My standard advice for anyone wanting to write or draw comics is to go and find some small press people doing just that and hook up with them. Comic creators need to build a good network of people that can help and support them over the years as well as build up the muscles required to work in comics (deadlines/managing expectations/as well as drawing/writing/dealing with criticism/being edited) and one of the best ways of doing that is to contribute content to other people’s anthology titles – short stories, written and drawn to deadline and then published (even in small print runs) are going to rapidly improve your work more than any 500 page opus you’ve written/drawn that will never ever get beyond page 6 (we’ve ALL done this…)
I put the call out to twitter to see what’s out there and the response was a great deal more than I expected. So here’s a brief rundown of what is out there, along with anything pertinent I can add (this list is in no way fully comprehensive, but it’s the best I’ve got right now…)
First, because I’m more than passingly familiar with them:
FutureQuake Started by Arthur Wyatt (you may know from the Dredd movie spin-off comic) as a way to deal with stories that 2000Ad rejected (back before Art had made it as a pro writer) that he felt despite Tharg’s rejection had some merit.
Futurequake has been going for years, and is currently at issue 24 (I supplied some ropey cover art way back when it was first started). In my eyes Futurequake is the gold standard for small press. Great comics by great people, often wrapped up in professional covers. Futurequake does short futureshock style sci-fi stories.
The are also the home of:
Zarjaz (2000AD’s official fanzine), Something Wicked (horror anthology), Manga Quake (to manga as future quake is to sci-fi futureshocks) and more.
To save me time the remainder I’ve culled from tweets from people who’ve expressly said they’re looking for writers and artists – work for most of these will be on the basis of exposure/experience – my advice is weigh any offer up carefully. Published Experience, especially when starting out is invaluable, there are few better ways to improve than seeing your work in print.
Lightning Strike is an independent Irish comic book label. Official partners with beActive media and print Lightning Strike Presents and Company Man.
Dublin, Ireland · lscomics.com
Online Distributor of Comics. Launching Soon!
Comics · collateralcomics.com
100 % Biodegradable
Bi-monthly sci-fi digital comic anthology available from www.comicsy.co.uk/biomekazoik
Cork · turncoatpress.com
Massacre For Boys
WWII style adventure comics.
The Psychedelic Journal of Time Travel – Gloriously bizarre small press anthology!
And since I asked for small press publishers I was also contacted by a number of writers who are always on the lookout for artists…
Writer of comics: D4VE (Monkeybrain); Tiger Lawyer, The Brothers James, Ultranova (Challenger Comics). Pizza Googler. All work. No play. Still ill. Brave stray.
Calgary, AB · rferrier.tumblr.com
Sheffield, UK · chrismole.co.uk
Darrin is the writer of Tales from the Void, Earthruler, Lady Babylon: An Occult Romance and much more.
Nate is always on the lookout for artists/colourists, for paying gigs.
And I’m sure there will be more, it’s a surprisingly healthy and vibrant world out there in the small press. I was also pointed to the following as a good resource for news on the small press: www.brokenfrontier.com/section/columns/small-pressganged/