Monday, 22 November 2010

Interview 16

Sina Evil is a comic artist and creator of BoyCrazyBoy, Atomic Love and the forthcoming zine Magic Urbanism. His work has also appeared in the zines Holy Titclamps and Boy Trouble.

Please tell us a little something about your zine and how 'politics' plays a role. I have been making zines, comics and artwork since I was 16 years old. When I started making zines I had just come out as gay, I felt disconnected and alienated by my surroundings - I was going to a very homophobic all boys' school, and in the wider culture - in books, movies, magazines - I did not feel spoken to or represented - so making comics and zines was a way of finding my own voice and talking about intertwined personal and political issues that mattered to me and which I hoped mattered to other people - this connection with other people was and is also important - and political - It was and is, also, a way of trying to find a community of likeminded people, a group of friends.

Who or what has inspired or influenced your drawing style? My drawing style has been inspired and influenced by many different cartoonists - both mainstream and alternative - as well as by looking at the work of "fine" artists that I admired. Marvel and DC Comics were early influences generally. Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez, and Trina Robbins, were also important influences in terms of the more alternative comics. Queer cartoonists like the ones involved in the anthology BOY TROUBLE - people like Robert Kirby, Jon Macy, Mike Fahy, and Anonymous Boy - have all been - and continue to be - an influence on me.

In what ways are queerzines/comics going through a renaissance? Queer comics seemed to slow down a few years ago but lately there are interesting people doing exciting new things - Carrie McNinch's "You Don't Get There From Here", Justin Hall's "Glamazonia", Dave Davenport's "Hard To Swallow", Steve MacIsaac's "Shirtlifter", Brian Anderson's "So Super Duper", Rick Worley's "Waste of Time", Rene Capone's "Hedgehog Boy", and Ned Hugar's amazing new book "Urban Buzz". But also older queer cartoonists who were putting comics out in the early 90s, and then seemed to take a break from it, are coming back with amazing new work. Jon Macy's graphic novel "Teleny and Camille" is an adaptation of an erotic novel by Oscar Wilde and his circle, and is incredible, and so is Jon's new supernatural, gay erotic series "Fearful Hunter" about werewolves and druids. Robert Kirby has started putting out an anthology of queer comics titled "Three"; the second issue, out soon, will have a story about how I lost my virginity, written by me and drawn by Jon Macy.

How does your current PhD research inform or fit into your zine, if at all? Doing my PhD on queer comics has been an incredible experience for me in terms of thinking about why people make queer comics and what they mean both personally and on a wider social and political level, and having talked to and interviewed so many amazing queer cartoonists has given me a renewed passion and desire to do comics again more actively.