Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Shifting demos, micro publishing and warrior squirrels - The Comicro has it all!

First up, the most recent big news of the micro press  - Legendary comics publishing house Fantagraphics has introduced FU Press:
FU, Buddy!
Fantagraphics Books Starts A Micro Publishing Imprint -
Fantagraphics Underground (FU) Press
SEPTEMBER 11, 2014 - SEATTLE, WA — Fantagraphics Books is launching Fantagraphics Underground Press (FU Press), a new micro imprint that will publish books and print projects appealing to a smaller, more rarefied readership. The Fantagraphics mission has always been to publish comics and cartoons that take risks and reflect the uncompromising vision of the artist. It's also crucial for us to put out books that will survive in an unforgiving mass market, but, what about work that doesn't quite fit into our standard business model? Work by relatively unknown cartoonists that's innovative, quirky, idiosyncratic, oddball, experimental, or downright crazy, work by established cartoonists that's simply off-kilter or too obscure to sustain a mass market release, or archival work by significant cartoonists who have been overlooked and that might otherwise be short-shrifted due to the commercial demands of the traditional marketplace.
The FU Press imprint will inhabit a space between self-publishing and mass-market publishing. We'll print limited editions (between 100 and 500 copies), market them on our website, help arrange signings and convention appearances, and sell them at comic festivals and to a select few comics shops across North America and overseas. With such an ever-changing landscape, we have the opportunity to produce exciting and hand-crafted editions in short runs here in the United States utilizing a wide gamut of printing methods and formats: everything from a traditional digital-offset paperback to a hand sewn jacketed softcover to an epic accordion book; as projects demand, we can utilize silkscreen or letterpress, or any combination, and create truly artisanal books.
While you might argue Fantagraphics is a micro itself in the larger scope of the publishing world, this is very cool news. An industry influencer giving more promotional weight to handmade craft comics, giving a louder megaphone to voices that slug it out week by week at small comic and book shows all over the country (and the world) is a Good Thing. We need more Good Things, and FU Press is a Good Thing.

"Good Thing" copyright ZCB Industries

Who are these micro comics peddlers anyway? Well, here's an interview at with a couple dudes you might've heard of, if you've been paying attention. Box Brown produced this, which The Comicro heartily recommends:

The following work is on my Want List. I've always been a sucker for anthropomorphic tales, ever since I read Peter Cottontail, then Watership Down, then Cerebus, etc.

Squarriors, despite the rather awkward title looks like fun. A lot of gory, your-kids-will-hate-you-for-it fun. The creators, Ash and Ashley, are interviewed here at

One last thing for today. One of the best and most readable bloggers, Heidi McDonald, has a very interesting article over at The Beat regarding the changing demographics at some of the bigger comic/pop culture conventions. I've never "cosplayed", and have no interest in it. I don't care if you're into it, and it doesn't diminish my experience when I go to a con. In fact, it can add a really cool vibe, as long as the creepers don't get involved (you know who they are). I also don't have an issue with movies, TV, sci-fi peanut butter co-mingling with my comic chocolate. And I don't know why people do. Times change, genres adapt and morph, and conventions are not the private domain of "comic people". I know certain subcultures can be rather insular and forbidding (looking at you, sexist gamers/RPGers/comicbookguys), but, seriously, what is the problem here? As for certain artists not able to make a living as they used to, I wish things weren't more difficult for you. But they are, and being the creative types that you are, I'm sure you'll find a way to make it work. Jim Zub's Twitter feed has a good overview too (found on Heidi's link above).

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Wednesday Comicro featuring the return of Indiestarter!

Earlier this spring, over at Zombie Cat Bacon, I featured a few Kickstarter and Indiegogo crowdfunding campaigns I thought had merit, were local or just needed a little more publicity. I'm going to go back to that today with two projects, one on each platform. They really are at both ends of the spectrum of creator experience and awareness.

First on Kickstarter, there's Chuck Dixon's Sword of Wood

If you don't know Chuck Dixon, here's a few of the titles he's written over the past 30 years (he's been involved in over 400 titles):
 The 'Nam 
 Action Comics 
 Alien Legion 
 Birds of Prey 
 Captain America 
 Detective Comics 
 El Cazador 
 The Flash 
 G.I. Joe 
 Green Arrow 
 Green Lantern 
 Iron Man 
 The Punisher 
 The Savage Sword Of Conan 
 Simpsons Comics 
 Star Wars 
 Team 7 

Scooby-Doo? Anyway, so here's what I find surprising. With only 10 days to go, the campaign is less than 25% of the way towards it's goal of $20,000. I know Chuck can be a little divisive in his political views, but that's not something we bother with here at The Comicro or anywhere in the ZCB Universe. Is Sword of Wood worth supporting? That depends on your opinion of his past work, the previews you see on KS and possibly your alignment with his politics. I say at least give it a look.

On the other end of the funny book career arc, we have James Hargrave. While new to the comics game, he's, well, I'll let his bio explain:
James Bevard Hargrave is an iconoclast, a punk, a provocateur, a writer, an illustrator, and, ultimately, an avowed multi-hyphenate and Jack of All Trades. His work as a writer and lyricist has appeared in feature films, national television shows, plays, and acclaimed independent records. He was recently the prose editor for LIT Magazine at The New School University, and plans to release his first graphic novel, ELEGANT BATTLE FACE TEENAGERS, independently in 2015.
Elegant Battle Face Teenagers. It was the title that got my attention. EBFT is nearly at 60% of it's goal on IndieGogo - check it out here.

Finally today, we have this story of the World's Largest Comic Book Collection. I think back to this time three years ago, and I was 1/6th of the way towards this guy's total. 1/6th! Of the World's Largest! And I have a few friends who are approaching that number (hey, Matman!). Bob Bretall has a great attitude about the whole thing, not worrying about the "value" so much. The dude just loves comics. Me too.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Not the Wednesday edition

Yes, I'm aware it's Friday. Not quite in the rhythm yet of this new crazy-ass blogging schedule...

Anyway, I see in my Pocket I have saved a few tidbits that are worth sharing, so I'll get those out of the way, before I move onto new topics.

  • From nearly a year ago (I really need to stay on top of these), Chris Sims over at Comics Alliance explained the DC Problem. I didn't read much DC mainly since I was an early adopter of Marvel (1970ish), and the DC Universe never seemed "real" to me as a kid (Metropolis/Gotham vs. New York). I couldn't stand the Legion or Green Lantern, and Superman just couldn't hold my attention (I didn't even see the first movie til years later). I did enjoy Wrightson's Swamp Thing and some of Kirby's DC output (Kamandi and the Demon), and it wasn't until the 80's when New Teen Titans hit the racks that I found something interesting enough to bother. Soon after I drifted to Vertigo and left DC superheroics behind completely. Anyway, Chris Sims is always worth reading so check it out if you haven't already.
  • Just before Christmas 2013, Rich Howells at the mused about collecting. Some basic love-what-you-read-don't-worry-about-the-value stuff, with a nice shout out to Maggie Thompson of CBG fame.
  • In April, the Outhousers' Christian Hoffer talks about the small press, and the joys of discovery. I'm with ya, Christian.
  • I've never been one to dive too deeply into webcomics, but here's a nice list on io9. I will definitely be exploring that corner of the comics universe more in the months to come...
  • In May, around the five year anniversary of, they presented a number of opinions from some of the biggest names in the game right now - Eric Stephenson, Jeff Parker, Jim Zub, Alex Kot and many more. I would be very interested to hear from some of you on this subject as well.
  • Oh, and local (to me) writer Josh Hadley gets grouchy regarding conventions. Way to look at the dark side, Josh.


See you next Wednesday. Yes, Wednesday, I swear.