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Interview

Michael Dowers p1

READERSVOICE.COM aims to collect a few interesting reading tips. Mini comics are basically home-made comics. The relatively low production costs allow great artistic freedom. Michael Dowers said he likes all mini comics, especially the good ones. He is the editor of the Treasury of Mini Comics Volume One (Fantagraphics), with Volume Two to follow. The 720 page Volume One includes artists like Ron Rege Jr and John Porcellino, and covers mini comics from the late 1960s to the present.

READERSVOICE.COM: You’ve said in one interview that you had handmade 45000 comics yourself. When did you get started in the world of comics, and progress into publishing and anthologising comics?

MICHAEL DOWERS: Well that number has grown to almost 47,000 now…When I was a kid I was lucky enough to get all the hand me down comics from the older neighborhood boys. Large boxes filled with Harvey and DC comics. When I was 17 I remember a friend coming over to my house with a copy of Crumb’s ZAP #1. But it wasn’t until my mid twenties when I was living on an isolated island in Washington State’s San Juan Islands (mid 70’s) that somebody had come to visit and left two large stacks of Marvel comics behind. I must have read those two stacks of comics five different times (there wasn’t much to do in the winter time. No electricity or running water for more than 4 years). I was hooked on comics and read as many Marvels as I could get my hands on for the next two or three years. By 1982 I had read an article in Jay Kennedy’s Underground Price Guide about how you too can make your own comics. The rest is history…

RV: Do you think that mini comics are gaining in popularity with artists and writers, or is its appeal tidal?

MD: I would say that mini comics are more popular than ever right now. Definitely more creators involved than ever before. I expect the medium will only continue to grow.

RV: In the Treasury of Mini Comics Volume One, you included minicomics stars like John Porcellino and, in Volume Two, Jeffrey Brown. Which artists did you come across that were excellent yet unknown to you?

MD: You know I have been searching for that one amazing mini comic that no was has ever heard of with the greatest art by a very obscure artist. You would think that book does exist, but I have yet to find it. Roger May’s Alien Cumshot #2 comes to mind. Fukitor by Jason Karns is very good…but neither of these are included in the anthologies.

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-copyright Simon Sandall.

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