La Mano Archives - Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

Robot 6 Q&A | Zak Sally on Sammy the Mouse

Sammy the Mouse Vol. 1

I was first introduced to Zak Sally’s work via Recidivist, his collection of short stories, which knocked my proverbial socks off. I remember in particular being struck by his  gravitas and willingness to poke at uncomfortable and dark places, not to mention his pitch-black sense of humor.

Sally has only gotten better since then, a fact most easily verified by his work on Sammy the Mouse, an ongoing, ostensibly funny-animal story that was initially serialized as part of Fantagraphics’ Ignatz series.

Now Sally has collected those three Ignatz issues and collected them into a smaller trade paperback, published via his own imprint, La Mano 21. In the true D.I.Y. spirit, Sally didn’t just stop there, but went on to even print the comic himself, using a 2-color press he bought.

I recently talked to Sally over email about the new Sammy collection, his decision to become a printer as well as a publisher and how his experience as a musician (he was a member of the band Low and recently released a solo album) informs his work as a cartoonist. I was touched and gratified by his candor and thoughtfulness, not to mention his willingness to answer my prickly, annoyingly personal questions with honesty and aplomb.

I wanted to start by asking you about your decision to not only publish the book yourself but print it as well. How did you get ahold of a printing press?

Well, in 2004 someone told me about one that’s been sitting in a basement here in Minneapolis, and it was going for $250. at that point in my life, it seemed like an idea worth trying, and a natural extension of doing zines/ self publishing etc. and the price was certainly right. Six years later i found a newer model, with 2-color capabilities, for $500. I sold my old press and quickly found out why the new one had gone for so cheap.

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What Are You Reading? with Zak Sally

Welcome to another edition of What Are You Reading. Today our guest is cartoonist, musician and publisher Zak Sally. Sally is known outside comics circles as the former bassist for the band Low, but inside comic circles, he’s known for great books like Like A Dog and the Ignatz series Sammy the Mouse, the collected version of which Sally will be releasing any day now from his own La Mano 21 press.

To see what Sally and the rest of the Robot 6 crew have been reading this week, click on the link below.

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