Yesterday we told you how much we love mini-comics (a lot) and why they’re so awesome (too many reasons to fit inside these parentheses).
So are you ready to start filling your shelves with mini-comics? One of the best aspects of collecting mini-comics is that, even more so than for traditionally-published comics, no two collections are the same. That intricately-folded octagonal comic with the hand-colored front cover which you bought at an arts festival may have only been sold for six months before the creator got tired of finger-cramps. Or maybe it was one of just a hundred ever produced. If hunting for comics is sometimes like tracking big game, collecting mini-comics is like capturing rare beetles on the verge of extinction. Luckily, some mini-comics are more like ladybugs, easily acquired if you know where to look.
Whether you’re new to the world of mini-comics or already hip, here are your best bets for finding them…along with some more examples of favorite mini-comics from members of the Quirk Comics Club.
1: Go to comics shows! The first and best way to get ahold of mini-comics of all sorts and styles…and meet the people who created them. Not only does a comics expo, festival, convention, or show give you the opportunity to eyeball a slew of mini-comics in person, all at once, you’ll find creators who don’t have an Internet presence or who don’t sell their work online. That’s right, such people do exist! So a comics show is liable to expose you to minis that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. (Do your research, of course…some shows are more welcoming to independent comics creators than other.)
2: Think locally. Not all mini-comics travel very far, so it make sense to seek them out in your own backyard. Are there any cartoonists or comics creators in your area? They may sell mini-comics at local events, like art fairs or book festivals or music performances. What about your local friendly comics shop…might they have a selection of mini-comics, maybe on that shelf in the back corner where you’ve never bothered to wander? Or maybe the staff can clue you in to local mini-comic makers of note. A local library, especially in an artist-heavy town, or a college or university library, may have a few in their collection that could lead you back to the source.
3: Yes, yes, yes, OK, the Internet! We hope you’ll find opportunities to buy mini-comics directly from the creators, but there’s no denying that the Internet vastly extends your reach…and helps comics makers get their work to a much wider audience. You know how to google, but here are some leads to follow:
Start by checking the websites and social media streams of creators you know, or have heard of.
Charles Forsman’s Muster-List is an extensive list of mini-comics creators, with direct links to their online shops. Plus distributors, stores, and small publishers that sell mini-comics. Give yourself at least a day to click through everything.
The Comics Journal offers reviews and round-ups of mini-comics, like this one. Minis referenced in older reviews may no longer be available, but their creators could have new ones on offer. You’ll also find reviews at opticalsloth.com.
Don’t overlook Etsy, which is chock full of comic-maker shops. Making mini-comics is a form of crafting, right? Start by searching for comics/handmade in the “Books, Movies & Music” category.
If you want an overview of mini-comics history, and don’t mind reproductions of the originals, Fantagraphics has you covered with a two-volume Treasury of Mini Comics set.
That should keep you busy, but remember to spend some time making space on your shelves for all the new mini-comics you’ll soon be ordering…and making. That’s right, come back tomorrow and we’ll talk about how you can make mini-comics of your own!
MORE OF OUR FAVORITE MINI-COMICS:
In Blintz, by Rel, three wishes and two blintzes add up to a conclusion that blintzes are awesome.
Like her full-length graphic novels, Julia Gfrörer's Palm Ash is powerful, disturbing, and grim, and beautifully drawn. The brightly colored paper she favors for her mini-comics adds a dream-like contrast to the dark doings within the pages.
Sad Animals, by Adam Meuse, ascribes the neurotic thoughts of humans to a bunch of cartoon animals. We don't know why that's entertaining, but it is.
Well, we’re adding one to the sweepstakes prize package! That’s right, you could win this exalted full-color ceramic badge…which is so exclusive that even some Quirk Book employees haven’t earned the right to wear one. It’s suitable for prominent display at all formal events and guaranteed to inspire stares of envy or at least confusion. You can bet that making it available required sizable bribes to the Quirk Comics Club executive council. Don’t miss your chance!