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.
In case you missed the pun, this is a collection of work from mostly female cartoonists and, like most anthologies, has good things and bad things. It’s a great concept though, as it has bios for everybody in here along with links to their sites and even interviews with a few people. At least two of them work for Marvel in some capacity, but who am I to judge? Granted, a few of the stories are more than a bit cute (as admitted by the creators, so it’s not like I’m being sexist or anything), but the strength of this collection is the sheer variety of stuff involved. You have a nine year old girl reading and dealing with a comic about the atomic bomb in Japan on one page and a mostly wordless story about lazy cats working in a glue factory on the next. All kinds of great female cartoonists in here too. Check out the website if you don’t believe me. $9.95 is pretty cheap for something this packed too, so check into it, see what you think.Â Contributors: Sara Varon, Becky Cloonan, Raina Telgemeier, Ariel Bordeaux, Ellen Forney, Diana Sprinkle, Miss Lasko-Gross, Missy Kulik, Jen Benka, Kris Dresen, Hellen Jo, Kristen Petersen, Jen Sorenson, Michele Roman, Abby Denson, Jenny Gonzalez, Rachel Hartman, Mary Minch, Megan Kelso, Doreen A. Mulryan, Lark Pien, Sarah Anderson Lock, Elena Steier, Jennifer Moore, Lela Lee, Vanessa Satone, Shaenon K. Garrity, Catherine Tutrone, Ellen Lindner, Elayne Riggs, Robin Riggs, Janet Hetherington, Donna Barr.
Jin & Jam #1 Now Available!Â $5
Are you one of the many comics readers who constantly thinks “these little books of words and pictures are fine, but what I’m really looking for is a big old fight scene involving pair of teenage conjoined twins”?Â If so, you have finally hit the jackpot.Â This issue seems to be basically an introduction to the characters, and it’s a very honest way of showing this without ending up being pretentious or sappy.Â Jin is hanging out with her friend Hank outside of a church, smoking and eating.Â There’s a lot of eating in this comic, now that I think about it.Â Anyway, Jam is in the church and decides to get some air.Â She runs into the two outside the church, she tells them they can’t be there, a cigarette is offered (and snuck into a Bible) and a friendship begins, although neither of them seems to be aware of this fact.Â Later they run into each other at school when Jin hears about a fight and comes down to check it out.Â It’s Jam versus the conjoined twins, and it a knock-down drag-out type of thing.Â I’ve already said way too much about this comic, but, speaking as a boy, it’s a fascinating peek into a world I know next to nothing about.Â That being said, these two becoming friends isn’t much different from what I experienced growing up, so I am quite possibly full of it.Â Either way it makes for a good story.Â Here’s hoping there’s more to come with these two.Â Oh, and if you’re as weird as I am and noticed the extra “L” in Hellen’s name, you’ll be happy to know that she’s well aware of that and played it up a bit with her website.Â Go on and click it, you know that made you curious. $5