Smaller Comics are soliciting subscriptions for a third round of Minicomics of The Month. I signed up for the last years dozen and was pleasantly surprised to receive a variety of minicomics in the mail each month. Minicomics of the Month are posted anywhere in the world and economically priced, I heartily recommend you sign up for a subscription here.
Artists featured on the 2013 roster for Minicomics of the Month are: Neil Sanders, Mel Stringer, Sarah Catherine Firth, Katie Parrish, Christopher Downes, Soft Science, Rebecca Clements, Wendy Mclean, David C Mahler, Erin Hunting, Andrew Fulton, Ben Hutchings.
I asked Smaller Comics Impresario Andrew Fulton a few questions that I really should have put more effort into.
Can you talk a bit about the appeal of making minicomics for a cartoonist and utilising a subscription basis for distribution?
For me minicomics are pretty much the perfect thing - I don't know if I'll ever have a "graphic novel" or whatever in me. The subscription model works out pretty great, both I think for the artists and the audience - they've really taken off in the last couple of years. I subscribe to a couple and it's always a delight to find something new and interesting in the mail, especially when it's something where I'm not quite sure what it's going to be. As an artist it's comforting to know that there is a guaranteed audience for the story I am drawing and they aren't going to sit on the bottom shelf. Last season we had about 100 subscribers, and I don't know about other minicomickers, but it takes me a heck of a long time to sell 100 of any other thing I do.
This year you're expanding the subs model past 100 subscribers, is there a cap this year? Is there a point that too many subscribers would make the model 'unwieldy'?
Yeah, although I'm not too sure what that number is. I was concerned that 100 would be too many, but that worked out okay for everyone, I think. Part of the appeal of a project like this is the personal touch - people are drawing and printing and folding and stapling and cutting. I wouldn't want to expand too much to the point where that labour becomes onerous and no one wants to do it. Most of the artists are Melbourne based so we might have to organise a monthly stapling party if it becomes to successful.
Tell me about some of the new cartoonists contributing this year around?
First comic out this season will be from Neil Sanders, who I know more as an animator - I'm not sure I have seen him do an actual comic. He does these crazy animated loop things on his tumblr (http://neilsanders.tumblr.
com/), all these goofy animals and monsters, it will be cool to see what kind of comics he makes.
Katie Parrish is someone I haven't seen a lot of work out of but would like to see a bunch more. She's one of a few younger cartoonists that I think I mostly became aware of through Marc Pearson, who was in the current subscription round. She does these comics about life and sex and draws these weird lumpy people with pokey noses. It will be great to see what Wendy makes, too - to me her drawings are always crying out for some kind of narrative, but I'm not sure she's ever made an actual comic. And Hutcho always delights.
Read any good comics lately?
I've been enjoying my Oily subscription - the surfing comic from Marc Geddes and Warren Craghead was great, as was The End of the Fucking World, and this thing called Young Dumb and Full of Cum was super funny. Also Maré Odomo's Internet Comics came in the mail recently. He has this sort of messy, pencilly style and comics about everyday things and "feelings". And I really like David King's Crime World series - I got the last one recently - I think it's called The Story of Cop Lopez? It's up on the the Studygroup website, I want to say his style is slightly old-timey and deadpan but that doesn't sound right at all. It's funny anyhow.
Which comic was the worst out of last years twelve?
Well we aren't quite done yet - Sarah Howell should be sending hers out any minute now and we close out the current season with Sacha Bryning. He may disappoint us all horribly. [Editor's note: I've met Sacha and he's lovely bloke and a fantastic illustrator.]