Youth in Decline Offers 2015 Subscription

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I subscribed to their 2014 list and I really enjoyed it. You can get the next four issues of Frontier for $35, shipping included. It’s hard to go wrong with Youth in Decline.

Check out these preview images, including a sexy one by Michael Deforge!

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Rob Kirby’s Top 10 Minicomics of 2014

Rob Kirby just released his fourth annual list of top minicomics of 2014. It’s funny: the number one thing I follow, study, or know anything about is minicomics. But most of this list was unfamiliar to me. There’s a big world of small comics out there!

For example, I just discovered that Sparkplug launched their Mini Series, a new line of minicomics. The line will spotlight new and under-appreciated authors, and each titles is limited to a print run of 500. The first in the series,  Hungry Summer by Asher Z. Craw, made Rob’s 2014 list.

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I hate to toot my own horn but…toot toot! Limp Wrist by Scout Wolfcave and Penina Gal, published by my own Paper Rocket Minicomics, also made the list. You can buy it in the Tiny Report shop. I must admit, I proud of that little book.

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Festival Season and Jon Chad’s Minicomic Minute

logo-imageI’ve been meaning to write about Festival Season for a while now. It appeared on the scene this year and is devoted to self-published and micro-published comics, and the events and festivals that celebrate them. It was created and lovingly designed by Kenan Rubenstein. The articles are top-notch. I look at Festival Season and I know what it is to be an amateur blogger! Truth is, I might not have started The Tiny Report if Festival Season was around back then.

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My favorite feature is Minicomic Minute by Jon Chad. Minicomic Minute offers short video reviews of minicomics, with a spotlight on production. Being a teacher of design and production at The Center for Cartoon Studies (which, in my opinion, has the most robust curriculum when it comes to handmade comics) Jon is perfectly suited to the task.

I worked with Jon at CCS, and when it comes to minicomic production our brains work in very similar ways. The production of his books is often conceptual and labor intensive, veering close (and sometimes landing comfortably in) the realm of book art.  In my opinion, you couldn’t find a better teacher on this subject.

Applications for MoCCA Fest 2015 Close After Friday

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Time is running out! You have two days to submit your application for MoCCA Arts Festival 2015. At this point, I recommend faxing your application or scanning it and emailing it to kate@societyillustrators.org. (The MoCCA Fest is the only convention I’ve applied to in the last year that still required I put pen to paper.) 

Something caught my eye when I was reading the festival guidelines:

“Exhibitors are restricted to comic and cartoon artists and their representatives. This includes: Artists of creator-owned comics, publishers, and writers, selling only comic/cartoon art, comics and graphic novels. Exhibitors must display published material (self-published accepted) to be eligible.”

Does this signal a move away from exhibitors who sell merchandise only or primarily, and towards a more “pure” book festival? I would certainly applaud an effort to champion books and their creators first and foremost. But is this a ban on merchandise? I think that would be going too far. What is “comic/cartoon art?”

The truth is, MoCCA Fest is an expensive show for exhibitors–one of the most expensive indie comics shows around. Like many exhibitors, I rely on sales of merchandise, in addition to book sales, to cover my table cost (or attempt to cover it–it’s something I often fail at.) A ban on merchandise (if that’s what this is) would really cripple me financially.

I do like the idea that exhibitors have to sell books. This is a book festival. There should be one book on the table (kind of like the “one foot on the floor” rule). But does that mean we can ONLY sell books?

If anyone has more information on this, please chime in.

Se my 2014 MoCCA recap here.

 

Grand Comics Festival Opens Applications

GCF14_3sPat Dorian just announced that applications are open for his Brooklyn-based comics festival, Grand Comics Festival. It’s the smallest comics festival I’ve ever been to, but highly curated and worth checking out. It’s the sort of intimate, friendly festival where you can easily have a conversation with every exhibitor. I’m applying for the first time.

The deadline to apply is February 15. Check out my recap of the 2014 festival.

Uncivilized Books Announces Spring Line and Subscription

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True Swamp Book 2 by Jon Lewis, with rad title lettering by Michael DeForge

Uncivilized Books is releasing three new books in spring 2015: Borb by Jason Little, Robot Investigator by Vincent Stall, and True Swamp Book 2 by Jon Lewis. You can pre-order all three for just $55.

I’m a little confused: the website claims that it’s $50 plus free shipping, but when you add it to your shopping cart it’s actually $55. So I’m guessing the mention of free shipping is an error. Unless sales tax is being added? A good deal, either way.

Throwback Thursday: Zack Soto and Study Group 12

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Happy Thanksgiving! Today I’m thankful that I happened into this sweet lot of comics from Zack Soto, dating from 2002 through 2008.

I’d like to point you to a history of Study Group, but lacking one I’ll rattle off what I know of it from memory (citations needed).

In the early 2000s, Study Group 12 was an annual comics anthology with an artist’s book sensibility that was edited, published, and printed by Zack Soto. If I was to wager, I’d guess Zack was inspired by Jordan Crane’s Non, another high-design anthology series of the era. If memory serves, Study Group 12 was also a somewhat-secret online message board, and eventually a webcomic publisher (which it still is). As far as I can tell, sometime after 2010 the “12” was lost, and Zack Soto’s publishing platform was known thereafter as Study Group. It’s now a robust micro-press that, in addition to publishing its anthology (now called Study Group Magazine), puts out single titles by authors like Sam Alden Farel Dalrymple (no small boast, those are two of the hotter names in indie comics right now).

(Like I said, I’m just rattling this off from memory. I’d welcome Zack or anyone to correct any errors here.)

Today would be a good day to head over to Study Group and order some swag.

20141127-123935.jpgSome of Zack’s solo comics: The Secret Voice 1 (2003), The Secret Voice, which collects issue 1 & 2 (2004), and Ghost Attack #1 (2008?)

20141127-124016.jpgInside The Secret Voice 1

20141127-124035.jpgStudy Group 12 #2 (2002) and #3, the “notebook issue” (2003)

20141127-124048.jpgInside Study Group 12 #2 (a spread by Souther Salazar)