Interviews with Great Folks #31: Nils
September 7, 2013 § Leave a comment
Hi! Tell us who you are!
My name is Nils. I live in a crooked old house on the North Side of Pittsburgh with my crooked old dog. I write and draw comics under the banners, “Skeleton Balls” and “YINZ”. I make several zines a year, maintain a website, and draw a comic for my community newspaper.
When did you start writing zines?
My first “zine” was an “underground” parody school newspaper in 8th grade. Classmates loved it, and teachers encouraged it. I had an audience. I was hooked.
Why did you start writing zines?
I’ve always been writing and drawing, but not always had someone who wanted to publish me.
Do you have any influences?
I’m inspired by people young and old that get their stories and perspectives out there into the world.
What do you write about?
In the past year, I’ve done work on projects from natural gas drilling, public transit, and the Pittsburgh Democratic Mayoral Primary. I’m currently finishing a historical tale set during the American Civil War, but it’s important for me to make silly things too.
Why are zines important to you?
When current events are happening in real time, a zine is print media on the front lines.
Recommend a zine(s)
“Amazing Facts and Beyond” by Kevin Huizenga and Dan Zettwoch
Anything you’d like to add?
I write and draw a comic for my community newspaper, “The Northside Chronicle“. Pittsburgh has several neighborhood papers in print – that get hundreds of readers every month. These publications are hungry for content, and it’s a personal goal of mine to encourage more zine writers and artists to explore their community papers for an opportunity to have their voices heard. I have compiled a comprehensive list of these papers at my website, www.skeletonballs.com/yinz , and have left lists at Copacetic Comics and Big Idea.