TuffGnarl.com on Online Publishing and World Domination
TuffGnarl.com is so nice they've allowed this scribe his vanity project!
You cover a pretty large palette of subject matters, from comics to books, music, sports and even opinion pieces. How much of it are you responsible for editing and what kind of contributors are you working with?
Chuck Livid: Almost a year ago when I started Tuff Gnarl, I approached Tony Kapel (of Pocket of Lollipops) to help me with it since he has a publishing background. I did most of the editing and music reviews and Tony did a lot of interviews. Around October of last year, Tony took more of a backseat in regard to the site to book shows and playing with Pocket of Lollipops, which is totally understandable. Tony and I split shortly thereafter. I still consider him a co-founder because it really was him and me in the beginning.
I am now happy and honored to have Jesse Scheckner as our editor. Scheckner is relentless. He doesn't put up with excuses and he holds people's feet to the fire. He's also one of the best writers Miami has going for it. In the content driven world in which we live, you need all of his traits to even try to swim above all the bullshit on the web.
Jesse, how did you get involved with Tuff Gnarl?
Jesse Scheckner: Chuck sent out an APB of sorts along social media wires, explaining his intentions for the site and what kind of work he was looking for. Although I already was working for a few other outlets - as I still am - I was interested in collaborating with Chuck specifically, as I'd been a longtime admirer of his work ethic and ingenuity.
You've had an interesting career in self-publishing; tell us about your forays in printing and the early days of self-publishing online.
Jesse Scheckner: I put together my first book of poetry when I was six-years-old, and for as long as I can remember, I always had wanted to be a writer and/or write and draw comic books. When I was about 13, I was at a Less Than Jake show at Cheers, and afterwards, Chris DeMakes was being interviewed in the back porch area by some kid with a tape recorder and a backpack full of zines. The kid? Fucking Chuck Livid! His zine, Muddy Chaos, was an awesome mishmash of columns, album reviews, interviews and comics. I thought it was very cool, but I also thought, "Hey, I could do this."
So I did. I recruited one of my best friends, Will Foster, and together we wrote and drew six issues of this half comic/half zine amalgamation called The Adventures of Will and Jesse. The comic consisted of some unbelievably juvenile subject matter, the least of which being its masturbatory superhero protagonists, Whackerman and Crackerman.
After Will left for college, I had a few stop-and-starts with some other collaborators, during which time I put out another couple issues, but by then you could publish stuff out of your own website, which I did for a while over at Tripod. It featured comics, opinions columns, interviews, some further forays into juvenile humor... You know, the usual kind of stuff. I've also been involved with several indie publishing upstarts since, but nothing significant enough to mention.
Tuff Gnarl is still pretty young but it seems to be gaining momentum, what are your long-term plans for the site?
Chuck Livid: I want Tuff Gnarl to be bigger than the fucking Huffington Post. I want people in countries that you can't even pronounce to know who we are. We'll achieve market dominance by having the best writers on the planet contribute on topics they breathe, sleep and know about, giving readers unique, fresh, honest articles, interviews and opinion pieces.