Dearest Readers, welcome back to Hellscape's series Meet the Editors . We hope this interviews provide you with much needed insight into who we are & what we are looking for in your submissions. This week we are pleased to introduce our comics editor & human labrador, Tim Barzditis!
So tell me, who are you?
Role: Comics Editor
Name: Tim Barzditis
Pronouns: He/Him/His Likes: Film, the smell of rain, my cat (who I also kinda hate) Dislikes: the billow of vape smoke, Christian Slater’s face, insomnia
Where did you spend your childhood? Mostly in Virginia, the shuffling around Stafford/Fredericksburg area, but I did live in Ethiopia for a spell, so there’s that.
Where are you now? Fairfax, Va. It’s pretty similar to Fredericksburg. Heavy traffic. Largely underwhelming. Blandly charming.
Did you go anywhere in between now and then? I spent four years putzing around Lynchburg College, eventually earning a degree in English (after no fewer than three Major changes). I took a part time job in Residence Life at the University of Mary Washington before going back to LC to earn my MA. Midway through that, I decided I wanted to focus on my own writing, applied to a whole bunch of MFA programs and ended up at George Mason. And so, here we are.
What do you do? I’m at GMU for poetry, so I think it’s safe to say that I do that. As far as Hellscape goes, I’m the comics editor, so I definitely do that, too. Hmm, what else? I moonlight (during the day) as a professor at GMU, and I also serve as a reader for three of the journals/presses housed at the university.
Do you have any animal companions? Yeah, I’ve got a cat with whom I share a love/hate relationship. His name is Witten (tragically named after a former Dallas Cowboy), but I usually call him Wit. He’s a bathroom goblin, only likes to cuddle on his own terms, and was most definitely dropped on his head as a kitten. He’s not terribly bright.
Tell us about Hellscape?
What does hellscape mean to you? To me, hellscapes have a lot to do with expectations. Expectations of others. From others. Of events. Of endeavors. Of the self. All of that, and the inextricable disappointment that comes from having expectations. It’s a sense of give and take that’s so difficult to separate ourselves from, if we even should in the first place. We all have experience with these kinds of relationships; how they materialize inside, how they lens our perceptions gives way to our own hellscapes. I don’t know if I answered your question quite right…
Don't worry, you did! So, what is Hellscape Press to you? I like to think of it this way: before Hellscape Press, I felt as if I had no mouth but had the unwavering need to scream. Hellscape Press is now the mouth.
How does Hellscape Press relate to Hellscapes for you? Like I mentioned, it’s that mouth, the collective maw that will house these moments of grotesque awareness and anxiety, that will raise its voice to familiar and uncomfortable decibels.
Why did you join Hellscape Press? Actually, Shaun and Rhodes approached me and thought I couldn’t muck it all up too badly. Truthfully, the opportunity to work with a brand new press, one that would pave the way for poetry, fiction, comics, etc that thrive on the dread, the devils we know was so exciting, that I couldn't say no!
What is important about Hellscape Press to you? I’ve been talking about myself so much when really, Hellscape Press is an opportunity for the masses, to channel their own personal hellscapes into artistic endeavors and share them with others who may be in-tune with their pockets of personal disquiet. This ore has always manifested in art, but rather than keep it on the subtextual level, Hellscape Press, I think, yearns for it to be the text.
Now for the fun stuff!
What are you reading right now? Eeesh. Too much, probably. Off the top of my head, I’m digging into Mayakovski’s Revolver by Matthew Dickman, Copper Mother by Alyse Knorr, and I’m also trying to catch up on all the new Dark Nights: Metal one-shots.
How do you spend your free time? Thinking about how I could spend my free time more efficiently. Typically, I like to read, sleep, lurk on Reddit, and ride my bike, but it’s too cold for that now. I totally goofed this past October and watched, like, only two horror films (The Fly (1986) and Halloween (1978)), so I’m catching up now. Thanksgiving is pretty horrifying, right?
Couldn't agree more! Family dinners, now that's a hellscape! What is one thing you cannot live without? Something that gives meaning to your life? Probably film or music, actually. I’d have a hell of lot less to talk about without those, that’s for sure.
What your plans for the future? What do you want to see? Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? There might be a PhD in the far-off, jetpack-fueled future, but I think I’d like to satisfy my long-gestating wanderlust. Virginia, grand as it is, has begun to feel claustrophobic. Where would I go? I think I’d get myself lost in the streets of Berlin.