Compiling a comprehensive “Best Of” list would be a monumental task – instead, I’ll share some of my favorite mini comics from 2009.
Best Innovation in Mini Comics
Minicomic of the Month Club
by Liz Baillie
As soon I read about the Minicomic of the Month Club, I had to join (see, I’m member #15)! This was a smart and completely new idea. Here’s the skinny, in Liz’s own words:
“For the duration of 2009 I would like to embark upon a possibly insane experiment. And like anything worth doing, you can pay to watch it happen!
Every month in 2009 I will release a new minicomic, not previously released, all-new material. These comics will be available exclusively to those lucky voyeurs who choose to subscribe and receive these comics in their mailbox once a month. They will not be available for individual sale, you have to be a member of the Club to get them. The Club comics will NOT include any comics that are part of an existing series (no issues of MBH, no issues of Freewheel, no new series). Each comic will be its own thing.”
A 12-month subscription cost $40. I paid my dues and a mini comic appeared in my PO box each month, like a letter from my special penpal.
From what I can tell, Liz is not repeating this experiment. But it was fun while it lasted!
Best Humorous Autobiography
Just So You Know #1
I’m a big fan of Joey’s sharp and often morbid humor. Most of her work is 1-panel gags or 4-panel strips, so it was exciting to see her tackle a longer story. The story itself is more serious in scope, it chronicles her transition from male to female. It’s certainly the most successful comic I’ve read on this topic. Plus, it’s really funny.
Best Swords and Sorcery Mini Comic
by Calvin Wong
I just discovered Calvin’s work this year. This comic is witty, imaginative and a lot of fun. It’s a playful story, and you don’t see enough of those in mini comics. The perfect gift for the D&D playing Led Zep fan in your family.
Best Coming-Of-Age Story
Sam handed me this book and said “I have a feeling you’ll like this”. I’ve been a fan of Sam’s work since day one, but I found this book especially good. It’s about Sam’s diabetes diagnosis and how it changed his life. This honest story is told in a bare-bones style that really resonated with me. I think I may have mentioned this in one of Sam’s class: it is more important for a story to ring true than to be true. This story rings true.
– Robyn Chapman