Alexander Rizzo is a 26-year-old independent comic artist, Wisconsin born and Milwaukee bred, growing up as a child of the inner city where each conflict and every type of metropolitan bustle happened right outside. As a child of divorce and a bully victim throughout childhood, he would sit in class simply thinking about his sketchbook at home waiting to be drawn in.
"I remember growing up in a family of five in an apartment flat. We would get rides to our Catholic grade school every day, then be let loose to embrace the world in our own ways. Each day I would walk out to the schoolyard in earnest to make friends and be myself. Time after time for some reason I was made to be the freak, the unwanted shadow that loomed around. I figured "What the fuck is this about? Why doesn't anybody like me?" It ate away at me for a long time and made me so depressed. It was crippling to a little boy. Nobody cared what I had to say. So really my sketchbooks became most beloved friends for a long time. I wouldn't be able to say this today if it weren't for art. "
His style is the result of those harsh words he's suffered, taking dark humor to parody how despicable and uncaring the world can casually be, drawing influence from the little guilty pleasures we won’t admit to liking while maintaining an eye for visual flair and surrealist depth mixed with absurdist tact.
"My comics are the biggest middle finger that I could give to all those bullies that I had. The rationale of, 'Fuck all of you, I'm going to draw and have everybody praise this until it makes you sick,’ type thing. I was insulted just for being who I was! So I took that and spun it. They're designed to make you uncomfortable in some aspect, but at the same time, there's such ridiculous shit going on that it's hard to deny the charms. The intent is to make you smirk even though you know it's kind of wrong."
He's had experience creating a comics section for the MATC Times, as well as dropping out from there (for Graphics Arts) and MIAD (for Time-Based Media). Currently based in Riverwest, he has released his first two books, Something's Off! Crazy Comics for Crazy People and Shit Philosophy, with Vegetarian Alcoholic Press. He also just interviewed himself for this bio so.....take that.
Bethany Price is an obsessive question-poser and retail worker living in Milwaukee. She graduated from UW-Milwaukee in 2012 with an English degree and has been living and learning ever since. Her poems appear online in BlazeVOX, the Shepherd Express, and the Woodland Pattern poetry blog. Her chapbook All I Wanna Do was published in 2013 through pity milk press, and her book Terror was published through Vegetarian Alcoholic Press in 2014. She loves short walks through Lovecraftian landscapes and imagining she is best friends with Rihanna.
Heidi Koos has a bachelor’s in theatre from Marlboro College and lives on the East Side of Milwaukee. She is currently, as you read this, probably working in a restaurant, watching tv, or sleeping. An expert at the French braid, she was once given an award from the Elmhurst Public Library for being an excellent photocopier and was later fired for reading on the job, among other various infractions. Her first book, Parallelograms, a poetic collaboration with Nathan Fredrick, was published in 2014 by V.A. Press.
Nathan Fredrick was born in La Crosse, WI. He studied English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he learned everything needed to become a great bartender. He lives in Milwaukee with his bicycle and guitars. His first book, Parallelograms, written with Heidi Koos, was published in 2014 by V.A. Press.