ART + ACTIVISM + COMMUNITY
Milo Miller (b. 1974) is the co-founder of QZAP, the Queer Zine Archive Project. They hold a BALA from Purchase College – SUNY with a concentration in Digital Interactive Design and HIV/AIDS pedagogy and a minor in LGBT Studies. Their interest in queer media and design has led them to a 25+ year career as a graphic designer and zine maker.
Beginning with their earliest zines in 1992, their work is a playful lens on current events and other media forms. Their ongoing serial zines, Mutate (1999-2008) and Rumpy Pumpy (2012-present) are what they call “90’s style queerpunk popcult perzine[s].” It’s subject matter ranges, but usually includes music and book reviews, personal pieces about sex, sexuality and gender, examinations of queer politics and culture, and an aesthetic that has roots in more traditional magazines like Sassy, Smash Hits and XY.
One-off or stand-alone zines include Heavy Mayo and Heavy Mayo and the Condiments of Doom; the cookzines SoyBoi and Bananarchy Now!; Us Amazonians – A Kirsty MacColl Fanzine; Listicle – A Zine of Delightful Lists; Big Zine, Little Zine; the mini-series Gendercide, and several others.
In addition to being a zine maker, Milo is also the co-founder of QZAP, the Queer Zine Archive Project. Launched in 2003, QZAP initially began as a way of providing activists a way to access information published in queer zines through digitized copies in an online archive. What started as about 20 digitized documents from a collection of 300 has grown to have almost 600 zines online and a physical collection of 2,500+ materials. The collection is mostly zines, but also single page flyers, ephemera like punk patches, buttons and stickers; and a small collection of multimedia formats, including records, audio and video cassettes, and other queer-produced DIY media.
Milo’s work at QZAP focuses on the importance of the stories and narratives that are told through queer zines in ways and about subjects that are rarely discussed in other forms of queer media. Part of the impact of their work is that they, and their co-founder and other collective members, are explicitly of the communities that are creating the material that they archive. Self-identified as a queer punk zinemaker, they recognize and uplift the notion that their archive is important not just for the preservation and accessibility of the ephemeral material it houses, but also as a place for community building and where folks can come to find themselves and fellow travelers.
Currently, Milo and QZAP live in the Riverwest neighborhood of Milwaukee, Wisconsin where they plot non-violent revolution around a boomerang formica table with their nesting partner-in-crime, the cats they co-parent (Max and Kichel), and their pet rock Nigel.