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Midnight Fiction Comix
Joe Wehrle, Jr.
November 29 Midnight Ramblings
D. Blake Werts does it again. Copy This! #9 is out with an interview with Clark Dissmeyer. CAD discusses his love of books, his minicomix work and much more. The feature is illustrated with a great selection of covers, many provided by Marc Myers. The news section includes updates from Alec Longstreth, Joseph Tenney, Brian John Mitchell, Joe Wehrle, Jr., James the Stanton, Chad Woody, Carrie McNinch with a nod to Welcome to the Cultural Aether.
CT! #9 includes cartoons and illustrations by Clark Dissmeyer, Bob Vojtko, Larry Tisch and Brad Foster.
What to see your information in the next edition? Send an update to Blake at the address noted in the right sidebar of our homepage and he’ll help get the word out about your latest minicomic.
Scribe Jonathan Baylis sent a trio of digest-size comix last week. So Buttons #6 sports a Jay Lynch cover with full color comix inside by Baylis and his contributors, Fred Hembeck, Josh Bayer, Sam Spina, T.J. Kirsch, Victor Kerlow and Becky Hawkins.
So Buttons #7 sports a cover by Danny Hellman and back cover by T.J. Kirsch. Inside, Baylis teams with Joseph Remnant, Paul Westover and David Beyer Jr. for more full color fun.
Teej Comix is of course by T.J. Kirsch, whom Baylis describes as “the backbone of So Buttons.” The collection include both color and black-and-white comix, some of which originally appeared online at Top Shelf 2.0. From the back cover: “Kirsch explores comics based on dreams, visceral images and classic American animation archetypes.”
The second volume of Michael Dower’s Treasury of Mini Comics is printed and ready to order. Fantagraphics has recently featured various previews, including a video on their flickr.
The character King Cactor has been on the drawing board since at least the late ‘90s. Small press stalwart Larry Blake even drew a cover for Cactor’s intended debut in a title called Monsters in the 20th Century that was never completed. Still, you can’t keep a prickly gargantuan like Cactor down for long. He first appeared in Tales From the Seventh Galaxy #1. Now, James Rubino and Thomas Ahearn have unearthed an epic new adventure of the infamous Cactorus Rex in King Cactor #1.
• John Gregory Betancourt is editor and publisher at Wildside Press and pens the Dawn of Amber series.
Alternative Comics has been busy! Recent releases include Death in Oaxaca #1 by Steve Lafler. The first chapter in a continuing series you can read more about in an upcoming interview in Copy This! American expats Rex and Gertie have just moved to Oaxaca (pronounced WaHaCa) in southern Mexico with their son Myles. They are excited by the prospect of immersion in the sparkling culture of this remote highland jewel, with its legendary ruins, markets, art and spectacular food; but, strange forces are at work in paradise.
Derf Backderf produced The City comic strip for free weekly newspapers for 24 years, until earlier this year when he closed it down. “The heart and soul of the strip were the True Stories, little slices of life that I observed during my wanderings around the Lawless Tribal Regions of the American Midwest. I look back at these as a cartoon diary of our times.”
True Stories will represent nearly 200 true stories over a run of four issues. Volume One is out now, covering the peak years of the strip from 2002 to 2008.
“I’ve moved on to big boy comix now, but I never would have gotten there without the lessons learned while making these strips. I’m very pleased to be able to collect them in these volumes. Otherwise they’d be lost, just another bag of yellowing newsprint heading off to the recycling plant.”
Death in Oaxaca #1, True Stories #1 and a raft of other titles are available from Alternative Comics at their website Indyworld.com. And while you’re there don’t forget to download David Lasky’s All Monster Comics. It’s a free minicomic via download, or available for 50¢ in print while supplies last at the Wow Cool Alternative Comics shop in Cupertino, CA.
Direct from a successful kickstarter campaign, Hunt Emerson has published a beautiful edition of Calculus Cat that collects comics long since out of print about the cat who hates television. With 22 new pages and a gallery of CC portraits by 40 different cartoonists, order your own hardcover edition for 10 pounds, directly from the Large Cow Shop.
David Schilter, editor of kuš! komiksi has announced the next set of mini kuš!
mini kuš! #26 Little Hilma by Jyrki Heikkinen—A busy father does not always have time to read to his children. But luckily a teacher-to-be is found at a surprising location and minor worries can be forgotten.
mini kuš! #27 Mathematical Solutions for a Global Crisis by Jesse Jacobs—solutions to all the world’s largest problems. The answer is much smaller than you think.
mini kuš! #28 Collector by Zane Zlemeša—a story about an average guy and his passion. In everyday life you never know who these collectors are, it’s just a coincidence that this one is a photographer.
mini kuš! #29 Remember This? by Disa Wallander—When were you where and how? What do you think about what you think about stuff? Should you memorize memories or just trust the smell to bring them back?
Be sure to check out our look back at Short Run 2014 for more mini comics news.
October 24 Midnight Ramblings
D. Blake Werts’ Copy This! #8 is now available. This edition features Andy Nukes’ interview with Buzz Buzzizyk and a special mini comix insert by Maximum Traffic and Sean Bieri.
Copy This! #8 also includes contributions by Mike Hill and Brad W. Foster. (See sidebar on our homepage for ordering info.)
Birdcage Bottom Books’ The Rats Were Bad That Year is a new chapbook written by Alan King and illustrated by Jamie Vayda. It details King’s early experiences with a nauseating rat infestation in the Deep South. B&W 4.25″ x 5.5″ 20 pages. $2 (or as a free gift when you sign up for Birdcage Bottom Books’ mailing list.
Lost Visions is a new 16-page mini comic collection of full color paintings and artwork from Joe Wehrle, Jr. Yours for a mere $2.50 (postage paid) from:
The Baltic Comics Magazine #18 is out with the theme of Poetry inspiring the content. It’s available for $14 postage paid or part of a 4-issue subscription for $52 (postage paid).
Frequent Mutations is a limited edition full color (front and back) set of 25 trading cards by Jeff Gaither. Printed on heavy-weight glossy card stock, each set includes a plastic storage case to keep the cards in perfect condition. Plus, Gaither is randomly inserting a few bonuses like autographed cards, original hand drawn sketch cards and special promo cards. Only 500 cards sets have been produced. Get yours for $25 (postage paid in the continental US) before they are no longer available. Order from Jeff Gaither.
Wuxtra, wuxtra! Cartoon looniac and illustrator, Jim Siergey returns to the world of merchandising with a new collection of T-shirts, throw pillows, laptop skins, duvet covers, shower curtains, stationary cards, rugs, mugs and art prints from Art D’Seirgey at Society 6. (Free shipping until Oct. 26, so act now!)
Gary Lovisi’s wonderful Paperback Parade #87 arrived in the mail this week. Features include David Goodis’ Popularity, E.C. Tubb’s Cap Kennedy/F.A.T.E. Series, Percival Wilde: Master of Mystery, Matchless Paperbacks, Negative of a Nude & Murder, Phil Andros in Paperbacks, Lovisi’s 10 Favorite PBOs, and Domino Books. 5.5” x 8.5” 108 pages, full color $15 a copy (plus postage) or as part of a three-issue subscription for $40 (postage paid). Order from:
Cringe: An Anthology of Embarrassment, edited by Peter S. Conrad, collects over twenty stories of personal humiliation, shame & awkwardness from a variety of indie cartoonists.
Contributors include: Cara Bean, Box Brown, Jeffrey Brown, Chris Carlier, Peter S. Conrad, Chad Essley, Andrew Farago, Shaenon Garrity, Delaine Derry Green, Sam Henderson, Victor Kerlow, Steve Lafler, Lizz Lunney, Fred Noland, Stephen Notley, Adam Pasion, Sam Spina, Geoff Vasile, Jamie Vayda & Alan King, Chad Woody, Jess Worby and J.T. Yost.
Front cover by John Kerschbaum, back cover by Danny Hellman, title page by Gabby Schulz and spot illustration by Noah Van Sciver.
6” x 9” Full-color cover with b&w interior, 112 pages. $8 from Birdcage Bottom Books.
Early American colonists who let pigs loose in the woods coined the phrase, “Root hog, or die!” It’s also the name of Dan Stafford’s film about John Porcellino and King-Cat Comics. The DVD, available from Kilgore Books for $15, includes 104 minutes of documentary, 40 minutes of bonus features and an 8-page comic by John Porcellino called On the Road with Dan.
Josh Wagner and Theo Ellsworth collaborated on the story for Mystery Mark. Wagner wrote the book and Ellsworth drew the pictures. Their story inspired Viscosity Theatre’s production of the same name. The prose book, with Ellsworth’s art is 6” x 9,” 84 pages. The project was funded via Kickstarter, where you may be able to contact someone to order a copy in retrospect.
(Press Release) The Boston Comics Roundtable, in conjunction with River Bird Comics, is pleased to announce the publication of Hellbound V: End of Comics. Aptly themed, this is the final installment in a series of original horror comics anthologies from some of Boston’s most celebrated creators. No fear or phobia will be left unprovoked.
Hellbound series creator Roho resumes his role as designer and publisher. Stephen Cartisano, who has had a hand in every Hellbound release since the New England Art Award nominated Volume II: Box of Evil, returns as Editor. Returning contributors include Dan Mazur (Comics: A Global History), Ellen T. Crenshaw (Nobodies Volume II, Womanthology), Alison Burke and Tara Harris (A.R.R.O.), Patrick Flaherty, E.J. Barnes (Tales of the Ling, An Invitation to the World of Luisa Felix), and Clayton McCormack (Dead Meat, Heavy Metal Magazine). Joining them for the first time on this volume are Gary Bonesteel (Killer Ink Comics), Ben Doane (Subcultures), and Brenton Barnes (Bartkira, Mister Reusch’s Black and White Illustration Book).
The Hellbound series has received much critical acclaim, having grown “increasingly stylish in presentation,” according to Rob Clough of High-Low. Katy England, of The Maine Edge, deemed Volume IV: GULP! to be “well worth adding to any collection,” while Brigid Alverson of Robot 6 marveled at the “impressive craftsmanship” contained within its pages.
Featuring illustrations by Dan Moynihan (Nickelodeon Magazine, Heeby Jeeby Comix), and up and comer Jerel Dye (Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream, Pigs Might Fly), Hellbound V: End of Comics promises to end the series with a bang... and perhaps some whimpering, too.
For more information visit the website.
Have you heard the tale of the most successful lawman of the wild west? Born a slave, Bass Reeves became the first African-American Deputy U.S. Marshal in the old west. A legendary marksman, Bass used disguises to fool wanted criminals, lived in Indian Territory, and apprehended thousands of outlaws during his long career. The lore of Bass Reeves is believed to have inspired the tale of the Lone Ranger and is the subject of a recent addition of commemorative statues in downtown Fort Smith, Arkansas. Bass Reeves: Tales of the Talented Tenth chronicles his life from enslavement to famed peace officer. Come along for the adventure as Bass wins shooting matches, escapes enslavement, lives amongst a Native American tribe, and finally becomes a Deputy U.S. Marshal.
Tales of the Talented Tenth is a graphic novel series that focuses on the adventures of amazing African Americans in action. With vivid and whimsical art, these graphic novels are accessible to adults, teens, and young readers. They bring to life not merely an adventure tale, but the history of previously disenfranchised peoples. Bass Reeves: Tales of the Talented Tenth is a tool with which to discuss African Americans, social justice, and our shared history. Stay tuned for more of these heroes, including Bessie Springfield: The Motorcycle Queen of Miami!
8” x 10” 158 pages. $25.95, available October 2014, published by Fulcrum Publishing.
Graphic Classics #25: Canine/Feline Classics is now available.
7” x 10”, 144 pages, full color, Canine/Feline Classics retails for $19.95 but you can order it directly from Eureka Productions for $15 (plus postage), along with other titles in their ever-expanding series.
Hunt Emerson shouts the names of 17 backers of his Kickstarter project in the streets.
(Press Release) Spring 2015 at Koyama Press brings metaphysical men in tights, the return of bad-boy blobs, the weaponization of cute through art, and fun and philosophizing diary comics. A diverse and variegated variety of comics and art.
Mighty Star and the Castle of the Cancatervater
Blobby Boys 2
September 27 Midnight Ramblings
D. Blake Werts’ Copy This! #7 is out, sporting front and back covers, and a wonderful interview, with Mary Fleener. Don’t miss this one. Bonus: A brand new 8-page mini comix, Weird X, by none other than Bob X, is tucked inside. It's Bob X’s first mini in 26 years!
And speaking of Bob X, he was interviewed by the Memphis News Channel 24 at the Cooper Young Arts Festival on Sept. 12, 2014 (3:48).
Updates from the around the PaperNet include:
Copy This #7 also includes artwork by Joe Wehrle Jr. and Brad W. Foster. (See sidebar on our homepage for ordering info.)
And speaking of James Rubino Comics, Intergalactipol book 2 of 4 is out. It's loaded with collaborative work by Larry Blake and Rubino, including the next episode of the Intergalactipol story that began in book 1. There’s also a new 7-page Yumishira adventure by Rubino and Gerardo Aguirre Mata, who also contributes a pin-up page of the oriental spacelily. The back cover is by the late Luisa Felix and Rubino.
Get your favorites from James Rubino Comics. The list of titles from this prolific creator is growing nicely and often.
Robert Jennings’ Fadeaway #43 is out with a cover by Ralph Rayburn Phillips. Jennings will trade you a copy for a letter of comment or a fanzine (of the printed variety), or you can subscribe for $20.00, which will bring you six issues. Back issues are available in PDF from eFanzines.
Study Group Magazine No. 3D is out from Zack Soto. It’s a 90-page comics magazine printed in full color with a 3D section in the center. The list of contributors is massive. Check Study Group Comics and their Shop for availability.
Tales From the Seventh Galaxy #5 from James Rubino Comics is out. This edition features the stories:
The balance of TFTSG #5's 28 interior pages are filled with pin-ups of busty gals from the Rubinoverse and gag cartoons. In addition to those already mentioned, Rubino’s contributors include Larry Blake, Byron Black and Alisa Rubino.
Tales From the Seventh Galaxy #5 is available from IndyPlanet, 99¢ digital, $3.00 printed, where you can also preview six interior pages.
The annual Art in the Pearl came and went in Stumptown over the Labor Day weekend. Here’s a list of a few new favorites seen.
The Baltic Comics Magazine #18 Poetry is coming.
The nine-card preview set of Bob X’s Horrible Monsters trading cards is out from MHoponHop. Each card features a ghastly alien, ogre, demon, denizen, maniac or universally inspired grotesquery on the front, with the creature’s backstory on the reverse. Each highly collectible preview set includes a Bob X autographed card. $10 including postage. Better get two. One for now, and one to sell on eBay later.
Happy Twentieth Anniversary to Reading Frenzy and proprietress Ms. Chloe Eudaly.
August 28 Midnight Ramblings
D. Blake Werts continued his successful effort to reunite newavers and their ilk; and reignite passions for mini comix with the new edition of Copy This! #6. From his Compiler’s Desk, Blake nails requirements and the deadline for the new year’s all-art edition and introduces the launch of CT!’s first letters column.
The issue’s main feature (including the cover) is an interview with my longtime pal, Bob Vojtko, wherein he reflects on his multiple careers as professional gag cartoonist and comic strip collaborator, and lifelong mini comics creator—since 1966 when he created his first series of handmade, one-of-a-kind minis with titles like Flaming Torch, Antoles, and Goulardy’s Friends Mum the Mummy and Doodle the Devil. The 15-page interview, conducted by email earlier this year, is illustrated with a great assortment of mini comics covers, gags cartoons and even a John Darling comic strip. Plus, a surprise bonus, an exclusive Copy This!/Vojtklassics reprint of Bob’s Low Budget Funnies #8, Lousy Furneral is included with every issue. It’s one of my favorite mini comics, originally printed in 1985.
This issue’s Copy This! news section includes updates from:
Your Letters open with a single entry from Michael Neno in which he expounds on his definition of “mini comic,” followed by Blake’s. The discussion is on, ready for others to join. Copy This! #6 includes spot illustrations and gags by Brad Foster, Larned Justin, Billy McKay, Larry Tisch and of course Bob Vojtko.
A recent order to J. Kevin Carrier brought the digest-sized, UFO-member zine, Fantasy Theater #23 to my mailbox. It’s a fine indie comic book that runs 52 pages, plus cover. The lead story, The Godmother Principle, runs 15 pages, with plot and art by Steven Myers and script and lettering by J. Kevin Carrier, it’s an action-packed, costumed romp with witty repartee and ambitious, but still developing artwork. The issue’s main event is Carrier’s own 45-page adventures of Glorianna: Steel. Apparently a character regular readers are already well acquainted with. Carrier is a fine writer and I like his crisp, cartoony-realistic style.
The letters column, Fantasy Fanmail, wraps things up with lots of tribute artwork depicting Carrier’s characters and LOCs from UFO members and onlookers. Fantasy Theater #23 is 5.25” x 7.5” and sells for $3.50 plus postage from IndyPlanet, where you can preview six inside pages.
Matt MacFarland sent a copy of
UFO Chairman, Rob Imes, who also publishes Ditkomania and Tune In, sent in a copy of the UFO’s clubzine, Tetragrammaton Fragments #235 (or T-Frags in club vernacular). UFO members each contribute pages, where they can write or rant about anything on their minds, but in particular provide feedback about the group and other member’s zines and comics. This issue also includes a 2-page LOC from Robert Jennings. T-Frags is mostly for members, but interested parties can also subscribe for $15 for six issues. To learn more about the United Fanzine Organization, its members and their zines, see the UFO website.
Signe Baumane’s indie animated feature Rocks in My Pockets is now screening in select theaters and festivals. See the Rocks in My Pockets website for details.
Xerography Debt #35 is out from Leeking Inc. The issue opens with a wide-ranging commentary on amazon.com, self-publishing and zines. One can assume the views expressed are from editor Davida Gypsy Breier, but strangely enough she never seems to take ownership of thepiece. The opener is followed by additional opinion pieces by distributor Joe Biel (Microcosm Publishing), Gianni Simone, Jeff Somers, Josh Medsker, Kari Tervo, Ken Bausert and Kris Mininger. The zine’s regular reviewers then take over for ~45 pages of zine reviews, with brief descriptions/impressions and everything you need to decide whether to order or move along. One of the highlights of the issue for me was the addition of an index, so if you’re looking for a particular title, you no longer have to scan the entire issue. May seem like a little thing, but it’s a major improvement to an otherwise fine indie publication.
Xerography Debt #35 is an 68-page digest. (Hat tip to reviewer D. Blake Werts for the comp copy.) Otherwise, it’s available from Microcosm Publishing, along with a nice selection of back issues, for $4.00 a copy.
August 15 Midnight Ramblings
Larry Johnson is a lifelong cartoon who has been creating his own comic books for literally 50 years. Tales of Fantasy #63 chronicles the story of Zooy, a character he first drew in fifth grade. Johnson soon began creating handmade Zooy comic books, eventually reaching an astonishing 72 issues, from 1966 to 1982. The final issue became the first edition of Tales of Fantasy.
Along with articles about Zooy and several supporting characters from the series, TOF #63 includes a reprint of Zooy’s first full length (10-page) adventure and a brand new 21-page story by Johnson.
I imagine many (most) cartoonists start off making single copies of their own comic books on cheap paper with colored pencils, passing them around to a small group of friends. The rest of the world never even knows they exist. TOF #63 provides a detailed look into one cartoonist’s earliest work, some of his influences, and an edifying lesson in how honing your skills transforms your work.
Tales of Fantasy #64 returns us to what I assume is our regularly scheduled comic book. The highlight is the opening 12-page story, written and penciled by Larry Johnson with inks by Dan Burke. It’s an entertaining, cautionary tale of technology.
Johnson is a talented artist, which you can see when he handles everything, as he does in the 6-page story, The Growth, later in the issue. However, the collaboration with Burke, who embellished the artwork with long shadows and dim lighting, adds real depth to the story. It’s a beautiful collaboration. The two of them even discuss their parts and impressions in an informative “Behind the Scenes” article that follows the story.
In Not School Work! Johnson pays tribute to his high school art teacher, Mr. Sather, who clearly earned the recognition. The 4-page story originally appeared in Mark Innes’ anthology The Comic Eye in 2007. Another reprint, this one from 1991, is Mysterious Myths, a 3-page, wordless romp about the power of a haunted scarf.
Mails of Fantasy, TOF’s letters column, returns to this issue, having been squeezed out of the last. Contributors include many other UFO members, like Johnson, writing substantial, thoughtful commentary that runs for nine pages.
Tales of Fantasy is a steal at $3.00 a copy, which includes postage.
Tumbleweeds was a daily comic strip, created by Tom K. Ryan, that ran for 42 years from 1965 to 2007. It was a favorite of mine during the ‘70s when it ran in the Milwaukee Journal’s Green Sheet. Several mass-market paperback book collections of Tumbleweeds were published by Fawcett in roughly this same time frame, as was popular during that era.
As time went on I lost track of the series and eventually forgot about it entirely. Something triggered a memory of it the other day and I was happy to learn Ryan still maintains a Tumbleweeds website where you can purchase a Best of Tumbleweeds collection of the comic strips. I was delighted to find it autographed by Ryan when it arrived!
August 1 Midnight Ramblings
Short ramblings this time out. Made a few new entries to the Walter Rodgers bibliography, and more importantly added cover art. Larger images placed within the listing when he did the cover artwork, or when he was mentioned on the cover. Smaller images placed in the sidebar of comics that included interior work by him.
Also, for completists, the Bob Vojtko bibliography includes a few updates, including his latest published gag cartoon for Women’s World.
D. Blake Werts was back on YouTube recently with an update on Copy This! and a few jazz side notes.
Speaking of Copy This!, the debut issue includes an update from Marc Meyers in which he mentioned a few of his minis were still available, such as his 1985 collaboration with Mike Hill, and a zine called Elephant! and Elephant! (The End of an Ear). See Copy This! #1 for ordering details.
July 19 Midnight Ramblings
Copy This! #5 is now arriving in mailboxes. D. Blake Werts’ mini comix newszine features front and back covers by the issue’s feature interview subject: Tom Brinkmann. Plus there’s a 12-page bonus mini comix, Squint #3, tucked inside the centerspread. It’s quite a package.
The editor’s intro puts out a call for comix, for a future all-comix issue of CT! Just remember we’re talking classic mini comix format here, and Blake requests PG-13 rating on the sex, drugs and slanguage. If you’re not a regular reader of CT!, best to inquire before you put pencil to paper.
Blake’s interview with Tom Brinkmann fills 21 pages, illustrated by a nice sampling of his artzine and comix covers, and a few of his mind-bending illustrations.
The news section includes updates from:
Copy This! #5 is $2.00 postage paid or as part of a 12-issue subscription for $20.00.
D. Blake Werts
Kelly Froh recently published a couple of HIPPA noncompliant comix exposing her corporeal demons. This Body is a Lemon is told with humor but is nonetheless a sobering read, especially if you’ve ever met Kelly and know what a wonderful person she is.
Less clinical is Motion Sick, a childhood memoir of summer vacation on the road, and eventually the roadside, on the way to the Wisconsin Dells. Full color. Both comix are available to preview at Kelly’s spot on Cargo Collective, which includes a link to her Etsy Shop where they can ordered.
Kelly also made a micro mini promotional notebook for the essential Short Run Comix & Arts Festival in Seattle. This year’s event happens on November 15, 2014.
Intruder Eleven is out. Cover by Tom Van Deusen, with comix inside by Billis Helg, Darin Shuler, Joe Garber, Scott Travis, John Ohannesian, James the Stanton, Bruce Bickford, Marc Palm, Brian Dionisi, Tim Miller, Aiden Fitzgerald, Seth Goodkind, Max Clotfelter, and Ben Horak. Available at select locations, or via a 4-issue subscription for $12 to PayPal.
The kickstarter-funded #20 is out from Robin Snyder and Steve Ditko. An all new 32-page comic book written and illustrated by Steve Ditko. The Snyder/Ditko partnership in publishing is over 25 years old and there's an impressive list of books available. Contact Robin Snyder for details.
D. Blake Werts and I correspond regularly about the mini comix scene and Copy This! He mentioned recently that Jim Ryan had written to him, and Jim wanted to see Walter Rodgers receive more recognition for his contributions to the mini comix scene.
I remembered Rodgers’ early digest, A - Z Comics, and his mini comic, Just Another 8-Page Wonder, but couldn’t recall other work offhand. The Kennedy, Geerdes and Fogel guides, combined with Dale Luciano’s Newave Comics Survey from The Comics Journal, revealed a long list of contributions and self-published comics. From them, a Walter Rodgers bibliography has been added to the site. If you see any errors or omissions, or if you know how to get in touch with Rodgers himself, please contact me.
The fine folks at kuš! recently released a new set of mini kuš! Formats are A6, 28 pages, saddle stitch binding, full-color, English.
mini kuš! #22 Lucky by Oskars Pavlovskis. Meet Lucky, the self-proclaimed business expert, who specializes in selling stolen rearview mirrors. Oskars Pavlovskis’ slick hero is bound to teach you some valuable new marketing strategies. Reading the story in a slight Eastern-European accent is recommended.
mini kuš! #23 Domino by Rūta & Anete Daubure. Robér takes care of the world’s balance. On his day off he’s powerless - accidents start to develop and Robér worries that everything will collapse. Domino is written by Anete Daubure and drawn by her sister Rūta Daubure.
mini kuš! #24 Swimming Pool by Anna Vaivare. The story’s protagonist works at the Swimming Pool. She enjoys observing people while keeping herself almost invisible doing her work. When you least expect it she herself plunges into the water and unveils her special secret.
mini kuš! #25 Magnetism by Roope Eronen. Magnetism is a science fiction story by the Finnish artist Roope Eronen. It tells about a spontaneous business meeting in the world of the future. Swallow the magnet and join the adventure...
Individually these mini kuš! sell for $6.00 each, but you can buy a bundle of all four editions for $18.00, postage paid worldwide, from the Kush Komikss Shop.
Robert Jennings recently mailed Fadeaway #41, a fanzine dedicated to science fiction and related fields of interest, with the bare-bones production values of an APA. He’ll trade you a copy for a letter of comment or a fanzine (of the printed variety), or you can subscribe for $20.00, which will bring you six issues. Back issues are available in PDF from eFanzines.
Fadeaway #41 contents:
Safari Honeymoon by Jesse Jacobs is one of Koyama Press’ stellar releases for 2014. I was expecting to see the pages from Jacobs’ Young Safari Guide, a 12-pager tabled at Linework NW, included, but no, they share similar bizarro characters and adventures, but Honeymoon is 80-pages of original mayhem, all its own. The production values complement Jacobs’ super crisp linework perfectly, and the two-color treatment inside amps up the alien appeal of the action. Can’t claim to have digested the whole package as of this writing, but visually it’s a seductive pleasure.
Equally strange and captivating is the work of Andrew Goldfarb. He expresses the creative muse via comix, paint and music. His online shop at Ogner Stump includes several collections of comix as well as original Black Velvet Paintings. His CDs are available to preview and order at The Slow Poisoner.
The Adventures of Ogner Stump and Assorted Comix and Stories is a full-color comix book containing numbers 81 through 94 of Ogner Stump’s One Thousand Sorrows: Inflation, Slippage, Man-Eating Crocodiles, Drifting, Pollution, Sewage, Kidnapping, Deadbeat Dads, Dehydration, Rules of Etiquette, Language Barriers, The Spins, Headaches and Prohibition. For a taste of these rueful concoctions check out his comix online. Ogner Stump is a 28-page comix book, 6” x 9”, printed on glossy stock, with saddle-stitch binding, and sells for $4.00. Contact Andrew Goldfarb to arrange purchase.
Here’s what’s inside:
Paperback Parade is published by Gryphon Books. A 4-issue subscription is $35.00 postage paid. Back issues and other Gryphon titles are available from AbeBooks.
John Howard is one of several cartoonists whose work I’d read from time to time during the newave era, and since lost track of. I was glad to learn in Copy This! #4 that he’s still an active cartoonist, producing handmade 8-page mini comix. His titles are strictly adults only. His imprint, Short & Curly Graphics, has issued a collection of his comix, sketches and gag cartoons in a self-depreciating titled volume: Badly Drawn Book. "Badly Titled" is more like it, as Howard’s drawing chops have grown impressively since the ‘80s.
Badly Drawn Book includes a foreword by Robin (Cinema Sewer) Bougie. The Book, along with Howard’s and Stacey Earley’s mini comix, issues of Buttman Magazine, and commissions are available from Short & Curly Graphics. You can sample Howard’s artwork at his tumblr.
Subscribers and contributors already know Copy This! #4 is out from Blake Werts. This issue features an in-depth interview with Bob X, conducted by Andy Nukes, what could be the final installment of Steve Willis’ Itchy Dreams column, and Blake’s news section with updates from Randy Crawford, Brian Payne, Aaron Poliwoda, Yul Tolbert, Roberta Gregory, Bob Lipski, Rio Aubry Taylor, J.T. Yost, Andrew Goldfarb, John Howard and Carrie McNinch. There’s also late-breaking news from R. Hendricks, Delicia Williams and Verl Holt Bond.
The issue includes an exclusive preview of the Horrible Ugly Monsters trading card set. Blake reveals the set is queued up for a 2015 release from Cliff of MHoponHop, the non-sport trading card maker. A special preview set of nine cards is slated for Sept. 1, 2014 availability and can be pre-ordered now from MHoponHop. A full 45-card set is planned for 2015.
Contribute news on your mini comix or zines, and Blake will likely send you a complimentary three-issue subscription. Otherwise single copies of Copy This! are $2.00 ppd or $20.00 ppd for a twelve-issue subscription.
Billy McKay has returned to the handmade brand of comix with Peculiar Paper People #1, which collects a few of his older comix along with brand new pages, plus the addition of full color. A 16-page digest for $2.00 ppd from:
Hogan’s Alley shares a photo album from the National Cartoonists Society’s annual bacchanalia, the Rueben Awards, held in San Diego over the Memorial Day weekend 2014. (Read the warning on the site and proceed with caution.)
Tony Horwitz recounts his leap of faith into the world of digital publishing that went Boom.
Colin Upton produces an impressive number of handmade comix. He just announced Maneki-Neko featuring Japan’s Beckoning Cat.
I recently picked up a handful of his past efforts, including Colin’s Mini-Comics #1 and #2. Both are classic mini-size (4.25” x 5.5”) and go for $1.50 each. (You may want to add 50¢ for postage.)
Larry Blake publishes a tribute to early comics history with his 5 Star Comics title, which he began in 2011. Together with contributors like Terence Hanley, Jordan Lowe, Gary Gibeaut and several other talented artists and writers, he's published three issues to date:
#1 (6.5” x 10.25”) 40 pages
$5.00 each ppd. If you’d enjoy all new stories rooted in the traditions of Golden Age heroic comics, you’ll love this title and want to read every issue. Larry, who is a long-time member of the UFO, has several other comics available so be sure to ask him for more info on all his titles.
Those fortunate enough to run across Daniel Elisii’s Heyday Comics #1 are in for an unusual treat. The introduction will give you a flavor of of what’s inside: “The anchor sits in silence under an ugly sky. Who holds the anchor not only holds the world in place but holds the stories in that world together. In those stories the world pours out hurt and the land stirs up souls to receive it. This is one of those stories and these are some of those souls.”
Daniel is the ringleader of Insect Ash where you can find past works including Go Everywhere, Age & Order, Mad Scientist #27, Averse, Heyday and other distinctive artwerks. All five issues of HeyDay Comics are available for $3.00 each. They’re digest-size and 24 pages each.
Seems like there are more quality handmade comics and zines available today than ever before. So even thought I enjoyed Veggie Dog Saturn #4 enough to award it a Midnight Fiction Favorite in 2010, I still needed a reminder to delve into more of Jason Young’s unique world. Fortunately, a recent issue of Copy This! provided an update on Jason, and reminded me to order a handful of his new books, including Veggie Dog Saturn #3 from 2008. In this older edition, he recounts a trip to Toronto with friends, where they join a naked bike ride and contemplate the nature of existence.
A brand new issue of Main Enterprises’ popular horror, fantasy and suspense anthology, The Attic #4, is out, now in magazine format. Resident caretaker Allistair Grimsby recounts three new talesabout the latest objects sent by Lord Thorndyke, from his hunts for the weird, macabre and supernatural for the collection he continues to amass.
Tales this issue include Jack's Knife by Roger Keel and Scott Shriver; The Gypsy Shawl by John Lambert and Jim Main; Blood Quill by John Lambert, N.V. Riehle, Robert J. Sodaro and Jim Main; plus Seconds of Dreams, a fantasy fiction piece by Sam Gafford; with illustrations by Jamie Chase. Mr. Chase also rendered and colored the front cover inset, while Marc Haines contributed the front cover production and additional color work. Robert J. Sodaro handled the remaining production throughout the issue, with Jim Main overseeing the rest. $7.95 postpaid in US and CA from Main Enterprises.
Mulholland Books announced the second Cormoran Strike mystery by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling), The Silkworm.
Evan Lewis awards a five-star rating to Johnny Shaw’s Plaster City, the latest Jimmy Veeder fiasco.
Publishers Weekly: Jim Butcher discusses the newest Dresden Files novel, Skin Game on PW Radio episode #74. Plus PW comics reviews editor Heidi MacDonald compares BookCon to comics conventions.
The new issue of Rob Imes’ Ditkomania #93, is out. This edition sports a cover by Jim McPherson, with color and design by Javier Hernandez. It’s devoted entirely to Ditko’s monsters—Gorgo and Konga.
The issue opens with reviews of the Yoe Books’ reprints of the Charlton Comics monsters, one from Michael Tuz (Gorgo), and two from Allen J. Schuler (Gorgo and Konga). Schuler continues with an overview of Darkhorse’s reprint of Ditko’s stories from Creepy and Eerie magazines.
Nick Caputo returns to the original Gorgo comics themselves with a little back story about the series, highlights from Gorgo’s adventures, and their place in the Ditko chronology.
Martin Hirchak reports on Konga’s long lost cousin, Kunga! His article also provides the publishing dates of Ditko’s work for Charlton and Marvel, from Konga #1 (1960) through Strange Tales #115 (Dec. 1963), arguably Ditko’s most remarkable period.
Kirk Kimball (aka Robby Reed of Dial B for Blog) contrasts the low budget Konga movie to Joe Gill and Steve Ditko’s comic adaptation. This is the highlight of the issue and it’s generously illustrated with photos from the movie and their complementary comic book panels. Great stuff!
Monster master, Steve Bissette takes a close look at the Charlton monsters, placing them in historical context with Dick Briefer’s Frankenstein and later DC’s Melvin the Monster. He also recommends an earlier reprint by Robin Snyder from 1989, called The Lonely One, that reprints four issues of Konga. What sets this one apart is the sharp black-and-white reproduction made possible from photostats of the original artwork. Way better than Charlton’s typical print production.
Bryan Stroud examines Steve Ditko and the Split Image, illustrated with panels from select Ditko comics.
The issue wraps with another Ditkomania generous letters section with commentary from Allen J. Schuler, Mike Tuz, Christoph Melchert, Dave Puckett, Richard Caldwell, Robby Karol and Darren Goodhart.
Art on the inside covers was created by Gary Kato and Martin Hirchak, with a color back cover from Darren Goodhart. For more info, single issue and subscription pricing, see the Ditkomania page on the United Fanzine Organization website.
R. Hendricks, who turns Craigslist fodder into comix at Stranger to Stranger, has a new comix out. It’s creative nonfiction, a retelling of The Washington Tragedy, the true story of Daniel and Teresa Sickles and their tumultuous relationship.
This edition opens the tale, which will be continued in the next. The Washington Tragedy: Part One is 7” x 8.5” (legal digest), 20 pages of story, plus cover, with saddle-stitch binding. It sells for a mere $5.00 at Hendrick’s Etsy Shop and a few select retail outlets that support indie comix.
In addition to comix, Hendricks is an avid photographer. His tumblr, graycard, often features selections from his digital archive. For those on Instagram, Hendricks uses the handle "graycard" there as well.
May 23 Midnight Ramblings
Copy This! #3 arrived in mailboxes this week. This edition is loaded with even more news of mini comix and art zines, as the usual interview has been replaced with convention reports on Space 2014 (by editor D. Blake Werts) and Linework NW (by yours truly). The issue concludes with news updates from over a dozen indie cartoonists including:
Kelly Froh Slither blog and Cargo Collective site.
Picked up a handmade, digest-size comix from Koyama Press at Linework NW, called Young Safari Guide by Jesse Jacobs. I’ll be keeping an eye open for more from this cartoonist. Bizarro fiction storyline, with artwork that’s simultaneously charming and disturbing. Jacob’s websites are One Million Mouths on the blogspot and tumblr platforms. Visiting them while composing this update, it looks as if Safari Honeymoon is out, an 80-page softcover book from Koyama Press, priced at $15. Perhaps this little 12-page zine is a preview from the book.
Persons of Interest by Pat Moriarity was secured at Short Run 2014, in Seattle. Moriarity is a frequent contributor to Mineshaft, a terrific cartoonist and a master of textures and crosshatching. Persons of Interest is a collection of questionable characters, whose names continually popped up during Moriarity’s dive into coverage of the 9-11 attacks. It’s digest-size, 32 pages, plus cover, and short run at just 50 copies, so it may be difficult to find. However, there are plenty of other treasures for all at Pat Moriarity’s website, where you can also connect and enter an inquiry into Persons of Interest.
Also from Linework NW, from Negative Pleasure Publications, is Felony Comics #1. With my interest in crime fiction, they caught me at “felony.” Another digest-size comix, but this one is full color throughout, which no doubt drives it’s $6 cover price. Wow, does this comix pack some heat! Alex Degen opens the anthology with Crime Chime Noir, set in a twisted world where “Crime is the shared soul which pervades our universe.” Degen’s fine line, funny animal artwork and bright, gaudy colors are a perfect contrast to this dark work and the story’s knockout ending.
It's a tough act to follow, but Lale Westvind’s Slippery Seats, does a fine job keeping pace. Also set in a brutal, alternate deadend world, where one astute observer warns, “One day we’ll all be dead or incarcerated!” Slippery Seats is a car chase from Hell that seems as if it can only end one way, until its final unexpected brain wreck.
Queue up another mindbending felony case. Pete Toms’ The Disguise Inside starts slow, but we soon learn it’s a slow boil, as Toms' undercover terrorist is sucked into his own private cell.
Benjamin Urkowitz commits the final crime story to paper in The Facts. Told at arm’s length, through narration, Urkowitz’ comical artwork milks classic ’40s detective tropes to produce an entertaining yarn with Felony’s signature twisted wrap-up.
Cover by Benjamin Marra, back by Karissa Sakumoto, Felony Comics #1 is 28 pages, plus cover from Negative Pleasure Publications.
Press Release: Fulcrum Publishing is pleased to announce the release of Strange Fruit: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History with words and pictures by Joel Christian Gill and a foreword by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
This groundbreaking graphic novel is a collection of stories from African American history that exemplifies success in the face of great adversity. Joel Gill offers historical and cultural commentary on nine uncelebrated heroes whose stories are not often found in history books. From the adventures of lawman Bass Reeves, to Henry “Box” Brown’s daring escape from slavery, and the tragedy on Malaga Island, these beautifully illustrated stories offer a refreshing look at remarkable African Americans.
Strange Fruit is especially important as we say goodbye to 2013, the year that saw the end of the Voting Rights Act, the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther’s “I Have a Dream” speech and Florida’s Trayvon Martin case. The nation as a whole isgrappling with race and history, which is evident even in popular culture. Jay-Z and Kanye West both released albums in 2013 that sampled the haunting song “Strange Fruit” made famous by Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. We believe comics can be an invaluable resource for teaching about our shared history. As this discussion continues in 2014, we hope Strange Fruit will be an educational but enjoyable tool for readers of all ages.
Trade Paperback, $23.95, 176 pages Fulcrum Books
The latest issue, Western Tales #3, is out from Main Enterprises. It features new stories of the Old West: Sadie 6-Shot in "A Good Break", by Rock Baker and Jeff Austin, Cain Hawkins in "Tombstone", by Roger Keel and Tony Lorenz, and the return of ME’s favorite undead narrator, The Gunslinger, who relays the tale "Heaven sent", by Sam Gafford and John Lambert. All this plus a special preview of David G. Hardy's upcoming publication "Classic TV Cowboys! $5.50 postpaid in USA and Canada from Main Enterprises.
Buzz Buzzizyk and Max Traffic have published what is stated to be the final issue of the White Buffalo Gazette, dated Spring 2014. The list of contributors is long, an impressive group of comix and art zine artists and cartoonists, including Jim Siergey, who drew its wonderful cover. A fair number of its pages include a list of books Buzz has received since his previous issue, along with costs and contact info.
Actual artwork and comix pages include work by George Erling, Mike Hill, D. Bert Werts, Andy Nukes, Nils Balls, Aleksandar Zograf & Marcos Farrajota, Marc Palm, Tom Motley, Billy McKay, Jenny Zervakis, Max Clotfelter, M. Young, Joel Orff, Matt Feazell, Gary Fields, Tom Brinkmann, Larned Justin, Dan Taylor, Carrie McNinch, Andrew Goldfarb, Buzz hiself, Jeff Zenick, and Colin Upton.
Write to Buzz at 130 Short Street, Butler, PA 16001-6156, to see if he has any copies of this 36-page, legal-digest-size wonder, left for sale.
Picked up a very personal mini comix called My Body by Pam Wishbow at Linework NW. It’s a beautifully illustrated diary, written in first person, of Wishbow’s struggle with body issues and learning to accept herself as she is. A brave piece of writing, with insight into the struggles women face in our perfectionist-driven society. Carrie and Dan Taylor’s Images cover similar territory in their mini comix, reviewed here.
Pam Wishbow’s website features a great selection of her work, and links to her Etsy Shop where you can order her My Body mini comic, as well as art prints, art zines, metal work and original paintings.
The (awesome) Baltic Comics Magazine #17 is out, with a Sweet Romance theme. Check out the content, preview pages and ordering info at the KushKomikss blog.
Michael Neno interviews the amazing Gerardo Aguirre at Nenoworld.
Caliber Comics, founded by Gary Reed in 1989, was an early indie comics company that ceased publishing in 2000. The company returned in February of this year and has announced a new line of graphic novels scheduled for the summer of 2014. See Caliber Comics for details.
This just in: D. Blake Werts reports he's finished up the third edition of Copy This! and is mailing out contributor and subscriber copies. Look for news and reports on Space 2014 and Linework NW.
Mike Hill, aka The Worker Poet, produces art werks across the spectrum of comix, poetry, painting, prose, drawing, photography, graphics and design. A set of his (sometimes) mini comix are (mostly) still available: Modernman #3 (1999) through #8 (2013). The middle issues #4 thru #7, are 8-pagers produced in the classic mini comix format of the Newave era. Issue #8, grew to 12 pages and digest-size. All those available are ready to fulfill your need for obscuro wonder for $2.00 a pop, or something of equal aesthetic value in trade.
Ran across the work of Jeff Lokrecently (sorry but I’ve forgotten the source at the moment), and ordered a few of his comix. Ox & Co. is a terrific, classic-style, mini comix. A 12-pager, all one story, told in true comics form, with six panels per page. At $1.00 a copy, it’s a bargain.
Oh Babies! is equally fun, but this one bumps up all the way to legal digest-size.It’s 16 pages inside, with a blank fly-sheet, plus cover, with saddle-stitch binding. Lok sells it for $2.00 a copy. Another bargain.
His Big Cartel shop also lists three issues of Gag Rag, which also has it’s own tumblr: The Gag Rag. Lok partnered with Bryan Stone and published an 8.5” x 11” anthology called Funny Aminals #1 in 2009 in White River Junction. The Funny Aminals website mentions two follow on issues. Contact Lok through his shop for ordering info. Issue #1 includes comics by Kubby Bear, José-Luis Olivares, Colleen Frakes, Jeff Lok, Penina Gal, Joe Lambert, Steve Bissette, Matt Aucoin, Morgan Pielli, Emily Weija, Bryan Stone and Joshua A. Rosen.
Saw Chris Cilla, mastermind behind The Heavy Hand, at Linework NW. His wares included, direct from 2012, an X-rated 12-page mini comix called Deep Shag Pile starring Sexsquatch. There’s not much to say about it, except it’s over the top and funny. The outside is semi-rigid, hot pink stock, while inside it’s all black-and-white. You can secure your own copy for $3.00 from C. Cilla online shop.
Stun Nuts is another title from that creative, outrageous mind. His shop lists #6-8, at $2.00 a pop. They’re 8-pagers, but in digest-size, with a staple to hold the two sheets together. Each issue is printed on a different colored stock. I picked up Stun Nuts #9, which is dated 2013, and dedicated to Jason T. Miles, who runs Profanity Hill. Although issue 9 isn’t listed in Cilla's shop, drop him an email, I’ll bet he still has a few available for the asking.
And speaking of Jason T. Miles, he, along with Tony Remple, published a rather impressive trilogy of mini comix, each with a artsy silkscreen cover, printed on heavy-weight colored stock. No Me #1-3 are sold as a set, tied together with twine. I don’t see them at the Profanity Hill distro, but he had a stack at Linework NW, so gotta believe you can still get them if you write. I don’t recall the price, but something like $10.00 sounds right. It's a nice collection of work but if you're wondering who did what, the credits all the way at the back of No Me #3.
No Me #1: Josh Bayer, Marc Bell, Jean-Michel Bertoyas, Jim Blanchard, Nikki Burch, Ben Bush, Adam Buttrick, Sean Christensen, Chris Cilla, Max Clotfelter, Mark Connery, Scott Davis, Marc Deckter, Garek Jon Druss, Austin English, Eroyn Franklin, Gabrielle Gamboa, Julia Gfrörer, Tim Goodyear, Justin Green, Eric Haven, Cameron Hawkey, Meghan Hogan, Raighne Hogan and Gerald Jablonski.
No Me #2: Dunja Jankovic, Juliacks, Pat Keck, Keenan Marshall Keller, David King, Bobby Madness, Jesse McManus, Mr. Mike, Lane Milburn, Tony Millionaire, Tom Neely, Andy Nukes, Virginia Paine, Marc Palm, Léo Quiévreux and Luke Ramsey.
No Me #3: Tony Remple, Helge Reumann, Xavier Robel, James Romberger, Tim Root, Kevin Scalzo, Josh Simmons, Justin Skarhus, Ted Stearn, Conor Stechschulte, Ian Sundahl, Tom Van Deusen, Noah Van Sciver, Blair Wilson, Ajax Wood Storm, Martine Workman, Chris Wright and Sophie Yanow.
Needle Magazine, Spring 2014 is out. Hardboiled, lean and mean. Crime fiction from some of the best: Heath Lowrance, Rob W. Hart, Patti Abbott, Taylor Brown, Jen Conley, Stephen D. Rogers, Court Merrigan, Sandra Seamans, Trent England, Christopher L. Irvin, William Boyle, William Dylan Powell, and Tom Joyce. Cover art by Scott Morse. 142-page paperback, edited by Steve Weddle. $7.50 from Luu.com
Lawrence Block’s insightful recollection of Charles Willeford and his work, at Mystery Scene Magazine.
D. Blake Wert’s Copy This! #2 has arrived in most mailboxes by now. It also was passed out at both Space and Linework NW on April 12. It’s the Andy Nukes issue, and it’s a honey. Blake kicks things off with a short recap of response to CT!’s debut (“overwhelmingly positive”) and a request for info and news about your mini comix and zines. There’s a special emphasis on handmade 4.25” x 5.5” material (the same size as CT!), but digests and other handmade formats also receive coverage.
Steve (Morty the Dog) Willis returns with thoughts on the creative itch and explains why the Morty blog and OlyBlog have been fallen off the grid. The three-page article is lightened by Bob Vojtko’s gag cartoon. Next up is my interview with the amazing Andy Nukes, generously sprinkled with art and covers from his many zines and mini comix. Hat’s off to Andy for his enthusiastic contribution to this venture.
Blake updates readers on work from nearly two dozen indie cartoonists including:
If you missed either issue #1 or #2 of Copy This! I have a small stash left from Linework NW that I'm happy to make yours for $1 a copy. Send your cash to:
Marc Meyers was one of the folks profiled in Copy This! #1. Lucky for mini comix readers he still has a few copies of his 1985 collaboration with Mike Hill called Allude and his solo mini The Surrealist Bird (2011), with first appeared in Terminal, published by fellow Newaver, Steve Willis. See Copy This! #1 for contact info.
Hat tip to Tim Stroup, who wrote in to add four items to our Bob Vojtko zinography. Thanks Tim!
The United Fanzine Organization (UFO) has released their club zine, Tetragrammaton Fragments (T-Frags) #233. There’s a nice review of Copy This! #1, Mr. Jigsaw #12, a couple of recent comics by James Rubino, The Match #112, and a mention of my 2013 Creative Review by editor Rob Imes. J. Kevin Carrier critiques Ditkomania #92, Hero Central Universe #10-11 and Tales of Fantasy #63. Larry Johnson comments on Ditkomania #91, the late Don Ensign (former UFO member), Fadeaway #39, The Mystery & Adventure Review #36, Backdrop 1904-1914 and several odds and ends. Jason Bullock contemplates the question: How Do You Find the Time to Draw? Don Ensign’s contributes his final Ensign Report (#13) written shortly before his death. Editor Imes and Robert Flores pay tribute to Don, which includes Ensign’s own Memories of CCAS (Christian Comic Arts Society) and a historical timeline of the group. The issue closes with two pages of letters from readers T-Frags #233 available in print for $2.50 from UFO chairman and publisher Rob Imes. You can read past issues in PDF format on the official website of the UFO.
Fadeaway #40 is out. Editor Robert Jennings calls it “a fanzine devoted to science fiction and related fields of interest.” I assume this is the same Robert Jennings, who published another zine called The Comic World, back in the 60s and 70s, that centered on golden age comic book characters like Daredevil, Ghost Rider, Blue Beetle, Black Knight, etc.
Fadeaway is a bare bones production. Forty-four letter-size pages held together by two staples through the top sheet (aka cover).
Fadeaway #40’s cover (shown) shares an illustration by John V. Cody and news items from editor Jennings. He encourages readers to vote for Brad W. Foster (long-time MF.com friend) and his wife Cindy for the office of TAFF (Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund), which will fund a trip to the World Science Fiction Convention in London, held over Labor Day. Anyone can vote, but a vote requires a contribution of at least $3.00 toward expenses. Deadline is April 22, 2014 so vote now.
Other topics include holidays, such as National Science Fiction Day (Jan. 2), Green Hornet, print versus eFanzines (and what’s popular on eFanzines) and the Cliffhanger’s Collector’s Club (serial appreciation club)
The bulk of the issue is filled by Jack French’s excellent article Bobby Benson: The Cowboy Kid, who appeared in two different runs of an old time radio show, as well as lots of spin-offs: novels, TV series, a BLB and twenty issues of a comic book.
The Book Binder is a somewhat rambling book review section that covers The Viking Prince by Robert Kanniger and Joe Kubert, Radio Rides the Range by Jack French, Jacky’s Diary by Jack Mendelson (Yoe Books) and Beyond the Pole and Other Weird Fantasies by Philip M. Fisher.
The balance of the zine is a robust letters section, which is of greatest interest if you’ve read the previous issue. Of note is the fact that the name and full mailing address of letter writers are included. Artwork contributors include Dan Carroll (back cover), John Cody (cover), Robert Cepeda, Brad Foster, Missy Meyer and Dave Puck. Several back issues are available as free downloads from eFanzines. Fadeaway is available for a letter of comment, traded for a printed fanzine, or by subscription: $20 for six issues from:
Gary Lovisi’s Paperback Parade #85 is out. It’s the first issue in full color, so all the vintage paperback cover reproductions inside make this edition look especially sharp.
Inside its 102 pages are:
Paperback Parade #85 is published by Gryphon Books. It’s available for $15, or as part of a three-issue subscription for $40.
Read of Edward Bolman’s various online venues in the debut issue of D. Blake Wert’s Copy This and ran across Bolman’s storefront on Etsy, the Cranial Stomp Shop (classic eh?), where he’s offering, among a few other items, a digital download of a 20-page comic called The Monkey and the Ghost Ship. It’s in PDF, platform-independent format. And for $1 (no postage required, instant gratification on order), it’s as sweet a deal as you’re likely to find.
Bolman’s other online personas:
March 21 Midnight Ramblings
D. Blake Werts has launched Copy This! a newszine that celebrates mini comix. The 40-page debut issue is intentionally formatted after the 8-page Newave-era mini comix that inspired it. The cover features long-time mini comix cartoonist and painter, Dan W. Taylor’s self portrait, who is the subject of CT’s first interview conducted via email by your truly. Blake and I specifically sought out Dan for the first issue as we both felt it’s been far too long since he and his work were given more recognition. If you haven’t ordered the complete set of titles available from Dan’s Weird Muse Productions, don’t wait any longer, they should part of everyone's mini comix collection.
Here’s the full contents list from Copy This! #1, and associated web links:
See the sidebar on the MF.com home page for ordering information.
James Rubino Comics has just published the first of a terrific four-issue series: Intergalactipol #1. This thought-provoking science fiction series chronicles the exploits of an interplanetary police force as they fight crime and corruption throughout the solar system, created & written by James Rubino and drawn & lettered by Larry Blake. The debut issue features a 23-page comic story by this talented duo along, with full-page pin-ups by Rubino, Tom Ahearn and Byron Black—back cover by Larry Blake.
Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling on Advice to Writers.
Evan Lewis reminisces about his favorite pulp fiction writers who inspired his own series with David Crockett and Skyler Hobbs, on Trace Evidence.
New Pulp mistro Ron Fortier launches Airship 27 Productions’ first exclusive ebook, The Wind Up Kid. A weird western/steampunk novella written by Fortier and available for 99¢ via Kindle.
The Baltic Comics Magazine #16, Villages,
Gary Fields has opened up the secret store of his current mini comic cache. Check out the Gary Fields Studio blog
Picked up one of Eroyn Franklin’s mini comix recently, called Sunder. A very poetic, personal exploration of the battle between internal and external worlds. Franklin, along with Kelly Froh and Janice Headley are the organizers who bring us the Short Run Comix & Arts Festival in Seattle. Franklin’s Just Noise is listed in Best American Comics: The Notable Comics of 2013. You can order a copy of Franklin’s Sunder, and several of her other comix from the Profanity Hill comix and zine distro.
Joe Wehrle, Jr. sent a copy of his latest publication, The Unknown Comic Art of Karen Wilson Wehrle. Joe was one of the artists who responded to D. Blake Werts request for information for his soon-to-be-launched newszine focused on mini comix and handmade zines. Joe wanted to do something to preserve the charming cartoons and comic strips of his late wife, and felt the classic mini comic format would be ideal. The 16-page mini includes ~20 drawings, including eight color cartoons Karen drew for a proposed children’s book. The back cover features a portrait of the artist by Joe. For your copy of this marvelous collection send $2.00 to:
New website for Alternative Comics, who have announced their Spring and Summer releases, which include comics by Malachi Ward, Megan Kelso, Jesse Moynihan, Noah van Sciver and Steve Lafler, among others.
Colin Upton calls for participants for International Mini Comic Day 2014 on March 8th at Cloudscape Comics HQ in Vancouver.
Steve Willis wrote about Jeff Zenick’s latest zine, Backdrop, on the Morty the Dog blog, and shared a few pages from inside. Each page is packed with portraits inspired by high school and college yearbooks from around the country, from 1904 to 1916. The images evoke various emotions, which are enhanced by their names, and in some cases a quote, culled from their yearbook. The 40-page zine, with self-cover, measures 7” x 8.5” with saddle-stitch binding. Send $5 (plus $1.50 for postage) to:
As noted last week, D. Blake Werts found an interesting interview with Zenick on YouTube, in which the artist discusses his work, and in particular his portraits.
Magazine cartoonist and devoted mini comic publisher, Bob Vojtko has just released Low Budget Funnies #10. This edition features Forgotten Games of the Olympics. Unaffiliated athletes competing against all odds and reason in a dangerous mix of high stakes and low self-esteem.
LBF #1 first appeared in Oct. 1977 as a 4-page digest-sized short run comic smack in the heart of the newave. The comic assumed classic mini comix format with issue #6 in May 1985, and has continued intermittently ever since. Congratulations to Mr. V for reaching the mini milestone of ten issues!
Both LBF #9 and #10 are available for $1.50ppd each from:
Also just out, is Max Clotfelter’s new mini comix Bugs on Drugs. You may think that bugs have enough trouble just being bugs, but leave it to Clotfelter to unearth the true story of a drug-addled strain living just below the surface of polite society, tucked into the cracks in the back seat of your car, sneaking up to the counter where you buy your phone cards, or responding to personal ads now removed from Craigslist. They're all here, in all their oozing, sweaty glory. There aren’t many, so best to catch one before they disappear into the mulch. Send email to Max Clotfelter to verify existence prior to forwarding $1.50ppd for Bugs on Drugs.
Bob Corby announced the 2013 SPACE Prize winners this week. Congratulations to all the cartoonists and storytellers.
Canada’s Broken Pencil #62, the magazine of zine culture and the independent arts, is out. The lead story examines Volunteer Burnout. Other timely topics include: The Rise of the Aging Zinester, DIY in Dawson City (Yukon), The Problem with Free, assorted columns/editorials, comics, Laura Brown’s folio; excerpts from How the World Actually Works by Liisa Aaltio, Molotov Hearts by Chris Eng and It Could Be Worse by Shira Haberman; fiction by Joel Katelnikoff, Jordan Abel, and Brigid Barry; all topped off with dozens of reviews of comics, zines, litzines, chapbooks and books.
Subscriptions (eight issues in two years) run $35 (CND), which is 40% off (at the moment). A digital copy of issue #62 is $4.95 (CND) at Zinio. Every back issue is online and recent print editions are available through the Broken Pencil store.
D. Blake Werts sent a link to an interview with artist Jeff Zenick archived on YouTube.
Picked up Kelly Froh’s Samson mini comic from 2012 at the Short Run 2013 Seattle Comix and Arts Festival. Samson was the Milwaukee Zoo’s most famous gorilla who achieved celebrity status over three decades. He died in 1981. Samson is a
Kevin Cortez wrote about Froh’s comics at Drawn Words in mid-2013. His article includes a few panels from Samson.
Newszines like Comix World, Cascade Comix Monthly, City Limits Gazette and others were staples of the Newave comix era. They served as focal points where you could learn about the latest mini comix from your favorite indie cartoonists and discover new and emerging artists you'd never heard of before. The explosion of mini comix, and newszines about them, during that era, filled every mailday with hope and anticipation that a handmade gem might arrive at your doorstep that very day.
Long-time Xerography Debt reviewer, video blogger, zinester and mini comix collector D. Blake Werts has announced the launch of Copy This!, making its debut at Space 2014 this April. It's a newszine, packed with the latest information on the minis and zines from the indie, DIY spirits of publishing. We're talking everything from Clark Dissmeyer's Facebook Sucks to John Porcellino's King Cat. If your mini comix or zine falls anywhere in-between, Copy This! wants to help you spread the word about your printed handiwork(s).
Blake is actively soliciting announcements about you and your short run, printed zines and minis for this monthly publication. News contributors receive a comp copy of the issues in which their announcements appear. So, as long as you are keeping in touch, you are subscribed! Single copies go for $2.00ppd, twelve-issue subscriptions just $20.00ppd. (U.S. rates, send email for other countries.) Send your dough to the address below.
Got news? Want to participate? Send a short response to the following questions:
Send your news to D. Blake Werts email or post—haste:
Copy This! will also feature articles by renown cartoonist and $1000/hr. consultant, Steve Willis, for his unique, insider's POV on mini comix. Plus, the debut issue includes an interview with Dan W. Taylor of Weird Muse Productions—issue #2, an interview with Andy Nukes—and there is much more already in the works. Revisit these ongoing Midnight Ramblings for updates. Keep the paperNet alive!
Titan #1 by François Vigneault, was another comic book tabled at Short Run 2013 from Family Style. It's part one of a longer story. Really wonderful artwork and narrative. When Mngr. João da Silva is sent to Homestead Station on the moon of Titan he finds himself caught in the simmering tensions between the geneticly-engineered Titan workers and the Terran management. You can read it online at Study Group, or enjoy it pamphlet-style, in print from Amazon.com.
Rubino Comics has announced Intergalactipol book one (of four) is now at the printer. Written by James Rubino and illustrated by the legendary Larry Blake, the book includes additional art by Tom Ahearn, Byron Black and Rubino. It's due out in early March.
Virginia Paine of Sparkplug Comics has released her convention schedule (thus far):
Koyama Press announced six new titles for Fall 2014. From the press release they are:
Baby Bjornstrand tells the tale of Mickey, Marcel and Cyril and their misadventures with an undeniably adorable, and mysteriously menacing monster. A wasteland becomes fertile ground for fantasy as the book’s graphite grotesqueries are brought to life by Renee French’s adroit hand; her elegant shading seemingly wringing her wondrous worlds out of the page itself.
Distance Mover: Mr. Earth can move incredible distances in his improbable Distance Mover, a wondrous vehicle that reflects the fantastic world it traverses. He, and his young art-star protégée Mendel, explore culture-rich crystalline cities, challenge the mighty Council of the Misters, try to overcome the all-conquering Ooze, and much more in Patrick Kyle's book-length comic book.
Lose #6 is the latest installment in Michael DeForge’s one-person short story anthology series. DeForge is bright, young cartoonist, and Lose is a standalone showcase for his talents.
Wendy is trendy, and has dreams of art stardom—but our young urban protagonist is perpetually derailed by the temptations of punk music, drugs, alcohol, parties, and boys. Hegemonies and hearts are broken in this droll and iconoclastic look at the worlds of art and twentysomethings by Walter Scott.
Koyama's Children's Comics
A Cat Named Tim and Other Stories: In Tim’s world, a cat can paint on the ceiling and a happy pig couple can wait months for the bus. A duck and a mouse love to go flying, in a plane, of course. Every page is an adventure and each character is colorful in this collection of comics by John Martz.
David Robertson kindly sent me a copy Dump #2, published through his Fred Egg Comics. Solo comics by David Robertson include: Dump (the second of a three episode story), History of E-Mail and the Internet, and Hey, Joe. The rest of the content include stories written by Robertson in collaboration with various artists: Cycling Through Freedom with Neil Paterson, Yay! Party! with Keara Stewart, Why I Vote with Damon Herd, Coleslaw with Donna Law, and Dream of Being You with Stephen Boyd. You can follow David Robertson's comics world at the Fred Egg Comics blog and/or the Fred Egg Comics website. Kevin Bramer reviewed Dump #2 over at Optical Sloth.
Eureka Productions announced the third edition of Graphic Classics: H.G. Wells with 80 new pages, including The Island of Dr. Moreau adapted by David Hontiveros and Reno Maniquis, plus a newly-illustrated The Time Machine by Antonella Caputo and Craig Wilson. Returning are The Inexperienced Ghost by Tom Pomplun and Rich Tommaso, and The Star by Brad Teare. 144 pgs, 7 x 10", paperback, b&w, color covers, $12.95 (US).
Brian John Mitchell writes, "I have about a dozen scripts out with cartoonists right now in various states of completion of the drawing stage, so hopefully we’ll be getting you new adventures of Walrus, Robert E. Howard, XO, & many more pretty shortly." In the meantime, visit Silber Media Comics to load up on the published works.
Michael Dowers revealed the cover of Treasury of Mini Comics Volume Two by Esther Pearl Watson, due out in January 2015.
The New York Times pays its respects to Gary Arlington.
Here's a couple of indie comix I ran across and thoroughly enjoyed. They both have a fantasy stream-of-consciousness feel to them that made them fun to read. I had no idea where either was headed. The world's greatest comics magazine may have inspired the title of The Frantastic Four, but their aren't many similarities
Anyone who reads these ramblings
Silly Beavers #1 4.25" x 5.5" 8 b&w pages of full page gag cartoons like the one on the cover. $1.50 ppd.
Smokin' Aminals #2 4.25" x 5.5" 12 color pages of full page gag cartoons that capture a wide range of funny aminals lightin' up and talkin' smack. $2.50 ppd.
Gary Fields Sketchbook 2013 5.5" x 8.5" 20 b&w pages jammed full of tight sketches, some penciled, some in finished inks and some drawn in pen like a micron. $6.00 ppd.
Order direct from the arteest:
Short Run's On Your Marks comix collection features one-pagers by an impressive list of Pacific Northwest indie comikers including Aaron Mew, Andrice Arp, Asher Craw, Ben Horak, Bobby Madness, Chris Cilla (wraparound cover), Darin Shuler, David Lasky, Elaine Lin, Eroyn Franklin, Ian Sundahl, Jack Hayden, James the Stanton, Jason Fischer, Jason T. Miles, Jennifer Parks, Julia Gfrorer, Kaz Strzepek, Kelly Froh, Kinoko, M. "Moseley" Smith & Reuben "W" Storey, Marc Palm, Max Clotfelter (editor), Michael Litven, Pat Moriarity & Rick Altergott, Patrick Keck, Robyn Jordan, Sean Christensen, Tim Goodyear, Tim Miller, Time Root, and Tom Van Deusen. 6.75" x 10.25" 32 pages $5.30 ppd. Order details here.
The new issue of Ditkomania is out. Issue #92 features Skyman. Editor Rob Imes intends to publish four issues this year. He has material on Starman and Gorgo on hand but is open to additional content. Write to him if you have something to add. Ditkomania #92 includes a review of the French Steve Ditko l'artiste aux masques by Christoph Melchert, The Evolution of the Return of Skyman by Mort Todd, a brand new Skyman comic by Ron Franz and Martin Hirchak, an analysis of Ditko's recently reissued Laszlo's Hammer by Rodney Schroeter, as well as a three-page letter to Ditko and his publisher Robin Snyder about Laszlo's Hammer by Dave Sim, and a nice collect of LOCs from several of DM's loyal readers. The issues artists include Joe Zierman (inside front cover) and Mort Todd (back cover). Single issue and subscriptions available from Ditkomania Returns.
Mamalode Magazine interviews Theo Ellsworth.
Jim Main kicks off 2014 with his newest publication of illustrations based on the great serials from the past. Characters include Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, The Shadow, The Spider, Dick Tracy, The Phantom, Spy Smasher, The Vigilante, Rocket Man, Nyoka, Tiger Woman, Captain America, Blackhawk and more. Artists include Rusty Gilligan, Jim Taylor, David G. Hardy, Laura Inglis, Rock Baker, Jeff Austin, Doc Boucher, Michael Grassia, Nik Poliwko and Jason Yates. $5.75 ppd in USA and Canada from Main Enterprises.
London-based indie cartoonist Darren Cullen has released his first self-published title, a satirical anti-army recruitment comic, called Join the Army. I suspect whether or not you find it funny, will depend on where you're coming from. If you enjoy scathing, in-your-face satire, you may find Cullen's humor over-the-top hilarious. If you're sensitive about fringe-worthy, over-the-edge satire, you may find it below-the-belt disturbing. It's definitely controversial. You can visit his website, Spelling Mistakes Cost Lives, to get a taste of his bent. Join the Army is available for pre-order from Darren Cullen for £7.00+ GBP.
Cartoonist Bob Vojtko has published his third new Vojtkomic. Like Low Budget Funnies #9 and Bent Lemons #1, before it, his latest effort is in classic mini comic size. Headless Hal #1 sports a full color cover, with b&w comics inside. A mere $1 ppd from:
Earlier titles mentioned above are also available for $1 each. Don't miss any of the new Vojtkomics!
Buster (4.25" x 5") 16 pages, plus cover. Each page is a full page panel of a 16-page/panel comix story detailing the sad and sordid tale of kitty cat tormentors, and a poor little mother Buster. $2 ppd from Max Clotfelter.
Snake Meat #4 (5.5" x 8.5") 12 pages, plus cover. Full page cartoon illustrations of dark, oozing, mesmerizing, somewhat humanoid portraits, and an owl. $1.66 ppd from Max Clotfelter.
Pube Smoke #001 (5.5" x 8.5") 16 pages, plus cover. Mostly comix stories. Can't tell if these are reprints or originals. All 1-pagers unless noted. Included are: Summer Camp 2089, My First Girlfriend was a Bad Roommate, Alcohol Bath, FEMA Teens, I Know You're Out There, Deep Sorry (4 page "insert" on blue paper), Pioneer Squares, Smiffy Snuff (ode to Fred Lasswell), FEMA Teens, "Robots," and a final Pioneer Squares. $3.00 ppd from Max Clotfelter.
Andros #6 (5.5" x 8.5") 16 pages, plus cover. Entirely made up of work previously published in Meat #1, NMSD #17, Mutant Funnies, Freak Zine, Pony Club Gallery, Fluke '13, Horror Hangover, Dog Walk Dog #2, Tablegeddon, Custard Record, Odium #3 and The Hollow Earth Radio Zine. $3.00 ppd from Max Clotfelter.
Hole Show #1 (4.25" x 5.5") 12 pages,
Hole Show #3 was done by James the Stanton. (4.25" x 5.5") 24 pages, plus cover. Like issue #1, it's a picture story told in full page panels. $4 (plus postage) from Gnartoons.
And speaking of James the Stanton, his Bird Melt (2.75" x 4.25" 24 pages, plus cover) was also for sale at Short Run. Unfortunately it isn't currently listed in the Gnartoons online shop.
The sun's magnetic poles have flipped.
Aron Nels Steinke shares his best comics of 2013.
In the "old, but worthy news" category we have The Signifiers #2 by Michael Neno. It's 52 pages, just like newsstand comics books were ages ago. This issue features a 27-page story, What is the Ypytlic?, A [9-page, illustrated] Talk with Tom Scioli on the current state of comic book distribution, a 1-page ad of Neno Swag, part two (9 pages) of Landlark, the Heat-Seeking Dwarf, two pages of letters of comment, and a 3-page comic about The Emotionists. Head straight for NenoWorld for:
Michael's latest project is: Creating Old School Comics. A 72-page eBook with The Tips, Tools and Tricks You Need for Pre-Digital Cartooning. Creating Old School Comics, just $5.00 in PDF or eBook formats.
D. Blake Werts' video chat about mini comix, Newave and Michael Dowers' anthologies, and Patrick Rosenkranz' Rebel Visions on YouTube. And in an earlier effort he talks about Clay Geerdes' Sweet Cheeks and Brad Foster's Goodies titles, with contributions by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman. And in a follow-up he highlights Bob Vojtko's new Bent Lemons #1, other sizes of self-published comics, Matt Feazell, Bruce Chrislip and Steve Willis, etc.
Stranger Two Stranger is a series of indie comics based on real ads found of Craigslist, by R. Hendricks. Terrific stuff. Hendricks has a pretty sweet tumblr website for Stranger Two Stranger, and a shop on Etsy, where you can pick up issue #1-5, as well as The Disappearance of Gordon Page, Jr.
Hadn't heard much from Jim Main this year. I quit FB long ago, and I believe that's his current communication hub. Apparently he's been publishing new titles all along. He added about a dozen to the Main Enterprises online shop just before the clock ran out on 2013. Check out the latest additions like Rock On! #1, The Attic #3, Under Western Skies, Soundwaves #2, The Dell & Gold Key Collector, etc.
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Alternative Comics News
Forbidden Planet International Blog
Calvin Reid and Heidi MacDonald also edit the weekly eNewsletter:
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