Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Thirty Days of Short Reviews #14: The Tiny Report 2013

Robyn Chapman has long been a stalwart in the world of minicomics and micropublishing. From her early days self-publishing her own comics to co-editing two volumes of the True Porn anthology to starting her own publishing concern in Paper Rocket Minicomics, Chapman has embodied the journey that many cartoonists undertake. One interesting thing about Chapman is that she's always been interested in making connections among cartoonists. She was part of a collective called Artists With Problems, which sponsored a number of cartoonist get-togethers for drawing. She reprinted Ariel Bordeaux's Deep Girl minis in a paperback because she didn't want the past of comics publishing to get lost. Her most recent project, The Tiny Report, is already on its way to becoming a crucial publication for the future.

Published in 2015, it's a yearbook of micropress activity in 2013. She sought out a huge number of micropress publishers and made a chart of their publishing activity for the year, as well as offering up other details like their website, physical location, titles of publications, etc. Because Chapman is interested in history, she also offered up an essay about the subject by way of introduction, presented some graphs related to a publisher survey she sent to them and listed the three most popular micropresses of the year. (For 2013, it was Chuck Forsman's Oily Press). The questions included their biggest challenge (distribution and funding were the winners), the types of comics they publish, how they print them and if they make a profit. This mini is useful now for young cartoonists looking for potential publishers, it's useful for me as a critic and reader to see what I might have missed, and it will be useful in the future when research is being done on publication in this era.

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