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Interview

Mini-comics artist Joe Lambert

Readersvoice.com aims to collect a few interesting reading tips. This issue continues on the theme of mini-comics, which are basically home-made comics, although some have high production values. Comics artist Joe Lambert has appeared in a number of anthologies, and in this interview he gives a thorough portrait of the world of mini-comics. He also provides plenty of good mini-comics reading suggestions.

Before reading this interview you might want to visit Joe Lambert’s website: www.submarinesubmarine.com.

It links to his blog, which to date has featured a steady stream of examples of his excellent art work.

In this interview Joe Lambert talks about how his sketching is crucial to his comics work. He also talks about his student days at the brilliant Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont, USA, a college devoted to comics. Plus he describes how he exhibits his comics at small press expos, and how he writes his mini-comics stories. This interview includes many valuable lessons for budding comics artists.

READERSVOICE.COM: Firstly, you’ve appeared in a number of anthologies and are scheduled to appear in a few, like the Fantagraphics Mome anthology. I was wondering if you could recommend some anthologies of mini-comics you’ve read over the years.

JOE LAMBERT: I like the Papercutter series from Tugboat Press (tugboatpress.com).

These come out a couple times a year and usually feature three or four artists doing short comics, anywhere from one to twenty pages. They’re consistently enjoyable and cheap (I think they’re five bucks), but the printing and paper quality is always really good.

The Fluke anthologies (Wide Awake Press) have been pretty good too. I can’t really think of too many other anthologies that would count as mini-comic anthologies. I’m not even sure if Papercutter counts.

My buddies at I Know Joe Kimpel (iknowjoekimpel.com) have been putting out the 4-Square anthologies for a few years now, and those always have some good stuff.

Speaking of buddies, I co-edit and co-design the Sundays Anthologies (sundaysanthology.com) with a few friends of mine, who are all really good cartoonists. The same goes for the One Percent Press (onepercentpress.com) anthologies that I co-edit and design, which aren’t available online yet, but I have them at all the conventions I go to.

A lot of mini-comic cartoonists are in a lot of the recent anthologies that have been put out by major publishers, like the Best American Comic Series, and the Ivan Brunetti edited An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories volumes.

There was that issue of McSweeney’s that Chris Ware edited that was amazing. The Mome series from Fantagraphics are always solid. The Kramers Ergot anthologies are super great (if you can afford them). And I really enjoyed the Project (Project Telstar, Project, Superior, and Project Romantic) anthologies from Adhouse Books.

All of those have some mini-comic cartoonists included and some of them actually include mini-comics. There are very few anthologies that I own that I don’t go back to and re-read certain stories from.

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