Below you’ll find a list of print and online resources that should tithe you over in between reading and making comics. Each of the resources provides intelligent information about comic books, comic creators, and the craft of comics/cartooning.
A few notes about this list:
1. I only include resources that devote a substantial portion of their coverage to indie creators. There are plenty of sites and social media accounts that focus on Marvel and DC. They don’t interest me in the slightest. If those publishers interest you, Google them.
2. I use the term press loosely. Considering cultural changes initiated by the Internet and the dominance of social media and user generated content, I interpret press to mean anywhere a reader, viewer, or listener can find intelligent conversation about and exposure to new comics.
3. I organized resources by depth of coverage, with traditional Print Publications offering the most in-depth coverage and Facebook Groups offering the least in-depth coverage.
Bubbles: An Independent Fanzine About Comics & Manga
Bubbles features interviews and articles about comics and comics creators, such as Matt Furie, Lale Westvind, Archer Prewitt, and Ben Marra. It also includes ads for small press projects and a hefty review section. Having published six regular issues and two special editions since July 2019, the zine seems to have staying power.
But…Is It Comic Aht?
Published by Domino Books and edited by The Comics Journal contributor and comic creator Austin English, But…Is It Comic Aht? aims to foster widespread and thoughtful discussions of comics. It’s a noble ambition and a well-done publication. However, the zine only gets published about once per year.
The Comics Journal
TCJ is expensive. It is the granddaddy of the comics press.
A monthly magazine that focuses on indie comics in the UK and Ireland. I haven’t read a copy yet, but it looks very slickly produced: looking forward to it.
SF focuses on niche comics–often outlaw titles/creators. Each issue includes interviews with creators as well as recurring features such as “It Came From the Dollar Bins.” Alongside Bubbles, SF is the new zine that I most look forward to.
You can listen to the videos from the YouTube channel as podcasts as well. It’s available on various podcast platforms (e.g., Stitcher, Apple, SoundCloud, etc.). For more info about CK, see my review in the YouTube section below.
The Creator at Large Podcast
After 56 episodes host Jeremy Melloul ended the show in October 2019, but it’s still worth listening to the series if you haven’t already. Melloul covers various aspects of creating comics and includes worthwhile guests, from small press editors and publishers to indie creators, who address these topics.
Dreamer Comics Podcast
Every week host Omar Spahi interviews creators and editors from a different press (e.g., IDW, First Second, Lionforge, Boom!, etc.) about the process of creating and marketing comics. Similar in scope to Melloul’s The Creator at Large mentioned previously.
Comic Book Advocates
Basically, CBA covers comics that are not produced by the Big 2, but much of the content focuses on larger small presses and successfully Kickstarted pubs: what might in the late 70s and early 80s been referred to as “ground-level” comics.
The Comic Lounge
TCL’s blog includes “Indie Spotlight” posts with brief interviews with a wide variety of creators. It also features reviews of new small press comics alongside reviews of stuff from the Big Two.
Monkeys Fighting Robots
MFR includes features, interviews, and reviews on a wide variety of comics, including Marvel, DC, Image, Dark Horse, etc., as well as a decent cross section of indie comics. That said, there is substantially less attention to things like webcomics and minis.
Women Write About Comics
from their About page, “WWAC covers a large variety of topics under the comic book umbrella. Reviews, reports on mainstream and local conventions, comic book-inspired recipes and crafts, features discussing socio-political happenings in and around the comic book industry, and much more. The contributors at WWAC work to provide a fresh, diverse outlook into the world of comic books to readers from all walks of life.”
WWAC essays, comics and articles go into far more depth than posts on other sites like The Beat, which strikes me as little more than slightly reworked press releases and slightly more elaborate tweets. You’ll find a little bit of everything thoughtfully covered on WWAC.
On CK, comics creators Ed Piskor (Hip Hop Family Tree) and Jim Rugg (Street Angel) address all things comics. They take deep dives into other creators’ work; interview creators like David Choe, Tim Vigil, Brendan McCarthy, and Dave Gibbons, among others; feature unboxing and haul videos; address various aspects of comics history; and address the craft and processes of making comics.
Many of Chris‘ videos deal with background information about creators or livestreams of his own work. I haven’t checked out his livestreams, but his backgrounders are top notch. That said, they’re a bit Marvel/DC heavy for my taste. Still, there are a lot of great videos on his channel.
Noah Van Sciver
Noah has kicked his channel into high gear over the past few months. He features conversations with other indie comics creators, such as E.S. Glenn, Dylan Horrocks, Derf Backderf, John Porcellino, and many others.
Small Press Express
Tucson cartoonist Adam Yeater’s channel features short videos that show a lot of small press comics and minis.
Cartoonist Kayfabe Ringside Seats
Beyond the official Facebook page, which serves as advertising for the CK YouTube channel/podcast, this Facebook group allows fans to lead discussions. Topics commonly include posts about whatever folks are reading right now, posts where indie creators share what they are working on or links to their comics, and posts about creating and publishing comics, comic book history, and various other aspects of comics industry. Ringside Seats offers a space where creators, comic shop owners, and regular old fans converge. Eli Schwab’s Cosmic Lion Productions has even published an anthology created entirely by Ringside Seats members. It’s called Wizerd, clearly a pastiche of the comics magazine from the 1990s. Ringside Seats is extremely active. While many posts skew towards Marvel fan man-children, there’s a lot more to it. Most group members seem to fans of tons of different kinds of comics.
From Pacific to Eternity: Independent Comics of the 1980s
This Facebook group provides a space for fans to fawn over their favorite indies from this period. The group seems to skew heavily towards Eclipse, but it all depends on what members decide they want to talk about. If that’s your bag, check it out. It is a fairly active group.
Indie Comics Universe
While not a very active group, it’s a great place to see indie creators sharing links to their work.