Tommy Kovac has been creating art and stories in multiple formats (Zines, comic books & graphic novels, fine art, fiction, t-shirt designs and more) since the early ‘90s. Zine titles include SMELLS LIKE LIBRARY, FAREWELL DEMOCRACY, MY LITTLE MEMOIR, and CRUMPET. Having worked in public and school libraries all his life, some of his projects feature library and book-related themes, while others are autobiographical, or fantastical and surreal, or irreverent and funny. Characters include (but are not limited to) the Skelebunnies, Buttwing the demon, the library shelving demons Bertina and Tater Lumpkin, and Heenie the service pet.
Since I was old enough to hold a crayon I've known I wanted to be some kind of artist. At first it was mostly through cartoony images, then I started focusing more on writing stories. I was determined to get a horror story published in some anthology or journal. I submitted fairly frequently, but the rejections started to wear me down. Then, around the same time, I became aware of two things: Indie comics, and zines. To my utter shame, indie comics came to me by way of an issue of Dame Darcy's Meat Cake that I spotted at HOT TOPIC. (BTW- not ashamed of Dame Darcy, ashamed of Hot Topic.) Anyway, I fell in love with the format and subculture. And when I discovered ROLLERDERBY: THE BOOK by Lisa Crystal Carver, which introduced me to the whole idea of zines and DIY culture, I was like... WHAAAAAAAAAT?!! Next thing I knew, I was corralling my closest friends to create a 24-page stapled zine called CRANK UP THE SQUIRREL, and leaving free copies in all the local coffee shops and hang-outs.
I love every stage of zine creation, but I'd have to say my favorite is mailing one off to a friend, acquaintance, or complete stranger in some other city, state, or country. I like putting little bonus extras in packages, like a few homemade stickers, or a stretchy snake, or a tiny pony. You can trust that zine people always appreciate the little details.
Well, I grew up gay in the 1980s, so I know what it's like to feel stifled. Zines are punk rock because you can say anything you want, without any sort of filter, without anybody else's opinion or input, and share it with your community, or the world, or just one friend. Super cheap and effective! No publisher to appease and sell out to, no worries about sales or reviews because it's punk rock so fuck that, and if you want to put a bunny with eight tentacle dicks on the cover of your zine, you CAN. And if your own personal life experience includes bunnies with eight tentacle dicks, you SHOULD. There are definitely more offensive things than that. Now more than ever.
The following are some random things about me. Please cross out the ones you find irritating, underline the ones you can relate to, and circle the ones you find disturbing.
1) I watch horror movies, like, all the time. 2) I'm a little obsessed with ponies, like, especially sparkly ones. 3) I only like to buy or use BLUE things because that’s my favorite color. 4) I read fiction every day, especially epic fantasy, sci-fi, horror, or thrillers. 5) A lot of the music I listen to is loud, screamy girls.