Welcome to the exciting world of small press comics. On these pages I expose you to some of the harder to find comics being produced by enthusiasts, nut cases, artists and other creative types all over the world.
So what can you expect to find here in the small press area? Well, the answer is something different. Through these pages we hope to introduce you to the wide range of titles being created by the growing small press community and highlight those that grab our attention. Every week I used to post news and reviews from the small press world. You will also find regular interviews with a range of creators and interested parties.
I aim to make a worthwhile contribution to the hugely diverse world of small press, so if you have a comic you want me to review then have a read of our submission guidelines. If you have any queries, criticisms or suggestions then feel free to contact me.
First time visitors might be wondering what is meant by the term small press. Well, this refers to the scale of production. "Mainstream" companies produce comics with print runs of tens or hundreds of thousands, small press runs are usually closer to a few hundred because the comics are, for the most part, produced by the creators themselves. Due to cost factors the preferred medium is black and white, though as the audience for small press titles grows and printing technology becomes cheaper this is changing. Photocopied letter sized pages folded in half and stapled together to form a comic is the default standard for most creators because this is the simplest format to produce. All you need to do is stay late after work and "hey presto!", you are your own print line! This said, creators are always experimenting with different shapes and sizes.
The subject matter is many and varied. Autobiography is a common genre but the topics can range from historical, feminist, surreal, gay, political, comedy, etc. If you can think of it, someone has produced a comic about it.
So is there a common link between all small press comics? Well the only one we have been able to find is that the creators are putting their efforts into producing exactly what they want to make, without having to please an editor, publisher, or even an audience. For some successful creators it gives them the chance to escape the confines of the mainstream and create what they want; for others it is just their opportunity to have a go at creating a comic.
Laura Dowds: No One Would Suspect the Perfect Suburban Housewife
Reported by Darren Schroeder
Laura wrote to me asking if I review cartoons. As I find them tricky to write a sensible review about, seeing as gag comics…