Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary















Home > Letters to CR

Michael J. Grabowski On The Fall Of Alt-Comics And The Frequency Of Their Publication
posted February 2, 2009
 

I hope I don't sound too cold for suggesting that a part of the reason comics like Crickets and Or Else will be disappearing is that they aren't published frequently enough. I don't mean to suggest any kind of judgment for that, as I'm sure it's the reality of the situation for the creators and publishers in question. Still, I remember in the "heyday" of alt comics in the early '90s, one could rely on stuff like Hate, Yummy Fur, Eightball, Naughty Bits, Drawn & Quarterly magazine, etc. to show up often enough that it was worth going to the comics shop regularly to see what was in. And then to buy some new title that had showed up in the interim that seemed as interesting. Some of that stuff even came out monthly. One may not like Dave Sim's comics, but producing a new issue every single month is one of the things that kept me going back to the shop every month to get that and see what else was available. I can list at least a dozen comic books of the Crickets variety produced now that would have me in the store regularly to pick them up and probably something else while I'm at it if they came out with any kind of reliable frequency. But most of these titles are practically annuals or have at best three issues in a year. Sometimes whole months go by without any of these books appearing. Even the most supportive retailers are going to have trouble marketing infrequently appearing $3-5 books, I should think. (Perhaps this has something to do with the new proliferation of really good comics shops failing to grow the readership for alt comics, an issue you've brought up before.)