The Mini-Market

If you think you know comics, and your main comics-reading staples are Batman and Spider-Man, I suspect you'd be surprised to know about the whole world of comics work coming out of the culture I label (for lack of a better term) the self-publishing underground.

Let's breakdown the American comics publishing market into strata of scale: The mainstream. The independent. & The underground. I see everything that comes out as existing along a spectrum that passes through those three levels.

There's the mainstream superhero material coming out of Marvel (@MARVEL) and DC (@DC_NATION) at the top and the guys like Image (@imagecomics) and Dark Horse (@DarkHorseComics) who produce very mainstream things, sometimes copying the Marvel/DC model sometimes not, just below them. Then there's the fine companies like Boom (@boomstudios) and Oni (@OniPress) producing material slightly off the beaten path, but still very commercial. Then there's the boutique publishers like drawn & quarterly (@DandQ) and Fantagraphics (@fantagraphics) releasing graphic novels and reprinting stuff from the group in question:

The creators of mini-comics.

"Mini-comics" is a term I don't use often on this blog but it serves a purpose. A zine is a self-published booklet, a short cheap magazine -- a 'zine. There's an entire culture of writing, printing, distributing, and trading these 'little' magazines. A similar culture exists for minis. And just as with zines, minis are not always small, I use mini-comics to mean self-published print comics. And some of them are amazing.

Pete's Mini/Zine Fest is an annual event in NYC to showcase the smallest of the small press of comics at a bar in Brooklyn. You should go to Pete's Candy Store (@petescandystore) tomorrow (Saturday, the 28th) because although this show is small, I assure you the surprises in store are big.


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