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Midnight Fiction Comix

Sundry Comix
Da Boids
Nora Talbot

Smart-Ass Simpson

Those Non-Reproducing Blues

Bar Fly Theater

Media Report Comix

Horse Opera

Simon Smith and Ronald Moss

Trapped on Jupiter

Mackovee Kids

Larry Lagoon's
Fanzine Blues

Comic Dreams
Funny Pages

Harry Hornsnobble

Farlie Fan in Cream City

Illustrations

Space and Time

Bob Vojtko

Low Budget Funnies

Samurai Nun

Suzy

Joe Wehrle, Jr.

Bandemar

Stovepipe 1

Stovepipe 2


Fadeaway #40Apr. 4 Midnight Ramblings

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:

Robert Jennings
29 Whiting Road
Oxford, MA 01540-2035


Paperback Parade #85March 28 Midnight Ramblings

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 Talk by editor Gary Lovisi
• The Literary Life of Dr. J. Calvitt Clarke
   by J. Calvitt Clarke III
• An Appreciation of Neal Barrett
   by Jon D. Swartz
• Cover Swipe by Alex Henzel
• Poetic Injustice: The Life & Death of
   Rik Davis/Jack Vast by Dale Brumfeld
• Guy Endore the Werewolf Man
   by Jim Fitzpatrick
• Bruno Fischer by Ed Lynskey
• Hard-Boiled Paradise by Gary Lovisi

Paperback Parade #85 is published by Gryphon Books. It’s available for $15, or as part of a three-issue subscription for $40.

The Monkey and the Ghost ShipRead 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:
Harry S. Keeler on Twitter
Omnia Exeunt in Mysterium blog
Noble Head Funnies blog
Parker Brothers: A Family History blog
Bookplate People blog
Contributor to Cinematograflop blog

 

 


March 21 Midnight Ramblings

Copy This! #1D. 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:
• Blake’s introduction and call for information about your mini comix or zine for inclusion in a future issue.
Itchy Dreams by Steve Willis.
• Gag cartoon by Bob Vojtko.
• Interview with Dan W. Taylor.
Updates on the following cartoonists:
Larned Justin and his YouTube channel.
Howard Cruse’s Occasional Comix.
Bruce Rosenberger’s mini comix online.
• RK’s mini comix.
Bob Vojtko’s Vojtkomics.
Rob Kirby's blog and Rob Kirby Comics website.
Edward Bolman’s Omnia Exeunt in Mysterium.
Buzz Buzzizyk’s White Buffalo Gazette 2014.
Joe Wehrle Jr.’s latest projects.
Jenny Zervakis’s Zoomcranks.
Marc Meyer’s Surrealist Bird.
Brad Foster’s Jabberwocky Graphix.
Artie Romero’s ARG! Cartoon Animation.
Mike Hill's Worker Poet.
Clark Dissmeyer’s mini comix.
Steve Willis (newly off-grid)
John Porcellino’s blog and zine & comix distro.
Andy Nukes’ Artwerks and Meditations on Peace.
The Amazing Cynicalman comic strip by Matt Feazell.
Rick Bradford’s Poopsheet Foundation and eBay Store.
Delaine Derry Green’s Not My Small Diary.
Jeff Zenick’s Backdrop.
Colin Upton’s Comics & Art.
Matt Feazell’s Cynicalman.
Rob Imes’ Ditkomania and UFO.
Bruce Chrislip’s big news.
• Preview of Copy This! #2, which will include my interview with the great Andy Nukes.
Boxster by Bob Vojtko (back cover comic).

See the sidebar on the MF.com home page for ordering information.

Intergalactipol #1James 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.

To view sample pages and order ($3.00 print, 99¢ digital) visit IndyPlanet. For news and updates point your browser at James Rubino Comics.

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.


Baltic Comics Magazine #16Mar. 8 Midnight Ramblings

The Baltic Comics Magazine #16, Villages,
is out. The kushkomikss blog provides all the deets along with a nice selection of sample spreads.

Gary Fields has opened up the secret store of his current mini comic cache. Check out the Gary Fields Studio blog
for an eyeful of mad cartooning genius in print. Then dig into your pocket change and small bills and prepare yourself to make his catalog, your catalog.
Arf Arf! Dig it!

Steve Willis highlights excerpts from
the documentary, Bezango, WA, a work
in progress highlighting the work of alternative cartoonists in the
Pacific Northwest.

SunderPicked 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.

 

 

 


The Unknown Comic Art of Karen Wilson WehrleMar. 1 Midnight Ramblings

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:

Joe Wehrle, Jr.
PO Box 41
Punxsutawney, PA 15767

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.

Backdrop 1904 - 1916Steve 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:

Jeff Zenick
645 McDonnell Dr.,
Tallahassee, FL 32310

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.


Low Budget Funnies #10Feb. 21 Midnight Ramblings

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:
Vojtkomics
PO Box 360294
Strongsville, OH 44136

Bugs on DrugsAlso 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.

Broken Pencil #62Canada’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.


SamsonFeb. 15 Midnight Ramblings

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
16-page mini comic about Froh’s childhood memories of Samson and the real story behind his fame. It’s available from Froh’s Etsy shop: The Grassy Knoll. There’s a nice assortment of some of her other minis there as well as a selection of posters, collections and original artwork.

Kevin Cortez wrote about Froh’s comics at Drawn Words in mid-2013. His article includes a few panels from Samson.

 


Feb. 7 Midnight Ramblings

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:
1. What's happening? Are you currently active in cartooning or any other
   creative endeavors in print?
2. Do you have any new comix or zines available? If so, what are the details
   (size, page count, cost)?
3. Do you have any older comix or zines available? If so, what are the details
   (size, page count, cost)?
4. Will you consider trades?
5. Best way to contact you? Postal mailing address? Email address?
6. Besides reading the Copy This! newszine, how can readers keep up with
    your work? Are you active online?
7. What would you like to see in a newszine about mini comix?
8. Any announcements you'd like to make?
9. Would you be willing to contribute a spot illo or cover artwork for an issue?
10. Any other mini comikers we should contact?

Send your news to D. Blake Werts email or post—haste:
D. Blake Werts
12339 Chesley Drive
Charlotte, NC  28277

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 #1Titan #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):
Feb. 16: LA Zine Fest, Los Angeles
April 12: Linework NW, Portland, OR
May 31 & June 1: CAKE, Chicago
July  12 & 13: Portland Zine Symposium, Portland, OR
Sept. 13 & 14: SPX, Bethesda, MD
Paine also has begun a new webcomic, The Whys.

Artist, Publisher, EntrepreneurNaNoWriMo interviews Guy Kawasaki (Artist, Publisher, Entrepreneur) on the art of artisanal publishing as a preview to their February 11th webinar (a $60 fundraiser).

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.

Dump #2Koyama's Children's Comics
Cat Dad, King of the Goblins: Miri and Luey have a dilemma. Their dad’s been turned into a cat and their closet is a garden full of goblins. There is only one thing for them to do—grab their friend Phil the frog and dive head first into a wild, woolly and wacky adventure by Britt Wilson.

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.

Graphic Classics: H.G. Wells 3rd editionEureka 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.

 


Treasury of Mini Comics Volume TwoJan. 31 Midnight Ramblings

Michael Dowers revealed the cover of Treasury of Mini Comics Volume Two by Esther Pearl Watson, due out in January 2015.

Signe Baumane launched a new website and trailer for her film Rocks in My Pocket.

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
The Frantastic Fourbeyond that. Instead, it's (thankfully) a series of episodes starring Frankie Frantastic that hang together to form a book-length exploit. Writer/artist
Sam Spina fills his (48) pages with plenty of story and art, making the book a
great value at $5.00. It's published by Kilgore Books, with high-quality production values, in standard comic book size.
It's available directly from the artist,
at the Spinadoodles Store.

Anyone who reads these ramblings
on regular basis already knows I'm a
huge fan of Theo Ellsworth. He teamed up with Sam Kulla and together they riffed out That One Thing from 2006
to 2008. They originally published
this spontaneous, creative journey
in a series of six mini comix. Now
they've all been collected into a limited-edition (100 copies), hefty, mini comix.
I'm guessing this thing comes in at between 84 and 96 pages. It's two separate signatures glued into a
That One Thingcardstock cover. Of course, I also enjoy Ellsworth's slickly produced works like Capacity and The Understanding Monster, published by Secret Acres. But I love the fact that he continues to self-publish these imperfect, handmade works, like Logic Storm, Imaginary Homework and That One Thing. Now that I've built this up, I find it's not listed in the Though Cloud Factory shop. I think I may have bought it from him at Short Run 2013. Try contacting him directly through Thought Cloud Factory and see if he has any left. It was $5.00 a copy, (plus a buck or two for postage I imagine).

 

 

 


Jan. 25 Midnight Ramblings

Silly Beavers #1 and Smokin' Aminals #2

Gary Fields Sketchbook 2013Gary Fields is one of my favorite cartoonists, and he's an avid mini comiker as well. A few of his latest werks are:

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:
Gary Fields Studio
30 Allen Drive
Wayne, NJ 07470

On Your Marks #1Short 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.

Hat tip to Dan Taylor for his Facebook shout out about recent updates here, that I learned about from fellow newaver, Bob Vojtko.

Ditkomania #92The 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.

Serial ImagesJim 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.


Jan. 11 Midnight Ramblings

Headless Hal #1 and Buster

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:

Vojtkomics
PO Box 360294
Strongsville, OH 44136

Earlier titles mentioned above are also available for $1 each. Don't miss any of the new Vojtkomics!

Picked up a smattering of Max Clotfelter's comix at Short Run last November:

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 and Pube Smoke #1

Andros #6Snake 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 and #3

Brid MeltHole Show #1 (4.25" x 5.5") 12 pages,
plus cover. Wordless sequential narrative in full page drawings. Sharp objects and their results. This comix was published in Spring 2011. Write Max Clotfelter to see
if he still has copies for sale. Hole Show #2 was done by Marc Palm. (Unfortunately
no longer available from Swellzombie
on Etsy).

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.

The Signifiers #2In 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:
The Signifiers #2 $8.50 ppd.
The Signifiers #1 $7.50 ppd.
Or, get them both for $14.00 ppd.

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 #3 & #4

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.


Bent Lemons #1Dec. 28 Midnight Ramblings

Big news in mini comics this week. Cartoonist Bob Vojtko has restarted his Vojtkomics imprint with the publication of Bent Lemons #1. Bent Lemons is an aging hippie, still with us but lost in the past. His buddy, Burnt Toast, inhabits the same world. Bob revived his Low Budget Funnies with issue #9 in 2011, and has plans for more mini comics in the year ahead. Great to see one of the Newave's greatest cartoonists return to his favorite medium: the classic 8-page mini comic.

Bent Lemons #1 is available for $1.00 (postage paid) from:

Vojtkomics
PO Box 360294
Strongsville, OH 44136

Add another buck and pick up a copy of Low Budget Funnies #9 too!

Elllery Queen Mystery Magazine February 2014If you're a fan of Sherlock Holmes, check out the current Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. Celebrating the birthday of fiction's most famous detective, the February 2014 issue features Holmes pastiches by Evan Lewis and Terence Faherty, along with stories by Loren D. Estleman, Chad Wellinger, David Dean, Cheryl Rogers, Shannon Schuren and Paul Halter. Ellery Queen, and all of the remaining newsstand digests, are available in print and digital editions.

Here's a couple of recent mini comics from the folks behind the Baltic Comics Anthology. Mini Kuš! #18: This No Place to Stay, by Michael Jordan, is a semi-fictional, semi-biographical story by the German artist. His bearded alter ego travels through a coffee cup into a labyrinth inside a hospital laboratory. Hopefully the wound in the nurse's hand can rescue him...

This No Place to Stay and Crater Lake

Mini Kuš! #20: Crater Lake, by Jean de Wet is a panoramic portrait of space and time, capturing moments of tranquility, paranoia, invasion, rebellion, indifference and ultimately salvation-all taking place within a volcanic crater community, during an unusual cosmic event. Each page, a full page illustration that joins directly to the page before and after.

Format for each: A6, 28 pages, saddle stitch binding, full-color covers, interiors: #18 full color, #20 two color, English. (The product webpages include a few sample interior pages.) $6 each, which remarkably, includes shipping and handling worldwide. Shop their eCrater online store for the full line of KushKomikss.

In a recent post on their blog, KushKomikss.blogspot, they reviewed their 2013 publishing roundup along with links to online reviews for each.

Xerography Debt #34XD reviewer D. Blake Werts sent in Xerography Debt #34, published by Leeking Inc. and Microcosm Publishing. The Dec. 2013 issue runs 64 digest-sized pages and is packed with short zine and mini comics reviews, an introduction by editor Davida Gypsy Breier, and several opinion pieces by the review team. As always, "the review zine with perzine tendencies" is a steal at $4.00 a copy.

Zine-wise, Broken Pencil #61 is also out. It's been around for some time, but it's new to me. Billed as "the magazine of zine culture and the independent arts," Broken Pencil is published in Toronto under the editorial guidance of Lindsay Gibb. Its production values and graphic design far outshine what usually comes to mind when you think of zines, so you may have to remind yourself you're reading about handmade self-publishing. This issue runs 72 pages, plus cover. It's 8.5" x 11" and available in print, digital, or online at BrokenPencil.com.

Broken Pencil #61Purists may not embrace the Broken Pencil approach, but I like the way they've extended a zine-based sensibility into the digital realm. Self-publishing is wonderful in print and online. The more venues, the more readers, and unless your efforts are primarily driven by catharsis, readers are the ones you're trying to reach.

The magazine features about a 50/50 balance of articles and review. The reviews include zines, comics & artzines, litzines and chapbooks, books, non-fiction, poetry, and graphic novels. Subscriptions (eight issues in two years) run $35 (CND), which is 40% off (at the moment). A digital copy of issue #61 is $4.95 (CND) at Zinio. Every back issue is online and recent print editions are available through the Broken Pencil store.

Relax, We Have Alien VehiclesTheo Ellsworth transported to the recent Short Run small press fest from a Thought Cloud Factory in Missoula. When he wrapped up Capacity #8 for Secret Acres he created Relax, We Have Alien Vehicles, a self-published digest.

To quote his intro: "I began working on this notebook immediately after finishing my comic, Capacity number eight, and worked on it slowly over the course of four months. During this time, I was also working on The Understanding Monster, Book Two. Each page of this notebook was drawn in one sitting with a rapidograph in pen. When a page was complete, my training session at the Imaginary Learning Center would end and I would go directly to bed."

Relax, We Have Alien Vehicles, Imaginary Homework and several limited edition prints are available through his Etsy Shop. See the blog for more Thought Cloud Factory visions.

Serial Images #1Jim Main closes out the year with Serial Images #1, a pinup gallery tribute to the classic movie serials of yesteryear.

The 28-page magazine features work by Nik Poliwko, Rock Baker, Jeff Austin, David G. Gilbert, Laura Inglis, Jason Yates, David G. Hardy, Michael Grassia, Doc Boucher, and Rusty Gilligan, Production Manager, Robert J. Sodaro and Cover Production work by Marc Haines.

Serial Images #1 is $5.25 (postage paid) from Main Enterprises.

Justin Giampaoli's best mini comics and small press titles of 2013 at Poopsheet Foundation.

Rob Kirby's top 20 self-published comics and minicomics of 2013.

 


Dec. 14 Midnight Ramblings Morty! The Dog That Walks Like a Man, Bad Eggs, and Planet P

Michael Dowers still has copies of select titles from his indie comix imprints: Starhead Comix and Brownfield Press. For example, Morty! The Dog Who Walks Like a Man by Steve Willis which was published in 1987.

And a couple of titles in classic mini comix format, Bad Eggs by Ed Brubaker, which came out in 1994, and Planet P by Art Penn which first hit mailboxes in 1996. Each one, a treat.

Visit the Brownfield Press website for a few other treasures from the early days as well as more recent works by Dennis Worden, XNO, Kevin Scalzo, Jim Blanchard, Eric Reynolds, Jim Woodring, J.R. Williams, Shary Flenniken, Pat Moriarity, Rasta Wayno Gibson and Dowers' own collaboration with Christine Payne-Towler.

Epic Canadiana #1Cloudscape Comics has announced their newest graphic novel anthology: Epic Canadiana. A collection that pays tribute to Canada's Golden Age of Comics—when Canadian comic heroes such as Johnny Canuck, Canada Jack, and Nelvana of the Northern Lights protected the country from villainy.

“Most Canadians don't know that during World War II we had a vibrant comic tradition of our own,” says Bevan Thomas, Epic Canadiana's editor and contributing writer. “Later known as the ‛Canadian Whites’ due their black-and-white pages, they were created as a home-grown alternative to American comics since wartime import restrictions made it impossible for Superman, Batman, and all the rest to be shipped north of the border. A fascinating piece of Canadian culture that deserves more recognition.”

Each story in the anthology stars a very different hero: the disillusioned patriot Johnny Canuck, the Inuit demigoddess Ikniqpalagaq, the crazed Nazi-hunter the Loon, the Metis gay-activist Jacques de Canada, the legacy heroes Nite-Flyer and Nitro-Girl, the doomed powerhouse Energy Trader, the enigmatic spectre Ghost-Woman, and the post-apocalyptic survivor Gin. From Nazi-ravaged Arctic to modern Montreal to Vancouver after the bomb, nine diverse heroes defend the country against a multitude of foes. Many of the characters are homages to the Canadian Whites, reinvented for today with enhanced Canadian-ness (our Arctic demigoddess is based on real Inuit mythology, our masked vigilante dresses as a loon not a penguin). Others are totally new, exploring what it means to be a hero in bold new ways. The anthology embraces the multiculturalism and diversity that defines Canada, with an even gender split, a variety of ethnicities, and heroes representing the LGBT community.

Epic Canadiana is available from the Cloudscape Comics Store, where you can view sample pages and a list of contributors.

Founded in 2008, Cloudscape boasts 60+ members—the largest BC comics society—including such diverse creators as manga artist Chloe Chan, book illustrator Scot Ritchie, Simpsons artist Nina Matsumoto, underground comic creator Colin Upton, poet Ray Hsu, video game artist Edison Yan, and webcartoonists Angela Melick and Sam Logan. More about Cloudscape and its members can be discovered at their website.

You Pay As You LeaveNot sure why it took me so long to run across Max Clotfelter's You Pay As You Leave, but fortunately he had some at Short Run. It was published in 2008 and includes a nice collection of (as described in the introduction) "anthology submissions (both accepted and declined), corporate malt liquor ads, "art show" pieces, sketchbook pages, lame-o stream-of-consciousness rants, comics previously ‘published’ online and various other stuff that I'm pretty sure you've already seen so often that you're gonna ask yourself, ‘Jeezus, how many times do I have to see this?…He must think it's some kinda' masterpiece.’"

Well, I'm certainly glad he put together this 32-page collection. It's classic Clotfelter. May be difficult to find at the usual outlets, so you may want to send cash or trades, or just an inquiry to Max Clotfelter. His work can seen online at Snake Meat. And he's also one of the geniuses behind Intruder Comics.

Real Good Stuff #1Dennis P. Eichhorn's Real Good Stuff #1 & 2 made its debut at Short Run 2013. Written by Eichhorn, it includes stories drawn by Michael Arnold, Jim Blanchard, Max Clotfelter, Mary Fleener, Ben Horak, Sean Hurley, Aaron Lange, Pat Moriarity, Tom Van Deusen and Noah Van Sciver. Published by Poochie Press, it's now available via the Poochie Press website. KBOO Community Radio's S.W. Conser spent a half hour with Eichhorn, Moriarity and J.R. Williams about the book on Dec. 12th. You can listen to the replay or download the show at KBOO.fm.

Ben Pollock of Milk Shadow Books wrote this week to highlight three of their books. They're an Australian publisher and seller of alternative comics and books, with aims to publish the weirdest trips, strangest journeys and assorted stories to make readers laugh, think and gag. Established in 2008, they focus on art, comics, graphic novels, poetry, prose and short stories from Australian, New Zealand and international artists.

Tim Molloy, Ben Hutchings and Dillon Naylor are artists living and working in Melbourne, Australia. All three have rich and unique work published by Milk Shadow Books. Madman Entertainment has produced an excellent (~6 minute) documentary in which the artists talk about creativity, inspiration and the work/art/life balance. The video wraps up with a nice collage of Milk Shadow Books.

Tim Molloy talks about his comic book series Mr. Unpronounceable Adventures in a (~2 minute) interview on vimeo. And in another video, Dillon Naylor chats about his cult comic book series Da 'n' Dill—The Showbag Years. All seven issues of this showbag insert series have been rescanned from the original art and collected for the first time, in one volume along with unpublished pages, sketches and notes.

To purchase Milk Shadow Books, visit Madman, or the official Milk Shadow Books website.


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Daily reports on comics of all types, with a special affinity for indie works.

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by Heidi MacDonald
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BugPowder
a collaborative weblog produced by and for the UK small press comics community.

Alternative Comics News

Forbidden Planet InternationalForbidden Planet International Blog
Daily reports on comics of all types, with a special affinity for indie works.

The Beat
by Heidi MacDonald
All things comics are covered at The Beat:
• News
• Commentary
• Gossip
• Convention coverage

Calvin Reid and Heidi MacDonald also edit the weekly eNewsletter:
PW Comics Weekly
Subscribers receive reports on comics and graphic novel publishing, business trends, artist and publisher profiles and more.

BugPowder
a collaborative weblog produced by and for the UK small press comics community.


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