What inspired you to start making zines?
I lived in a punk house here in Minneapolis on Lyndale and 24th with a musician/zinester named Paul Edmunds who worked at a big name copy shop on the ground level of the IDS Tower (Cindy Crabb, who publishes Doris, also worked there at that time and she was very helpful in teaching me technical aspects of prepping layout masters for photocopying!). Some of our housemates and other people I knew in the neighborhood wrote zines as well. I thought to myself “If they can do it, so can I!” After flipping through their copies of Factsheet 5, Maximum Rock and Roll, and Flipside, I sent away by mail for a bunch of queer zines like J.D.s, Homocore, Anonymous Boy and Holy Titclamps (published by Larry-bob, another Twin Cities native who moved to San Francisco in 1990, he compiled Queer Zine Explosion, a guide to queer zines). From there was inspired to make my own queer punk zine called Abrupt Lane Edge.
What is your creative process like?
I usually start by scribbling ideas in a notebook, by typing stuff out on a manual typewriter, or using a bare bones text editor to type out thoughts. Once I feel ready to put it all together, I fire up my computer and do the layouts in a graphic design program. My creative bursts are usually fueled by coffee and the nearness of deadlines. I tend to obsess over detail and how good a final product will be, sometimes that holds me back in terms of finishing work.
Which part of Twin Cities Zinefest are you most excited about?
I’m excited to see how many people come out to the event plus I get the chance to meet up with old and new friends, especially since I will be tabling this year with the fabulous queer comics artist Robert Kirby! We saw each other at CAKE in Chicago in June and decided it would be fun to have adjoining tables for Twin Cities Zinefest. It’s simply exciting that an event like this exists! In the 1990s, there were few interconnections between zinesters and zine communities in the Twin Cities. It’s nice to bring people together in one place to explore and celebrate zine culture.
Who are some of your favorite fellow zine writers?
Miss Nico of Desensitized and Good Sex, Bad Sex; Kelly Shortandqueer of Shortandqueer; Sonia Edworthy of Daer Esaelp From East To West and The Heart Of The End; Al Hoff of Thrift Score; Lynn Peril of Mystery Date; Jenna Freedman of Lower East Side Librarian; Sina Shamsavari of Boy Crazy Boy; Rachael House of Red Hanky Panky; Charlotte Cooper (too many titles to mention!) and Milo of Soiboi and Bananarchy Now (he’s also my sweetie, I swear I’m not biased!! Honest!!). In terms of pure zine craft, that is to say a zine that took a lot of handiwork to produce, I think my favorite is Lacey’s gangster zine Excitement and Adventure. There’s one classic Minneapolis zine I love called Bad Girls Club by Amy who, at the time, worked at The Wedge Co-op. I haven’t seen her since I moved away, her zines were super cute and sassy! I miss Darby’s Ben Is Dead, too!
Do you have any plans for your zine-related future? If so, what are they?
I will continue my work with The Queer Zine Archive Project through tabling at zine fests, guest lecturing via video chat with college and university classes studying zines, and participating in panel discussions such as the event being hosted at the ONE Archives in Los Angeles in February 2013 called “Queer Zines: Doin’ It In Print.”
As far as creating zines, I recently finished my largest and most elaborate zine to date called “Queers In Stardust and the Spiders From Halifax” that chronicles in detail a month-long road trip I made to participate in the Artist In Residency program at Anchor Zine Library and Archive in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2009. I’d like to revisit my Wicked Wipeout mini-zine series and expand it to include other wipeouts and disasters in my life other than bike accidents.
This fall it will be 20 years since I put out my first queer zine, so I have also thought that I’d like to reprint highlights of the six issues I produced and include the ephemera (reviews, weird fan letters, stickers, etc.) concurrent to the original 1992 - 1996 run. The other project I’d actually like to have get traction is to republish a series of 45 queer zine review articles I wrote from 2005 - 2008 for a now-defunct Milwaukee based LGBT newspaper. Only a few have made it into the wider world as citations for Wikipedia articles.
Anything else we should know about you?
I’m a native of Minneapolis but moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1996 for seven years and for the past ten years I’ve lived in Milwaukee, WI. I was active in the zine scene in the Twin Cities in the early to mid 1990s and helped organize a queer zine gathering in 1994 in Minneapolis. In addition to creating my own queer zine I edited Java Junkie, an arts magazine published by Lorene Harris of Coffee Gallery. I hosted the shop’s Open Reading nights for a few years that featured talented writers such as Lane McKiernan, Marya Hornbacher, Lyle Daggett, Richard D. Houff and David La Terre.
At the same time I was creating zines, I also performed solo spoken word pieces about gender identity and queer sexuality at venues like the Southern Theater’s Loose Cannon series weekend hosted by Savage Aural Hotbed, a Bi and 4 U cabaret hosted by Elise Mattheson at Bryant Lake Bowl, and three Cacophony Chorus events, one on stage at First Avenue, one at the University of Minnesota and one titled “The Queer Agenda” at Bryant Lake Bowl.