Robot 6

pood enters the newsprint-anthology arena

from pood #1, by Sara Edward-Corbett

from pood #1, by Sara Edward-Corbett

Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca, Joe Infurnari, Sara Edward-Corbett, Hans Rickheit and over a dozen more cartoonists will do their part to revive the dying art of broadsheet-style comics with the launch of pood, a newsprint comics anthology debuting at this year’s MoCCA Art Festival on April 10-11. Spearheaded by Blurred Books’ Kevin Mutch & Alex Rader and artist Geoff Grogan, creator of Look Out!! Monsters (one of the great hidden artcomix gems of the ’00s), the long-hinted-at pood will clock in at a whopping 17″ x 22 ¾”, with 16 full-color/black-and-white pages of sci-fi adventure, Western action and general weirdness, all for a measly $4. After its MoCCA unveiling, pood will hit comic shops in July and go quarterly thereafter via Mutch, Rader and Grogan’s new imprint Big If Comics.

Personally, I don’t see the appeal of newsprint. Newspaper-sized comics, sure — Kramers Ergot 7 is a mind-blower — but when I see things like Wednesday Comics or Comics Comics or even Paper Rodeo I think to myself, “Wow, wouldn’t this be much nicer on paper that holds colors properly and isn’t literally unpleasant to touch?” I just don’t have the newspaper (or zine) nostalgia gene that would enable me to look past the limitations of the paper itself. That said, am I up for getting giant comics pages from the creators of Afrodisiac or The Squirrel Machine for less than a cost of a Subway footlong? You betcha.



Really, ‘pood’ is the best name they could come up with? Eurgh.

Honestly, Aaron, I don’t think “Eurgh” is really much better.

Michael DeForge

March 24, 2010 at 8:41 pm

Nostalgia aside, I think the base appeal for a lot of people is cost. It’s the most practical way of printing artwork that big, and you can do a huge run of something at a relatively low price.

I’ve noticed that a fair chunk of the newsprint zines cropping up are “regional” – Rodeo-inspired, representing the artists or aesthetics of a specific city or scene or whatever. So it’s a dirt cheap way to distribute 1000+ copies around a town, and local stores are really friendly to the format.

(I guess that doesn’t really speak to efforts like Wednesday Comics or McSweeney’s Panorama thing, which are being distributed on a larger scale)

hey sean, thanks for the plug. and thanks for defending our poor downtrodden newsprint Michael! poor newsprint–always getting kicked around, always getting trashed. always stuffed in boxes and wrapping breakables!
anyhoo-nostalgia really has nothing to do with it. Aesthetics, philosophy, and economics, dude–that’s what it’s about! Affordability is no small matter.
&(-shameless self-promotion): for more on my long-term relationship with newsprint check out

I always assumed it was more of a choice of economics. It just seems like a smart choice. Must be why so many people are trying it now.
I have noticed the tendency of these things to be released regionally myself. And that can be kind of frustrating…for instance, I want a copy of POOD, but since I couldn’t attend MoCCA, I now have to wait and hope to find a copy. Desert Island makes Smoke Signals available online, which is great for me.
Also, there is something about the format that I really like, and it is that the “limited” nature of these things make them a little more exciting. Again, for instance, I missed the first 2 issues of Smoke Signals and am excited by the prospect of one day getting my dirty mitts on some copies. I guess that might just be me though.
Let’s also not forget that because the print costs are lower, publishers are taking the chance to include lesser known and exciting new talent. And since even one time vanguards like Kramer’s have moved on to having more established artists, I think it’s great that this venue is giving some artists their first chance at exposure.

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