This previously ran on Graphic Policy
This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Indie Publishers.
I’m defining Indie Publishers as having less than two percent market share from the month of April according to Diamond, and obviously doesn’t take into account any digital sales. If you didn’t click the link, that precludes Boom, IDW, Dark Horse, and Image from the list (Marvel and DC, obviously, go without saying). The list will be in alphabetical order so my biases toward certain publishers aren’t as evident in the ordering of the list.
I’ve been raving about Alterna’s Bring Back Newsprint movement on twitter for the last week or so after I finally got around to reading their newsprint offerings fairly recently (the fourth, not mentioned here, is Lillith Dark, a charmingly innocent tale about a young girl with an active imagination) after I picked them up based solely on the price point – at $1.50 I figured I really couldn’t go wrong. The newsprint comics may have turned me on to Alterna, but after a little research I signed up for their news letter and received an email with 30 free comics included that’s not a typo – your get thirty free digital comics upon signing up for their email newsletter (this was true as of 6/1/2017; it may be different depending on when you read this), and you really can’t argue with that.
Titles To Check Out: Any of the Newsprint comics (Croak and Adam Wreck were my standouts from the first batch).
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t give Oni Press the credit they deserve. Whenever I do pick up an Oni title, I frequently find myself wondering why I don’t read more of them.
Titles To Check Out: Redline, Scott Pilgrim & The Sixth Gun
Self Made Hero
A British publisher that specializes in graphic novels, what I have been able to get my hands on from Self Made Hero has without exception been utterly captivating. If you like to branch away from superheroes, then this is a company that you need to check out, and your best bet would be your favourite online retailer.
Titles To Check Out: Fun & Return Of The Honey Buzzard.
Study Group Comics
Home of Tyler Landry’s stream of consciousness style of story telling, this is a gold mine of inventive storytellers, writers and artists that produce some truly exciting and exhilirating work. Landry’s Vile has produced two of my favourite horror stories in comic form, and his sparse use of colour on the black paper is incredibly well suited to the genre. It’s exciting stuff, and you’ve probably not read it. You need to fix that.
Titles To Check Out: Vile & Titan
Valiant are, hands down, the publisher that gets me most excited about superhero comics – especially ones set in a shared universe. I don’t love everything Valiant have published, but on the whole I tend to enjoy their stuff so much more than anything from Marvel or DC.
Titles To Check Out: X-O Manowar, Faith, and Divinity
There we have it folks. An incomplete list taking a look at some underrated indie publishers. I’ll see you next week!