Hey kids, or anybody who has started reading comics in the last few years? Are you interested in the history of mini comics, why they’re such a source of passion for so many people? Well, maybe not in numbers, but in level of interest and dedication in following certain artists? Your answer is this volume. If you have no interest in the history, away with you! This one can be for the old timers. This is a collection of the best of the “Not My Small Diary” anthology, and if you read small press comics in the 90’s and 00’s, you will recognize plenty of these names. In fact, good luck not getting lost in a Google hole or trying to figure out what so many of these people are up to these days. Notable names include (but are not limited to) Jeff Zenick, Dan Zettwoch, Patrick Dean, Raina Telgemeier, Jesse Reklaw, Carrie McNinch, Sam Spina, Roberta Gregory, Kurt Wolfgang… you know what, there are just too damned many names, and they’re all in the tags, so check that part out. If any of those names made you say “hey, I wonder what they’re up to these days” then this book is for you. These are mostly snippets of stories, but they’re all complete by themselves. Sometimes the stories follow a theme, like notable dates or moments in their lives, but really they’re all over the place. If it seems like I’m avoiding getting into specifics, that is entirely the case. If you were around for all these artists when they first started, you’re going to get lost in this instantly. If not, this is an excellent way for you to figure out what the big deal was about these people all along. I guess it’s possible that it’s the nostalgia talking and that people might not connect to these stories now, but screw that. These are tales of human weakness (and occasionally triumph), and those stories are universal and timeless. Most of the original issues of this series are out of print, so this is your best option all around. The book itself is $7.50 if you see Delaine at a convention, but if not $10 should be enough to cover the shipping, and I really can’t recommend this enough. It’s rare for any anthology not to have a weak story or two, but these are all golden.
Catching the Moon
Say whatever you want about the price of these minis, but you’d be hard pressed to find more gorgeous books than this guy puts out. This one is about two people on a date, talking about catching the moon. Did I mention that this is a wordless mini? Well, it is. Anyway, they go over how they could possibly catch it, and have a whimsical imaginary journey before they realize… well, that would be telling. This is full color all the way though and is listed as $5 on his website, but it could be that I have an older copy of this, as he’s said that he redid it. Like my review for his other book, these are expensive books, but it’s obvious that a lot of love went into both of these.
Why I Like Bugs
In a perfect world this would be passed out to grade schoolers. It’s a great, cute little book about bugs, just like it says, with a beautiful painted cover. The painted cover is, paradoxically, about the only reason not to get this book because it raises the price to $5 and it takes about a minute to read it. Still, like I said, it’s cute and quickly informative. Check out his website for ordering info and so you can read several comics that he has online. What, I have to have a long review for every comic?
Last Cry For Help #4
At least I think it’s #4 (unless I missed one somewhere, there’s no number in here). More goodness from Dave, Souther, Craig Bostick, Beppu, Ron Rege, Dan Moynihan, Cole Johnson, and one person that I should know but can’t figure out and it’s bugging the hell out of me so let’s just leave it, OK? This is a tall issue with glossy pages, so I have to assume that Dave has made a lot of money recently, so more power to him! What’s there for a reviewer to say about this book anyway? If you like tales of love and loss, then there’s not much better than Dave Kiersh, and this is a collection of stories of that theme from a bunch of the greats, so where could you go wrong? My favorite issue of the series so far, I’m going to guess that it’s $4 because of the fancitude, contact info is all around you!
Last Cry For Help #3
I should almost put this on the Various page because so many people contributed to this one, but eh. It’s mostly Dave and Souther Salazar, as always, but there are also a bunch of other people with contributions of varying size: Saelee Oh, Dan Moynihan, David Heatley, Ron Rege Jr., Todd Webb, Rachel Sumpter and Daria Tessler. It’s 38 pages and Dave and/or Souther still have something to do with 75% of it or so, but the sheer number of artists makes this book much more diverse than the other issues. It’s almost jarring when you get to the 11 page strip by Dave towards the end of the book; looking at the same art for that long doesn’t seem right. The only consistent underlying theme I could find here was the visual poetry that went into every story. The words were universally beautiful, sometimes the art wasn’t, but it was never less then pretty good and it really didn’t matter once you got the messages of the individual stories. I can’t imagine that I have to “sell” the work of these two to anybody, but if I do, this is only $2 and is a great showcase for a lot of cartoonists, with long enough stories so that you can still feel like you got your “fix” of Souther and Dave. I’m sure it’s up on the Catastrophe page, buy it already…