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.
This Is It #2
It’s not a comic! It’s not a zine! It’s a… has anybody coined a term for that yet? Somebody should really get on that. How about czine? Sounds just like zine, but all the super cool people will know what it means. How indie is that? I win the medal of all indiness! And I’m rambling in a review again. Oops. This one is about half comics and half writing about various topics. The comics include knowing a friend by smell, seeing an old friend, grade school, friendster, and cuddling with friends. Lots of friends in there. The writing was the highlight of the book for me, maybe because the lettering was incredibly sloppy on the comics, to the point that it was tough to read a few things. The essays didn’t have that problem. She wrote about the last year of her life, the nature of space and time, what she would do if her brother fell off a cliff, the midwest and her desperate need to be recognized by friends. She has a real gift in articulating her thoughts, judging from this I’d say she’d make a great weekly columnist… except I don’t know of any paper that’s willing to publish someone who is this brutally honest about her life. Then again, I don’t read many papers, so what do I know? Check out the new website, this one is $2 and I think it’s worth a gander.