|This Section is dedicated to The History of Small Press and it's effect on society. (UNDER CONSTRUCTION)|
Already got our first entry from Rick Bradford of Poopsheet, a great online store for Small Press and Alternative collecting needs. here is what Rick Had to say.
Hey, Doc --
Well, terminology will screw you up every time! Like, what exactly is a "fanzine"? And the answer always depends on what person from which group you ask.
"Small press comics" is generally what most fan/amateur comics were called during the '80s (except for those who preferred "newave comix", usually the more alternative fare) and I think most of the folks who currently publish more mainstream-oriented comics (superheroes, action, etc.) still use call them small press comics. For example, the UFO/BPP side of small press comics publishing.
The broader term these days is mini-comics, although in the '80s "mini-comic" referred to a specific size format. Micro, mini, digest, midmag, mag, etc. See what I mean about terminology?
There are differing views, of course, but generally speaking "small press comics" or "mini-comics" are the comics equivalent to lo-fi music recordings. Of course, there are definitely some very fancy, expensively-printed mini-comics and some folks even like to consider print-on-demand books mini-comics.
In the '70s and early '80s there were fanzines and mini-comics but the mini-comics were generally very closely linked to fanzines and/or a love of mainstream comics and art. There were also what were then being called "newave comix" (Clay Geerdes' Comix World line, for example) which were very closely linked to underground comix.
In the mid '80s they were pretty nicely brought together when SPCE's popularity went through the roof largely due to the insane b&w boom which introduced a whole lot of lo-fi comics (including many terrible b&w comics being sold in the direct market) to a whole lot of new readers. Likewise, newave comix fans and fanzine fans were exposed to all sorts of new stuff they'd never seen through SPCE (and other reviewzines that popped up).
Damn, I should write an article myself!
Thanks Rick, we will hear more from him, I'm sure. Below is a link to his Mini Comics Cover Gallery.