Five Things | Ignatz minicomics

Here are five minicomics you can buy, read and vote for in this year’s Ignatz Awards.

Three Things spotlights, as the title states, three comic things. Usually it’s three things with links, no more, no less. Today, however, it is more, because it’s Five Things.

(Art up top by Alexander Laird)

To vote for: Your favorite Ignatz-nominated minicomics

On Sunday I ran down the five comics nominated in the “Outstanding Online Comic” category for the 2022 Ignatz Awards. With voting open to anyone on the internet, my assumption is that folks would like to make informed choices on their ballots, and webcomics are the most easily accessible comics out there, right? Just give me a URL and off I go.

But that got me thinking about some of the other categories, and whether it would be easy to read everything nominated. With the graphic novel category, for example, it would be easy enough for the ambitious sort to hunt down all five nominees, whether that’s via a good local book store or comic shop, or, of course, through online ordering. But the minicomics category might be a little more challenging, so here’s a rundown of where you can find all five of the nominees.

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Smash Pages Q&A | Ryan Claytor on ‘A Hunter’s Tale’

The minicomics creator and comics professor discusses adapting a poem by his grandfather into comics form.

It’s been at least 10 years since I first met Ryan Claytor on the floor of the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco, where he was selling copies of his self-published minicomics. Claytor was living in San Diego at the time, working on his Master of Fine Arts degree.

Since then, Claytor has relocated to Michigan, where he’s now the coordinator of the Comic Art and Graphic Novel Minor and an assistant professor at Michigan State University where he teaches comics studio courses. But he’s still making comics, and his latest, A Hunter’s Tale, is currently up on Kickstarter.

Claytor’s previous work falls into the autobiographical and non-fiction arena, but this project is different — in A Hunter’s Tale, Claytor has adapted a poem written by his grandfather, Charles Kermit Claytor, into a comic. I spoke with Claytor about his approach to adapting his grandfather’s writing, how it helped connect him to his grandfather and more.

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Lee Lai, Michael DeForge, Pa-Luis and more win 2021 Ignatz Awards

Annual awards typically presented at the Small Press Expo honor excellence in independent comics, graphic novels and minicomics.

The Small Press Expo, or SPX, has announced the winners for the 2021 Ignatz Awards.

The Ignatz Awards, which have been handed out since 1997, celebrate the outstanding achievements of independent comics, graphic novels and alternative political cartoons. Named for the mouse that appears in the Krazy Kat comics by George Herriman, the logo changes each as a new artist draws the mouse and his weapon of choice, the brick. This year’s logo was created by Theo Stultz, last year’s winner in the “Most Promising Newcomer” category.

Nominees were determined by a jury that included Sunmi, Daniel Elkin and Nguyên Khôi Nguyễn. Anyone could register online to vote for the winners.

Congratulations to all the winners:

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Smash Pages Q&A: Emma Jayne

The creator of ‘Dreameater’ discusses her process, her minicomics, the importance of music to her work and more.

Emma Jayne made a splash with her graphic novel Dreameater, a queer horror musical thriller that is fun and inventive, but she’s had the biggest impact with a series of slice of life comics like In an Empty City, Pseudo Slut Transmission, and the 2019 Ignatz Award winning minicomic Trans Girls Hit the Town.

Each of these stories can be described in simple ways, with little happening plotwise, but Jayne’s gift as a storyteller is the ability to tell these small stories that manage to encompass and involve so much. In each story, though short, the reader is able to learn and intuit so much about the characters and their lives. It’s done in such a subtle way that some readers might miss just how profound and complex the stories are, and just how perfectly Jayne nails it. The first time I read Trans Girls Hit the Town, I had to immediately reread the comic so that I could see just how she pulled it off.

Jayne is a gifted, insightful storyteller, and I have no doubt that we’ve only begun to see what she’s capable of as an artist. She was kind enough recently to answer a few questions about her work.

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Athens cartoonists create anthology to benefit Patrick Dean

A new issue of ‘Bezoar’ will benefit the cartoonist, who was diagnosed with ALS earlier this year.

Bezoar is a minicomics anthology put together by a group of Athens, Georgia-based comic creators with a monster theme. With two issues under their belt, the crew decided to use the third issue to help raise money for cartoonist Patrick Dean, who was diagnosed with ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in June.

Joey Weiser explains on Tumblr:

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D + Q to publish Rumi Hara’s ‘Nori’

The Ignatz Award-nominated story about a girl and her grandmother gets the graphic novel treatment in 2020.

Drawn and Quarterly has announced plans to publish Nori, the the debut graphic novel from Rumi Hara, in the spring of 2020.

Nori is quietly enchanting, drawing you into the adventures of this little girl,” Drawn & Quarterly Publisher and acquiring editor Peggy Burns said. “At times it’s surreal and haunting yet simultaneously a light-hearted depiction of childhood and friendship. Rumi’s draftsmanship is gorgeous and she draws in many folkloric elements in the standalone stories.”

Nori’s story began in a series of minicomics. “It started as a minicomic first printed in 2016 about a little girl and her grandma’s encounter with an army of bats,” Hara said on her website. “I couldn’t stop thinking about this little sassy girl, and now there are 3 minicomics completed in the series.”

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‘Green Monk’ returns from Image Comics

Brandon Dayton’s minicomic turned webcomic about a monk and his blade of grass gets a graphic novel in September.

I first read Brandon Dayton‘s Green Monk back during Indy Comic Book Week, when a Diamond Comics Distributors skip week gave a bunch of independent comics creators a opportunity to promote their books to comic retailers and fans. It’s a beautiful minicomic that landed on YALSA’s “Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens” in 2011, and now it’s getting a graphic novel sequel, courtesy of Image Comics.

“So excited to be bringing the Green Monk to a wider audience through Image,” said Dayton in a press release. “This is a book that has all the things I love to see in comics. It’s a mix of quiet, contemplative moments with surreal, and sometimes explosive, action. I hope it can provide a real sense of journey and discovery.”

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Cloonan’s minicomics get the ‘director’s cut’ treatment in July

Image will collect Becky Cloonan’s ‘The Mire,” ‘Wolves’ and “Demeter’ into a trade paperback with colors by Lee Loughridge.

Over the years Becky Cloonan has released a series of delightful minicomics, including Wolves, Demeter and The Mire. Following the release of a limited-edition hardcover collection back in 2014, Image Comics will now release a “director’s cut” trade paperback of the three minicomics.

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Make Mine Mini: Kraftwerk saves the world

The indy comics festival MoCCA took place last weekend, and as usual, it was a glorious event, with lots of great people and great comics. Here are three minicomics that I picked up that I particularly enjoyed. You can view or purchase each one at the link in the title.

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