A Few Mini-Comics and One Graphic Novel

Most mini-comics don’t get a lot of attention. They’re usually self-published, and, with some exceptions, not sold in comic shops or bookstores. Mini-comics are often smaller than standard sized comics (hence the name ‘mini’) and are as a rule (but not always) printed in black and white. Many graphic novels were originally published  as mini-comics and later collected into book form. Here are some mini-comics (and a graphic novel) worth seeking out.

burn the bridge welcome graphic

URBAN NOMAD, by Alisa Harris, is an autobiographical mini-comic that’s written and drawn in a simple, yet eloquent style. It features episodes from the cartoonist’s life, such as looking for an apartment, going to a wedding or adjusting to living in New York (after growing up in a small town.) Don’t let the mundane sounding subjects fool you. Alisa is able to transform the minutia of daily life into satisfying and engaging vignettes.

urban nomad webcomicBURN THE BRIDGES OF ARTA, by Amelia Onorato, is a mini-comic set in the early 1900s.  It’s not only a mini-comic but a mini-series, with each issue telling an ongoing story. Her attention to period detail in clothing, furniture and architecture is excellent, as are the characters. Amelia has also done a number of other mini-comics, each one taking place in a different historical era. I particularly liked ULTIMA THULE, an ancient Roman story, but they are all well worth reading.

connection lost webcomicCONNECTION LOST, by Carey Pietsch, is an autobiographical mini-comic featuring engaging slice of life stories from the artist’s life. She also writes and draws fantasy comics, such as WITCHES, DRAGONS, MAGIC & CATS, which takes place in an imaginary, medieval world.

amazing teenage single mom webcomicTHE AMAZING “TRUE” STORY OF A TEENAGE SINGLE MOM, by Katherine Arnoldi (originally published in 1998, and in a new edition in 2015), is a graphic novel memoir about the author’s difficult life. She was abandoned by her mother as a small child, worked in a factory as a teenager, and was raped and bore her assailant’s child, whom she raised. The book recounts her harrowing struggle, survival and ultimate triumph over terrible adversity. Her story is raw, honest, hard hitting, powerful, and extremely moving. It appeals on many levels, including as a cautionary tale for teenagers.

Check out the new webcomic, Tom’s Tiki Bar, written by me and drawn by Jason Chatfield. You can read it at:  www.tomstikibar.squarespace.com

toms tiki bar web comic


Are the only comic strips you read in newspapers or on syndicated comics websites? The internet is overflowing with cool comic strips that are too hip, surreal, or intelligent for mainstream media. Here are a few webcomics well worth checking out.

Awkward Yeti - The World Needs Heart webcomics

Awkward Yeti – The World Needs Heart

The Awkward Yeti (@AwkwardYeti). These comic strips, by Nick Seluk, encompass a number of continuing features including, a heart and brain that talk to each other, a Yeti monster (who isn’t very monstrous) and a medical doctor. Many are cerebral, some silly, others comment on  relationships or society.

liz climo webcomics

The Little World of Liz Climo

Liz Climo (@LizClimo). Her comic strips are about anthropomorphic animals. But unlike many webcomics, hers are gentle with a quiet, understated humor. Liz works as a character artist on The Simpsons TV show, which, by contrast, is the opposite in tone from her strips. Her cute animals are engaged in very human situations and their reactions often reveal basic truths. There is a warm, childlike innocence to her viewpoint, yet it is also very wise.

Incidental Comics - Grant Snider "Thanks" 11/22/17 webcomics

Incidental Comics – Grant Snider “Thanks” 11/22/17

Incidental Comics by Grant Snider (@incidentalcomics). Grant’s multi-panel strips (often taking up a whole page) are either  slice of life stories or non-linear narratives that often have a philosophical aspect to them. They are much like illustrated poems. His comics about daily life have a beautiful quality to them not often found in this medium.

Marc Bilgrey is the writer of a new webcomic called Tom’s Tiki Bar (facebook @Toms-Tiki-Bar). The artist is Jason Chatfield. The strip is about a married couple that own a neighborhood bar, their waitress daughter, pet parrot, and the bar’s customers. It can be read by going to www.tomstikibar.squarespace.com or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Toms-Tiki-Bar-1776628262356792/.