I've now completed three issues of MY LITTLE MEMOIR, a perzine about me, in which I spill all the embarrassing/weird/funny/sad secrets of my childhood and teen years. I'm listing them on Etsy as I complete them. They are all "chapters" culled from my writings during November 2017's National Novel Writing Month, or "NaNoWriMo." It's super fun, and also a little bittersweet sometimes, going through old photos, and reliving significant (to me) events.

     You can find these, plus other zines & comics & art prints, in the TOMMY KOVAC ETSY SHOP.

     "Fatty Fatboobs" parts one and two is about my first high school "girlfriend," and some really shitty stuff my friend "Abby" (real name withheld to protect the not-so-innocent) and I did to her, because we were ALL fucked up back then, being tormented by various factions, and taking it out on each other. And of course I was closeted, and terrified of anyone finding out I was gay. Also terrified of BEING gay. But there's humor in just about anything, in retrospect.

     "1975: Now We Are Four" is the first portion I wrote during NaNoWriMo, and reads the most straightforward as memoir. I don't embellish or fictionalize in that one. And I used lots of photos. Topics include: stuffed animals, the house I grew up in, my dog Happy, grandparents, an awesome avocado tree, Santa, and the Easter Bunny.

#TommyKovac #perzine #zine #diy #writing #indie #autobiography #memoir #humor #bildungsroman #MyLittlePony #gay #LGBTQ #LGBT #queer #nostalgia #1980s #1970s

NEW ZINES SERIES : "My Little Memoir"

     For November 2017's "NaNoWriMo" (National Novel Writing Month), I chose to pursue the advice we've all heard: "Write what you know."

     By the end of the month, I had 50,000 words fictionalizing my youth and teen years. I started out writing just the facts as I know them, but then drifted quickly into a more narrative style. That's when I started to really enjoy it. But it also means I can't claim it to be nonfiction. HOWEVER, I have a really good memory, and many people close to me are frequently surprised by all the shit I remember, even from way, way back. And I remember DETAILS.

     At any rate, I like what I've come up with, and thought I'd experiment with sharing some of it in the form of a perzine called My Little Memoir. There are 17 chronological chapters. But I wanted to release #12 first, because it was during this chapter in particular that I felt the "thing-ness" of this project. I'll make them available in my Etsy Store ( as I finish editing them one-by-one.

CRUMPET the zine release

Half the point of the CRUMPET show was to officially release my new comics zine, "Crumpet," issue #1. The subtitle is "Variety Comics by Tommy Kovac," because basically "Crumpet" will now be my vehicle for episodic comics that are not library-related. All library-related comics go in "Smells Like Library." I like things organized (loosely) by subject.

The Hibbleton has this awesome "Bookmachine" zine library/store inside the main gallery. We moved one of the bookshelves from the Bookmachine room to the main gallery space, to be part of the CRUMPET show. I hung my "Tommy Kovac Library" sign across the top.

In case you missed the show, CRUMPET and my other zines can now be purchased through Etsy in MY SHOP.


Front cover

     In 1998, I put together a squirrel-themed zine called CRANK UP THE SQUIRREL with friends Julie and Matt, and husband Anthony. It was 28 pages long, photocopied on 8 1/2" x 11" paper, and we left stacks of them around for free in various coffee shops and laundry rooms.
     The cover says "#4," but it was actually the first and only issue. But four is my favorite number, so there you go.
     It was pretty rough, but had some cool comics, stories, and silliness by all of us. And it garnered a legitimate crazy fan, who used to send fan letters and packages to my PO box.

Table of Contents

     Above is the Table of Contents. NOTE: the email and street address above are now defunct.
     See how it says Heenie will be handling correspondence? Heenie is an old character of mine who also showed up in my Skelebunnies comics published by SLG.
     Our crazy fan sent all sorts of stuff for Heenie, including a "nest" for him that was actually fairly complex and made up of plastic and straw and cardboard. Crazy Fan also sent Heenie some bizarre squirrel-themed art that was really good. But disturbing.

Movie review in comic form of Heavenly Creatures, by J. Squirrel

     We each used squirrely pseudonyms for the zine. Jules was J. Squirrel, Matt was Branch Maplebum, and I was alternately Nutsy Whiskers and Claw Twiggins. (Anthony did an uncredited parody advertisement)
"play" by branch maplebum

"An Entreaty" by Nutsy Whiskers

The end of J. Squirrel's short story, "Stunted," and Anthony's gross ad. I reminded him of it on our walk a few nights ago and he just chortled.

The '90s...

          A student with the school newspaper just did a short interview with me about the '90s. She's writing an article about things that were popular then, and trying to get the perspective of those who were either teens or young adults in that decade. She had a list of TV shows (My So-Called Life, Twin Peaks, Friends, South Park, etc), fashion and music (grunge, etc), and even toys from the '90s.
          One of the toys listed was "Furbies." I admitted I DID own a baby Furby that wouldn't die. It kept blinking its eyes and chattering and groaning and cooing until we finally put it underneath a cabinet, way back against the wall where it would get very little light/stimulation. It's probably still there.
I will not die. I WILL NOT DIE.

          I brought up "Riot Grrl," which the student had heard of, and she immediately said, "Oh, like Bikini Kill!" I was VERY pleased that she knew of them. She also knows who Courtney Love is. I told her one of the best concerts I've ever been to was Hole, up in L.A. right after the release of "Live Through This." We talked about Nirvana, and Korn, too. She'd never heard of Babes in Toyland, which is a shame. I hope she looks them up.
I miss Courtney's '90s face. The plastic surgery is a tragedy.

          I told her I loved grunge fashion, like the plaid flannel shirts, slouchy jeans, and wallet chains. I said I thought maybe the term "indie," short for independent, was a particularly '90s buzzword. I asked her if she knew what "zines" were, and she did. She even knew they were related to the feminist/Riot Grrl movement. She did NOT know that Bikini Kill was a zine before it was a band, and she seemed to find that very interesting.

          When I started to make a pot of coffee, I suddenly remembered that "goth" was a pop culture explosion in the '90s, so I crept over and told her that, too. I explained that the movement existed before, but was called different things, regionally. Like in my high school it was "deathrock." But sometime in the '90s (because of Marilyn Manson, maybe) the term "Goth" invaded pop culture so that everyone was familiar with it, or at least the bastard pop culture version of it.
          She suggested that the movie The Craft had something to do with the '90s popularity of "Goth," and I chirped, "I love that movie! It's one of my favorites!" I did NOT tell her that I've watched it probably 50 times, and own it on VHS and DVD.
          I feel like a child of the '70s, '80s, AND '90s. I guess I've had a protracted childhood.