Q. Do you have a favorite memory of the SF Zine Fest?
A. Jesse Reklaw's watercolor tutorial a couple years ago was really great -- it was awesome watching everyone work, and cringe-worthy realizing how terrible I was myself. I hope he's planning another one this year! I won't try to follow along this time with my own paints and brushes, though; I kept missing all the best action.
Q. What subjects do you wish there were more comics about?
A. I'd love to see more non-fiction comics on the whole. I think comics and journalism are really a perfect match: a lot of true stories are complicated and boring, and comics can not only elucidate the narrative but illuminate the story and characters with art. I'd say it's a spoon full of sugar for the medicine, though reportage doesn't taste bitter to me (I realize it does to some). Anything to bring broader and different attentions to real things. I like fiction too, it just doesn't hold the same power for me as a true story.
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. Events like the SF Zine Fest are absolutely central to the continued success of small press. Especially when it comes to literary comics, which still don't really have mainstream acceptance or success, I think free events that expose people to new work are immensely important. Keeping things small doesn't benefit anyone; it's in our best interests as creators and consumers of small press to always be expanding our audience -- not by changing our work, but by finding new and creative ways of reaching more people. I think we're at a perfect point for this now: on the flip side of the economic collapse and the still-rising popularity of DIY, people want cheap entertainment and they want to know where their money is going. Now's our chance!
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 journalist by trade, and I guess a simple question asker/friendly harasser by passion.
Q. What are you working on now? What are you gonna do next?
A. Besides the run of Nine Gallons (next issue out really soon, and then two more after that!), my next projects include some illustrated obituaries and a book of real-life gags from my time working with the Decennial Census.