What was your first zine about and when was it made?
As a high school student in the mid-1980’s I co-created a short-lived zine with my cousin called The Technicolor Yaun. It was mostly our interviews of Central Valley bands from Davis to Bakersfield, and ignorant political commentary. Hysteria Action Forum was my first solo zine. Published in 1991-93, it featured my comics, and some embarrassing Situationist-inspired collage/rantings.
Describe your most recent zine.
Miss Lonelyhearts is a comic book adaptation of the Nathanael West novella. The Depression-era story is about a young writer hired to be a newsaper advice columnist. The desperation and sorrow of the letters he receives drives him into a deep depression, and he tries different methods of coping with the outrageous injustice of the world. But the story is also very darkly comic, which is what drew me in to it. I am serializing the story chapter by chapter.
Name three of your influences and how they affected your work.
The work of Love and Rockets cartoonists Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez first showed me how powerful and emotionally effective the medium of comics can be. The late filmmaker Sarah Jacobsen taught me how to have the strength to tell your own stories in a male-dominated medium. She was a great role model, and someone I miss having great movie-geek conversations with. Stylistically, my work has been inspired by a diverse range of visual artists, such as Garth Williams, Miguel Covarrubias, Dick Briefer, and Robert Longo.
What do you do when you’re not creating and how does it help or harm what you do artistically?
I am an art teacher, and I find that it recharges creativity. I have to constantly research and experiment with new projects and techniques for my students, which gives me new creative ideas. Also, my students find creative solutions I would have never imagined, which inspires me also.