per book. All around, flattering, but such an extreme reaction!
Q. What would you like to see more of in the small-press world?
A. Specifically in comics, I'd like to see more long form stories. People are making prettier and prettier books, but they only take 10 dang minutes to read!
Q. If you could give advice to an aspiring DIY creator, what would it be? What advice do you wish you had gotten when you were starting out?
A. People are going to be indifferent, and they're not going to be polite about it. You have to be the better person, keep working, and win them over another day. Or not. You can only worry about it so much.
Q. What groups or communities do you wish there were more zines/comics/etc about/for?
A. There is no group that couldn't stand to have more zines and comics! The barrier for entry is so low, there's no excuse. Get writin' and drawin', everybody!
Q. What do you think the general public knows or thinks about small-press? How can the zine/comics community reach a greater segment of the public? Or is it better to keep the small-press scene more tightly knit?
A. As welcoming attitude and increasing diversity of subject matter will hopefully bring more people into the scene. I think it's good for the community to grow, as long as the focus remains on zines and comics, and it doesn't degenerate into a market for generic hipster ephemera.
Q. In addition to the kind of work you will be showing at Zine Fest, what other creative pursuits do you have? Hobbies? Passions?
A. I'm a professional video editor, I'm vegan, and I love bikin' around the east bay. I am making a music video about a lonely robot.
Q. What are you working on now? What are you gonna do next?
A. I'm about 3/4 of the way through my graphic novel The Relics, which I'm serializing in a series of comic books. It's a low key slice-of-lifeish story about a group of people building a portal to another dimension! Next, I'm in the early planning stages for a historical fiction graphic novel collaboration with my friend Sophie Yanow. The Relics will hopefully be finished next year, and the other book will hopefully be out before we're all dead and buried. If not, I can always go back to leaving drawings of dicks at the comic book store.