Minicomics Impresario Andrew Fulton is currently running subscriptions for the Minicomic Of The Month Club 2015 season. For the third year running Andrew has curated a lineup of a dozen Australian and New Zealand cartoonists who will provide monthly minicomics as is the fashion through the National mail service. After years of pleading with Andrew , I'm very proud to be involved this year with my powerful minicomic Mere and Mary the first in this year's line up. I asked Andrew a few questions about minicomics via the powerful communication system of email.
MATT EMERY: I've heard different views on this but how do you define a minicomic?
ANDREW FULTON: I try not to be a Definer, Matt, I try to be an Everything is Fluid kind of guy. Basically though, a minicomic is the perfect nugget left behind when you strip out all the unnecessary horseshit from a Graphic Novel. It is the exact right amount of comic and not a single bit more.
EMERY: In a day and age where it is commonplace for cartoonists to devote years to creating five hundred page doorstops, do you have any advice to quell this epidemic? For instance would Craig Thompson's Blankets have been more effective as a Minicomic?
FULTON: The only real advice is "Hey, don't do that", but no one will listen. It's been a while since I looked at Blankets, but it wouldn't have been any less true as a Minicomic, right?
EMERY: Every year the roster of artists is announced for minicomic of the month, I discover artists I've never heard of before, how do you go about finding the roster of artists?
FULTON: It tickles me that you say that, that's for sure part of the fun. I spend a lot of time sifting through the internet looking for people. I try to pay attention all year round, but it ends up being a panicked dash in the last couple of weeks before I have to announce. I'm really not that much of a hustler so it can be hard, it's always daunting to reach out to people I don't know personally, but it seems important enough to not just go back to the same few faces, especially in a scene like Australia that can tend to be pretty small to begin with. I try to not just look at "comic people", but illustrators and artists a little more generally. Which isn't to say it's super out there, it's mostly the kind of narrative cartooning I tend to be into. I've only ever had 2 people give me a straight-up "no" which is pretty great.
Powerful interior art in an Andrew Fulton Minicomic
EMERY: Can you talk a bit about the Minicomic of the week digital comics giveaway you run on caravanofcomics.com ? Is this a never ending programme of free Minicomics?
FULTON: The Caravan of Comics giveaway is kind of a sister project to this one. I've of thought about offering a digital option to the Minicomic of the month club, but it has never felt quite right. I am interested in digital comics and ebooks though. Living out here in Australia, as stamps get more and more expensive, it seems important to get my head around what they are and how they work, see if anyone actually wants them. The two projects also share a sort of "audience building" mission, to try to get comics in front of more people, to cross-pollinate readerships, if there isn't maybe a less-daft sounding way to say that. It's set to end when I don't have any more to put up, which is actually next Tuesday unless I get my act together. I've been a little distracted.
EMERY: Give me some straight talk on why folk should sign up for the 2015 - 2016 Minicomics of the month club?
FULTON: The straightest talk I can offer you is these comics are going to be great, they are going to surprise you. And 12 comics for $32? To your house?
A Powerful Minicomic by Sam Emery