zine, [zeen] noun. 1. abbr. of fanzine; 2. any amateurly-published periodical. Oxford Reference


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Small Press Review (Sunday Comix)


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via M.A.D. Rants by noreply@blogger.com (MAD) on 7/10/08

Here we have the "Sunday Comix Jams", and this is the book that got this whole small press reviewing party started.

A comic jam is basically like a music jam. I imagine that is where the term comes from. A band sitting together each one contributing to the overall song, having a "jam" session.

In a comic jam, one artist starts a panel and then passes the page around so that the next artist can add a panel to it, and so on and so on until the page is filled. The end result is usually something like someone's game of mad libs. Part of the problem with this though, is that, who wants to read someone else's game of mad libs? Especially if the mad libs are full of injokes and potty humor.

Comic jams are fun to make, sometimes, they are fun to read. But that is the problem. At least as I see it. I wonder if someone has the same complaint about 24 hour comics. Having an understanding of what 24 hour comics are, maybe a bit more leeway should be given...but comics should be fun to read, hell, I think everything except maybe that prospectus report from your insurance company should be fun to read.

Sunday Comix Jams
features (among other things) extreme close ups of an ass, piles of shit sold on ebay, and bird dispensing suicide advice and plenty of ways to kill Max Ink. At times it is very humorous, but for the most part it is just what you'd imagine going panel to panel - random. Really really random. The art is varied, as one can only imagine, and some panels are rendered much much better then others.

I really like the back page though, which is very much an example of Mike Lucas' humor and art style. Appropriate since Mike Lucas is the one who drew it. This book was published in 2003. There are 23 contributors listed on the inside back page. 23! I recognize only a handful of those names as continuing members of Sunday Comix.

I gave plenty of copies of this book away at Gem City Comic Con, but flipping through it, I thought, why not do something that showcases the group's work a little better? So I pushed Max Ink a bit and got the ball rolling for a new publication called Sunday Comix Showcase. It is that publication which I am writing all these small press reviews for. That and my sending out everything to zine libraries and clearing my shoebox so it can be ready to refill with the next batch of trades I make at SPACE.

It is always good to have something to give away. I know what a comic book jam is now, but only because I've done a few of them. The first time I was asked to do one, I had no idea what was being requested of me. In website design, part of the goal is to make everything as easily and instantaneously comprehensible as possible. That is why "Don't make me think" is a great book on web design.

At one of my shows, a casual browser looked at my table and asked "Are those greeting cards?" It took me a moment to realize what he was talking about. My books. He thought they were greeting cards.

I feel like I need to create a giveaway that explains to people what small press comics are. I have a wonderful collection in this shoebox here, all different sizes, different styles, some screen printed, some photocopied, some produced through print on demand. I can look at all those and see comics, comics, comics. But other people might not know that at first glance. That is obviously something which is on my mind, see my last blog for more on that idea.

Sunday Comix Showcase was one idea of a giveaway that I thought might benefit the whole group. Each person taking a page for their particular style. Letting their cartoons show the world what it is they do. It has actually grown far beyond that. For one, the Wexner Center had quite a lineup of cartoonists coming in town for their Jeff Smith: Bone Exhibit. One of the members of Sunday Comix was able to get an interview with Harvey Pekar at the Ohioana Book Festival. Another member of Sunday Comix has written an article about the correlation between comics and music. I'm curious to see how the final presentation will come out.

I'm taking advantage of my insomnia tonight instead of letting it take advantage of me, but that is all I have to say about this particular book.


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