(Originally appeared in Mutant Renegade Zine #15, Fall 2000)
Tom Watson is a local artist, ‘zine guru, club kid, mystery man, photographer, scandal maker, movie buff, monkey boy and mischievous little brother of Eddie Munster. The first issue of Tom’s ‘zine, Core Kill’Zine was released in 1991. The ‘zine is a personal view of Tom’s life including his memories and thoughts of social problems. The ‘zine is chalked full of Tom’s cartoons, rants and raves about topics ranging from oppression to bigotry. He highlights other local artists, music, and social life in Dayton. He reviews local shows, music, movies and other ‘zines. So, he’s been a busy goy. I caught up with Tom earlier this year and interviewed the enigmatic Tom at one of his favorite hangouts, the Southern Bell.
MR – How did you get started?
TW – “I discovered post modern rock music which was later termed alternative I high school. Then, I started to get into the local scene at Canal Street and 12X12 in the late 80′s. I started to see ‘zines coming out like MRZ and Dave Graeter’s Rinso. I wanted to get involved. I was doing a lot of little cartoons so I submitted some stuff and I got a cartoon in Rinso #2. After that I submitted a shitload of stuff to Dave and he waid why don’t youput out your own ‘zine. I put of my first issue in early 1991. The first issue was on maranda rights and other ideas. It was inspired by Rodney King and how policemen abuse their power. It contained other comics, articles, and rants as well. The second issue, I came up with the name of the ‘zine, Core Kill ‘Zine. I was going out with this girl who lived in Huber Heights. This stream was called Cork Hill from that I came up with the title.
I saw in punk rock all these little factions, cliques, and I thought these are people who should be united in their purposes. They are into music, culture, and ideas that are different from the mainstream. They have all these little sub sections that keep them divided. So, kill all that bullshit and see your common purpose.”
MR – Tell us about your artwork.
TW – “I’ve been doing art since high school. I paint with oils and acrylics. I do a lot of mixed media work. I like to do portraits of people focusing on their faces and eyes.
I’ve exhibited at the Santa Clara Art Hop with Joel Robinson and Kevin Pittman who did all of the art at the Parallax Club. There would be poetry, art exhibits, and live music at the Hop. I read poetry there. I still write poetry once in a blue moon. We took a weekend show to New York City with Salvador Deli and we did a show at CBGB’s, and the Spiral Club. I exhibited behind the band. I read poetry while the band played too. I have exhibited art at 1470 West, the Circle Underground, Capricorn Gallery, the Outland in Columbus, and during a Dayton Art Institute Friday party.”
MR – What does the future look life for you?
TW – “Sill working on Core Kill ‘Zine, MRZ, and M.K. Ultra ‘Zine from Chicago. Hopefully, more art. I’d like to get a job in design and to finish my associates degree in visual communication, computer applications, art, and music.”
“Moms, if you are pregnant, don’t drink!” (Or this could happen to you.)
Tom’s quote of the day
“When I worked at the group home, I found the people who worked at the group home are more mentally ill than the clients.”
Tom’s Past Jobs
1. Victoria’s Secret Catalog as a fashion consultant. That’s right, when you phoned in your order for those revealing “spankies”, you could have been speaking to the one and only Tom.
2. Group home for the mentally retarded. Tom worked with the kids and if There’s Something About Mary would have been out, I bet Tom would have had the kids singing a chorus of pork and beans.
3. Group home for the mentally ill for Eastway.
4. Paper route.
5. Pizza delivery driver.
Tom’s Film Recommendations
10. Pulp Fiction
9. Jackie Brown
8. Cape Fear
7. The Last Temptation of Christ
6. Taxi Driver
5. Blue Velvet ” I love Dennis Hopper.”
4. Good Will Hunting: “It’s a girl and a guy movie. It’s got a sensitive side that makes you get teary eyes. It’s also this male bonding thing.”
2. Wizard of Oz: “I love midgets and it’s popular with the homosexual culture. I’m just like the scarecrow. Kinda wacky and goofy.
1. Pretty in Pink, Weird Science, and Breakfast Club: “The John Hughes trilogy. In high school, I was a cross between the geek played by Anthony Michael Hall and Judd Nelson’s character, Bender.”
MR – Who’s a person you would like to see sporting a mullet?
“I’d like to see John Malkovich with what hair he has left.”
MR – Who is your hero?
“Van Gogh because I wanted to be an artist. I saw the passion he has and how tragically beautiful he was. It may see cheesy to be into people now, but back in high school I connected with how sad and romantic and how hyper intelligent he was. He suffered so much. I wanted that, but not as much suffering. I wanted something that was real and heart felt and from the soul in my art.”
MR – What is a song that you would love to karouke to?
“Hate Breeder by the Misfits. “