“...note the homemade birdfeeder built out of a two-liter Big Red bottle...”
Dan Zettwoch was born in Louisville, Kentucky - the birthplace of Muhammad Ali and the cheeseburger - in 1977. His grandfather drew comics in the Pacific Theater during WWII and his father did the same while working as a craftsman at the American Telephone & Telegraph Company in the 1970's and 80's. They never got paid to draw comics and transferred their creative efforts to woodworking, painting, and mechanized sculpture. As a child, Dan Zettwoch read the comics most plentiful in the nickel boxes at the Jefferson County Flea Market: the humor publications Cracked and Mad Magazine and low-grade action fare like the motorcross comic Team America and ROM: Spaceknight. Having always been interested in drawing, he started making his own comics, although he rarely moved beyond detailed character dossiers for made-up superhero characters (including special skills, weapons, team affiliation, etc.) and drawing explosive covers for stories that didn't exist.
Dan moved to St. Louis in 1995 to attend school at Washington University and study mathematics and illustration, and he began discovering comics that he liked better, but which cost more than a nickel. The true power of storytelling - preserving oral histories, world building in three dimensions on paper, communicating technical info along with weird and heartfelt ideas - through the alchemy of words and pictures started to become evident to him, and he has never looked back. Zettwoch drew a strip for the school paper and edited the campus comix anthology, and eventually started stapling together homemade booklets full of his own comics, about things like professional wrestling, childhood gangs roaming the suburbs, alien attacks on the State Fair, slot car racing and Civil War-era battleships.
In addition to several self-published booklets, his stories have appeared in Kramers Ergot, the Drawn & Quarterly Showcase, Comic Art, Nickelodeon Magazine, Yale University Press' An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories Volume 2. He is currently working on the weekly newspaper strip Amazing Facts & Beyond with fellow USS Catastrophe crew members Kevin Huizenga and Ted May, a series of screenprints commemorating St. Louis Folk Icons and gross foods, and his own comic Redbird.