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.
Zero Hour: Blue Plate Special
I should warn you all right off that bat that I mostly don’t like newspaper “funnies”, mostly because they never make me laugh. That being said, this one starts off a little bit behind the eight ball, and the comic itself did nothing to change my mind. It’s a series of strips about the life of the author, Patty Leidy, and her adventures with her roommate Ant. I usually try to find something nice to say about any comic, but there really wasn’t anything here that I thought was more than OK. Here’s an e-mail address, apparently the website is down. Mostly nothing happens at all in the strips, so I’m not sure what to tell you about that either. Some of them just blatantly waste time until the strip is over. Mostly they’re obsessed with pez and Godzilla, which isn’t always a bad thing by any means. I just didn’t like it, OK? Check it out for yourself though, she seems like a nice enough person and my opinion shouldn’t convince you not to even look at it.