Steve Libbey


Vol. 1 Issue 31, Steve Libbey

Then: In the early 1990s, a wave of 'zines, both e- and paper variety, hit the Greater Cincinnati area. CityBeat profiled four of the publications in an article in 1995 — one of which was Evil Dog, started by Jeff Wilson and Steve Libbey. Their publication was dedicated to offbeat, experimental literary work. CityBeat writer Billie Jeyes called Evil Dog "the antithesis of the slick, moneyed magazines ... low-fi with a vengeance." (Issue of June 15, 1995)

Now: Neither Libbey nor Wilson is involved with Evil Dog or any other literary magazine today, although both remain active creatively. Cincinnatian Wilson freelances for The Cincinnati Enquirer and works full-time for a publishing company. He says he's "focusing more on music these days, trying to get people to sing my songs."

After the demise of Evil Dog, Libbey moved to Atlanta, worked for MindSpring and now splits his time between Web development and music. "I'm planning a move to Portland, Oregon, in January, assuming Bush is defeated," Libbey says. "Otherwise, Portugal.

I've been playing in a New Wave band, the Shut-Ups (shutups. com) with two albums on my label, Imperial Fuzz ( While we were finishing our third album, I took a break from music promotion to play computer games and wound up featured on G4TechTV. Irony stalks me."

Both Wilson and Libbey say they learned a lot from the Evil Dog experience. For Wilson, the learning was more of the practical nature. He was the sole reader on staff, meaning he had to wade through at least 500 manuscripts a month, thanks to posting a call for submissions in Writer's Market. "I had a tiny mailbox. I needed a crowbar to get (all the letters) out," he explains.

In the 'zine's second phase of publication, Wilson asked for submissions through word of mouth, which resulted in a much more manageable workload. Still, he liked reading what others wrote. "It was the one time in my life I had my finger on the pulse of what people were writing," he says.

Libbey's education during his 'zine stint was philosophical. "Evil Dog was my true loss of innocence, not that berserk party on Ravine Street," he says. "Art needs patrons. Who would have guessed? Most importantly, I learned that one engages in creative ventures for edification alone. Any other reason is illusory. It's better than watching TV, though."

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