Comics Are Trying to Break Your Heart #109 by Drew Barth
Bring Us Comics
Sometimes we forget that comics are coming from all over the place. I know I’ve grown accustomed to what I can find in my local shop and the webcomics that have been bookmarked on my laptop for a decade, but comics are bubbling up everywhere. From zines found at record stores to the Patreon accounts many creators have set up, comics are becoming increasingly decentralized in how they’re making their ways to us. And this is made all the more evident with two recent Patreons launching: ShortBox publishing fortnightly short comics and no, nothing magazine beginning their own publishing arm for comics.
I’ve talked about ShortBox at length in the past, but it’s worth repeating that Zainab Akhtar is saving comics right now by publishing some of the best work in the medium. With the launch of the ShortBox Patreon, this can continue into the future. And it will continue for a time as ShortBox will be publishing a new eight-page story every fortnight. Only a few weeks old and already we have brilliant works by Lillian Xie and Daniel Isles leading this new format of direct comics. What makes Akhtar’s work all the more brilliant is that ShortBox has a substantial platform and this effort is bringing eyes to these creator’s works and putting money directly in their hands as well. It feels like how comics should just be all the time.
I haven’t talked about zines much, but they will always be the lifeblood of comics that hums just below the surface. The editor of no, nothing magazine, Christian Sanchez, is currently putting out a zine unlike anything I’ve seen before and it is filled to bursting with talent from all over Central Florida. As they have launched their newest endeavor, no, nothing. Publishing, they’re bringing even more of this essential work to the world through their Patreon. As of now, monthly comics are being released from local creators like Macy Thiele and Paul Kortjohn with more work planned in the future along with the continuation of no, nothing magazine along side those comics. As far as local comics goes, this is what a healthy scene looks like: creators helping other creators getting their work into the hands of people who will love that work. Like Akhtar, Sanchez is utilizing his platform to get some of the best comic work in Central Florida and beyond out into the world.
There are countless other Patreons out there for creators we all love, but these two have launched fairly recently and really caught my attention as something nice within comics—creating a crowd-funded small press for work that usually wouldn’t have as large of an outlet. And whether these works are from a creator you’ve never heard of or someone you used to sit next to in a call center, it’s hard not to appreciate comics made with this much love.
Get excited. Get supportive.
Drew Barth (Episode 331) is a writer residing in Winter Park, FL. He received his MFA from the University of Central Florida. Right now, he’s worrying about his cat.