Small Press Comics Chat LinkExchange
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All comics in this section are copyright © 1994 John MacLeod. All rights reserved!

  • This is my pet area of interest in comics. I've always believed it's more important and more fun to make comics than to read them. My involvement with self-publishing has always been in the area of small press, so that's primarily what I'll be discussing here. For years I've been telling anyone who'll listen, "Publish your own small press comic! It's great experience and great fun!" And the ones who listened, even ones who had never made a comic before, learned that it was great experience and great fun!

    Blowing My Own Horn (My Small Press Background)

  • My first small press venture was The Mundane Adventures of Dishman (usually just called Dishman) in 1985. The book is perhaps best described as a combination "slice-of-life character study/superhero satire", I guess. I've published ten issues of Dishman to date, and done reasonably well with them.
  • For all you completists, Dishman has also appeared in the professional press a few times. In 1988, [the now-defunct] Eclipse Comics published an anthology of the first six small press issues. This rare collector's item is now worth cover price in Overstreet! Dishman appeared in cameos in [the now-defunct] Onward Comics' Ultra Klutz #29 and [the now-defunct] Tragedy Strikes' Cheese Heads #5. [hmmmm, I'm beginning to notice a pattern here.... ] Also, a full-color six-page Dishman story appeared as a back-up in [the not-yet-defunct?] Topps Comics' Satan's Six #3.

  • For info on some of my other comics, or if you're interested in buying any of my sutff [please?! ], please check out my order page.

  • As you can see, one of the coolest things about small press is the freedom to do whatever you want, without being shackled by genre, market considerations, or even your own past work. Try it, you'll like it!

    Small Press Questions

  • Earlier, I said "everyone should publish their own small press comic", but I'm the first to admit that it might not be that simple. Heck, I had no idea where to start when I wanted to get into small press: it's only through the patience of Chester Brown and a couple others that I found out what I needed to know to get started.
  • So if any of you think you might be interested in small press comic publishing, but have questions about it, you might wanna check out my Small Press Comics FAQ.

    Pretty Big For Small Press

  • Matt Feazell, best known as the creator of Cynicalman, is one of small press's most prolific, popular, successful, famous and influential creators. You can e-mail him at if you want to order his books, have questions about how he does it, how does it feel to be so amazing, etc etc etc ....

    Not-Quite-That-Small Press

  • Through the vast small press snailmail network, I set up a penpalship with Randy Reynaldo, a name you ought to know. Randy first tried to break into comics by publishing the b&w indie comic Rob Hanes a few years ago. Not a runaway best-seller, but it caught the eye of a few professionals who were taken by its stark, Alex Toth look and political-thriller storyline: both stood out from the garish supermutant pack. Randy reconsidered his position in the comic market, and happened to discover small press around the same time. He continued to publish Hanes adventures in the small press comic Adventure Strip Digest for a few years, honing his skills, learning more about the business, gaining yet more professionals as fans and admirers, and winning pretty much every small press award possible in the process.
  • In late 1994, Randy re-entered the independent publishing field, and the new shelf-sized Adventure Strip Digest hit the stores, to somewhat better industry attention and success this time. And things are just snowballin' from there! If you're curious about Randy's work, look no further than here! Or, if you have questions about how to publish a "real" comic through "real" distributors into "real" comic stores, you can e-mail Randy thru the links at that there site, I'm pretty sure he'll answer ya...

    Another Name to Conjure With

  • I first ran across the work of Mike Sagara in his small press book Hey Neeters!, which ran for six or so issues to great acclaim in the small press world. And no wonder: Mike is one of the best anthropomorphic artists you'll ever see! I make no secret of my envy for Mike's strong clean line, his solid sense of setting, his ability to make you see everything with a sensation of great detail while actually using very few lines, his Roy Crane-ian use of a minimum few gray tones to convey a whole spectrum of reality. Mike Sagara's art is a powerful inspiration for me. And I admire his decision as a storyteller to use the anthropomorphic "medium" to explore relationship issues in a "realistic" milieu as opposed to the usual genre work-outs.
  • Mike then "graduated" to the big press as the artist for the first issue of the indie book Shanda, which can be hard to find but is well worth the effort.

  • Hey, if you didn't feel like checking out my FAQ, you might still wanna visit Tool Talk where we get into pens and bristol and... and, y'know, comics tools. Hey, why not?

    John MacLeod --