Sunday, December 21, 2008

Top Ten Mini-Comics of 2008
Man, what a year. Personally, this was an eventful year that both good and bad made me grow as a person. I’m not sure I want to repeat this kind of year again, but I have to admit that I’m better for it. I’m hopeful. Globally and nationally, I’d say the same thing applies - good and bad events of epic proportions - yet we’re still standing and dare I say it, hopeful. Here’s to growth and moving on to 2009.

But before we move on, there are the mini-comics of 2008. I didn’t read as many mini-comics this year as in years past. I didn’t go to MoCCA, SPX, or APE. For the first three quarters of the year, I only reviewed minis sporadically. Still, a ton of mini-comics found their way to the SIZE MATTERS office. I’ve read a stack that I haven’t reviewed yet and there are still several minis in the review pile that I haven’t opened. But when I think back over the year, there are several minis that stand out. Here, in no particular order, are the ten minis that I enjoyed the most in 2008.

Jessica by Jason Overby I hadn’t heard of Jason before this year, but I really, really dig his style and fresh way of communicating with the reader. I don’t think you can get any copies of Jessica, but SOLIPSIST'S DOODLES should still be available from Jason’s blog.

Wigger Haircut by Zach Hazard Vaupen Same thing with Zach. Who the hell is this guy? I enjoyed Wigger Haircut and The Diary of Lisa Frank, but the former gets the nod here because of Zach’s use of color.

Shitbeams on the Loose by Various Artists through Tender Loving Empire was a standout anthology in 2008. House Party by Lane Milburn Everything looks good from ClosedCaption Comics, but I really loved Lane’s House Party.

Nurse Nurse 2 by Katie Skelly I love Nurse Nurse! What a great character. Katie’s playful and sexy style perfectly suits this interplanetary story of a nurse/hero/adventurer. The Legend of Countess Saddenbrau is nothing to sneeze at either.

Selected Comics by James McShane

Over the last few years I’ve always made sure to grab James McShane’s tiny books masquerading as mini-comics. His cramped one panel pages are glued into an impossibly thick binding and they make irresistible objects. Now, James has published a larger format mini that collects selected minis from the period 2003 to 2008. Here are a few images from James’ blog that show the format.
Are You Man Enough by Phil McAndrew A felt mustache on the cover and a 5-page drum solo within? Yeah, that’s a 10 Best Mini.

Rabbit Shadows by Jason Viola

I haven’t reviewed this yet, but it’s a beautiful little mini-comic. Each page features one panel of gorgeously shaded and crosshatched art. Rabbit Shadows is the story of a rabbit mired in the day to day routine of work and TV. Suddenly, while walking, he discovers his shadow and begins to interact with and manipulate it. Jason’s mini clocks in at 44 pages for only $3 and it has a striking brown cover with a Rabbit Shadows sticker pasted in the upper center.

Tegne Issue Two by Various Artists I discovered Tegne through David Birchall (Extricate)

There’s too much going on inside this densely packed collaboration to mention here, but look for a full review in a few weeks.

My Life in Records by Grant Thomas This is still in the review stack, but I’ve enjoyed reading it and can’t wait to share some images with you next week. Stand by for a review of this during Christmas week.

That’s it, the ten mini-comics that stood out for me in 2008. Please give these folks some love and consider purchasing their work. If you are reading this and you read SIZE MATTERS regularly, thank you for sticking around. I’m so grateful that there are people out there who love making mini-comics and I’m grateful that you love to read them.

Have a wonderful holiday, travel safe, and take care of each other. Kate, Chloe, and I are off to Michigan for Christmas this year. I’ll probably squeeze a review of My Life in Records in next week, but other than that the SIZE MATTERS offices will be shut down for the holidays.

Peace, Cheers, and Best Wishes!

3 comments:

zach hazard vaupen (c) 2008 all rights reserved said...

thanks shawn!

these are all good picks. it's good to see people are enjoying my comics, and also comics my friends are making (jason, lane)

-zach

DerikB said...

Thanks for the list, Sean. I'll have to pick up some of those.

Glad to see Overby's mini on your list. I'm working on a post now about his latest and I'm pretty sure it'll be on my top ten for the year (of comics in general not specifically minis).

Oliver East said...

Tegne is awesome