Pinwheel by Mike Bertino – Speaking of Mome, this is an excellent "mini" that is weirdly reminiscent in formal approach to Emile Bravo's "Young Americans" from Mome 8, which is one of my favorite short comics of the year so far. I have no doubt Mike did this without ever seeing Bravo's story, though, and his approach is almost as impressive, if lacking some of the humor and sheer gut punch of Bravo's. The silkscreened covers on this are really handsome, too, and Bertino's drawing style throughout is slightly crude but effective and inviting. Which may all sound like faint praise but isn't meant to be: this is one of the best self-published comics of the year.
Vittle Chin by Max Clotfelter – I don't know a lot about Max's work but I like what I've seen, it's very old school humor stuff that reminds me of a lot of the great early-1990s humor comics by people like Dennis Worden, Pat Moriarity, J.R. Williams, Terry LaBan, etc. The world needs more funny comics, so Max is doing us all a public service here.
I Will Bite You by Joseph Lambert – This guy has done a slew of minis in the last year, and this just happens to be the most recent I've seen. It's simple though handsomely-crafted story about a kid who like to bite. It has a certain antiquated, early 20th Century feel, it's very evocative and the smiling rictus faces remind me of Al Columbia a bit. I think Lambert is a current student or recent graduate of the Center for Cartoon Studies, and from here it looks like he's getting a good education.
Comic Art Magazine #9 – Hello beautiful, where have you been all my life? I'm not sure what I can say about this mag that hasn't been said, but it's been on my coffee table longer than anything else this summer/fall, and I keep returning to it. Every issue of this mag has been worth picking up since issue #1, but this one really is the strongest (and fattest) yet, especially in regard to the writing. Comic Art's weak link in the past was the writing; a forgiveable if not irrelevant concern given the sheer amount of eye candy in every issue, but this issue's text is solid, with contributions from great writers like Ben Schwartz, Tom DeHaven, Ken Parille, Jerry Moriarity and more. There are major features on Jesse Marsh, Kaz, Gluyas Williams, Abner Dean, and several other cartooning heavyweights. And then there's those covers by Tim Hensley. Be still my heart. The highlight for me was probably the Abner Dean piece; in one essay Ken Parille told me more about Dean — one of all-time favorite cartoonists — than I'd been able to piece together on my own in a decade of searching for info.