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Community Forums › Comic books › Other › alternative, small press, zine comics, and books about them?
alternative, small press, zine comics, and books about them?

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darwin
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Joined: Jun 20, 2013
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Location: Colbert

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:28 am    Post subject: alternative, small press, zine comics, and books about them?

So, I bought this year's Overstreet Guide; it has an ad for "Fogel's Underground Price & Grading Guide". It sounded interesting to see a book with a list of many very alternative, smaller press, zine comics, etc., but the guide's website seems to emphasize the so-called "adult" comics and even related books, as well as having various stuff not comic-related. If the book is like that, I might dislike it; anyone have an opinion, or know an alternative alternative comics guide Merlyn's might be able to sell me?

I started drawing "Mad Magazine"-inspired superhero parody comics (after many cartoons and dynamic realist/comic "storyboards") in middle school, which were only shown to my friends and redone and published in a zine distributed at high school in the 1990s, but I have not published since, though I read a local comics zine where I lived in the 00s and thought of submitting to it, then it stopped.

When I went to one or more cities like Olympia, Seattle, Portland, Eugene, that are more liberal, I saw many zines somewhere (and when I lived in Olympia, I think Danger Room Comics had much small press stuff), and even where I used to live in central Washington, one local artist sold or gave away a photocopied and even individually hand-coloured comic (only one of the protagonists eye's was always coloured)... and the day after Free Comic Book Day, on Merlyn's extra day, I saw the last few other artists and very original, alternative comics there that evening.

When I stopped buying superhero comics in 1994 or '5 until '02, I always read some comics other than by TimeWarner/DC & Disney/Marvel... I was often given comics from smaller or old, closed publishers as a kid, and I first saw ElfQuest when I was younger than I maybe should have seen, and read books 1 - 8 and the original TMNT in middle school from the library, and I started reading Dark Horse's Star Wars (which had very unusual art) when I was 13... and though most of that could be called alternative, most was/is available from the major distributors, and one could say if it is distributed by Diamond Comics and is in Overstreet Guide, it is not as alternative... so besides buying from more smaller comics companies not controlled by big media companies when I can, I have always been at least slightly interested in what is not even listed in Previews and Overstreet Guide.

I was just surprised to see that there is another entire guide for these very alternative comics... it would be interesting just to see a list of what is out there, and try to collect a few. I wish I had collected and kept more than I had, but most large city zines I saw were not very good compared to comics/zines in smaller ones, that I think I mostly still have.

Nick Gazin writes a column on Vice.com about very alternative and a few mainstream comics & art, and the website is for a magazine that used to be more about art. Most his columns are interesting, though a few are about art/comics that is more crude than I like.

Many "alternative" comics are often about some negative, crude, or at least boring aspect of modern society and are drawn horribly (I consider most non-realistic art not that great, other than Impressionism, Surrealism, and some Expressionism, i.e. stuff more or less grounded in Realism, though some normal cartoons are of course good). Actually, outside the US, superheroes are alternative and more normal literature-based comics are mainstream. If any "alternative" comics (by the US term) were like modern fiction that has become considered classic among intellectuals/academics, then maybe I would like them, but many comics in zines are also just pseudo-intellectual, or everyone has their own viewpoint, so will not like what others may.

I do not think I will republish the few pages I did in zines, or publish related or fantasy comics I showed to friends, because some of it is too personal, or was specific to my school, or I just think it is not very good, because after doing mostly superhero parody, for fantasy it was too hard to write, pencil, & ink at once, and personal reasons at the time made it not as good. It would all have to be redone... maybe I will redo some, or work on a cartoon/comic with a writer if I can find one I am comfortable working with.

Anyway, what do you think of alternative (really, anything besides DC & Marvel, except maybe certain other divisions like Vertigo, or Epic or whatever Marvel has now), smaller press, zine comics, and can you mention any you like? If you are a comic writer/editor or artist/letterer who has done comics more for a hobby (published or not), or alternative ones seriously, or if you have ideas for those sorts of comics, you could discuss them here.
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