Sunday, October 20, 2013

Treasury of Mini Comics

I recently received copies of the newly published Treasury of Mini Comics, edited by Michael Dowers. The book is a survey of the phenomena of artist -published, limited edition, small chapbooks known as Mini Comics (or Comix), Off the Cuff Comics, 7 Centers, New Wave Comics and many other labels over time.

The common format was first promoted by underground cartoonist Justin Green in early 1972. Justin’s Spare Comic? was followed by a flurry of mini activity by San Francisco cartoonists that included Gary Arlington, Jay Kinney, Art Spiegelman, Trina, Victor Moscoso, Bill Griffith, Leslie Cabarga, Sharon Rudahl, Joel Schenkman and many more. Within about a year there  were a couple of dozen titles. The format has continued on for decades which is nicely documented in the book.

The Treasury of Mini Comics reprints an old mini comic I created in 1980. Skeletoons.

I was able to dig up the original cover drawing--a direct India ink pen sketch (no penciling).

The original book (see above) was published by Artie Romero's Everyman Studios.

More mini history:

In a matter of weeks (and actually maybe more like a matter of days) after Justin Green’s Spare Comic? was drawn I put together Baloney (full title No Matter How Thin You Slice it, It’s Still Baloney, published May 1972; the title was supplied by Rube Goldberg)  and then later Picture Stories from the Bible  published in July of 1972 (in honor of the old M.C. Gaines comic books).

Over the years I did a few more minis:

A Tender Regard for Mutants --a 24 pager published in 1978.

An interior page from Mutants.

No Audience --a 40 pager published in 1981.

An interior sketch from No Audience.

And then there was  White Stuff on Black Stuff in 1980 (curiously printed on yellow stuff by my helpful but misguided printer).  A footnote: the early comics were all professionally printed rather than photocopied as the usually are now.

I contributed to a few anthologies as well such as Space Junk, Pep Comix, Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom, Purple Warp, and quite a few others that escape my immediate memory.

Here's my cover for Space Junk.

 Treasury of Mini Comics is a 848 (!) page, hardcover book published by Fantagraphics Books, Inc.

You can find it through Fantagraphics, Amazon and real book stores, etc.


  1. Great post, Larry! Enjoyed the history bits and love seeing this nice selection of minis you've done. I've linked to your post over at my mini-comics group on Facebook:

    1. Hello Rick,

      Thank you for linking to your mini-comics group.


  2. Great post and thanks for sharing all the artworks. I always felt No Audience was the perfect mini comic title.

  3. Larry. This is a brilliant post. Do you have any copies of your minis avaialable? I see a few titles that I don't have and would love to get. Thanks again for all this info!

    1. Hello,

      I'm glad you liked the post.

      Sorry to say I have very few minis left. I had a lot of things stolen from a storage locker some years ago, including my mini collection (I'm sure the thieves were disappointed).
      I don't even have everything I contributed to.