If you’re looking for an unusual handcrafted gift, minicomics and original prints are a good way to go. Many of them are beautifully produced, with unusual printing effects such as risography and die cuts, and they contain stories you can’t find anywhere else. As a bonus, the minicomics creator you support today may turn out to be the art-comix superstar of tomorrow, and you’ll be able to say you were one of the first to recognize their genius.
Here are six up-and-coming creators who are offering some very attractive mini-comics, prints, and other goods. You can get a lot of these things on Amazon and other mass-merchant sites, but the links here are to the creators’ own stores so you can support them directly with your Cyber Monday dollars.
Sarah Becan: You might know Becan from her foodie webcomic I Think You’re Sauceome, which recorded not just the amazing meals Becan ate but her mixed feelings about food and her body image. It’s a thoughtful read as well as an entertaining one. Her food posters, on themes like Sausages of the World and How to Poach an Egg, would make a colorful addition to anyone’s kitchen decor. Becan is also the creator of Shuteye, a comic about dreams nested inside of dreams, and The Complete Ouija Interviews, a minicomic (supported by a Xeric grant) based on “interviews” done via a Ouija board. “Printed in rich brown inks, assembled in a beautiful little perfect-bound volume, with a debossed feltweave cover,” this 192-page volume is an amazing deal for $10.
Yesterday was Hourly Comics Day, but it would have been more appropriate to have it today, on Groundhog Day, so everyone could relive yesterday in comics form. Hourly Comics Day brings journal comics to their logical extreme: Every hours, creators stop what they are doing and draw a comic about it. There’s an inherent flaw in the concept, in that the best artists are the people who draw comics all the time, which makes for a dull diary. Let’s just say there’s lots of messing around with social media and eating of ramen in these comics. It’s not like anyone was rescuing people from the Tokyo underground or breaking up a crime syndicate yesterday. Still, some are quite well done, and peering at someone else’s life in such detail has a certain voyeuristic appeal. What’s more, the comics submitted to this year’s archive page show an impressive array of talent, although most are from creators I have never heard of before.
Some creators posted their hourly comics at their own sites. Dean Trippe has a charmingly simple comic about a day that was apparently dominated by the letter D. Sarah Becan has a day of minor annoyances at work, and Jeph Jacques covers all the comics-creator bases: He plays video games, eats junk food, checks to see what people are saying about him online, and worries a lot. Check the Twitter hashtag #hourlycomics for more.