Six Great Small Press Titles You Should Seek Out

The poster for Short RUn

Now in its third year, Short Run is a women-owned arts organization in Seattle that celebrates small press in all its forms, from zines, comics, art books, and more.  We have events planned all throughout November, leading to a spectacular book fair at historic Washington Hall on Saturday, November 30th with over 120 writers and artists in attendance.

Bitch asked us to put together a list of our favorite small press artists from the festival. Grab a copy of these wherever you can find them!

Pamplemoussi (L’ Oie de Cravan) by Genevieve Castree 

Pamplemoussi is a beautifully silkscreened comic that comes with an LP by the artist. The songs are packed with an atmospheric hum and crackle. The drawings are a captivating collection of short vignettes filled with obsessive, mesmerizing texture immediately followed by empty space. At first glance the scenes seem playful but there is an underlying sadness and unease as the viewer weaves through forests, oceans, and ice.  This book is a little hard to find but her autobiographical first graphic novel, Susceptible, was released this year and is available in most bookstores. 

the cover of 17 weddings features a sad flower in a vase

17 Weddings (self-published) by Robyn Jordan

Hitting your thirties means going to weddings. Robyn has a great way of getting to the heart of each of the 17 weddings she attends. The book is filled with hilarious details and great personal characters. Worthy of several reads to pick up on all the funny and misfortunate moments.

The cover of the blonde woman

The Blonde Woman (self-published) by Aidan Koch

Aidan lets you visit a world with the same language, but a different structure of what language is. It is the structure of dreams where everything is both suggested and specific, where it only takes a blur of green to understand that this is my mom before the divorce but after she stopped wearing glasses. There are scattered hints and symbols that you harvest along the way as the story takes its soft shape. 

Assorted minis from Oily Comics, especially Mrs. Connie DuttonRave #1Lou by Jessica Campbell and Melissa Mendes

We look forward to these two artists most of all in our Oily Comics subscription envelopes. Their stories are dark twists masked in sweet little books. Lou is a serialized tale of a child wandering off that ends with your heart rapidly pumping.

The cover of Journal shows two people hugging

Journal (Koyama Press) by Julie Delporte

Beautifully scrawled on the back of the book is the sentence, “Since you left, I draw everyday.” And so sums up the tender illustrated diary of Canadian cartoonist Julie Delporte, detailing the aftermath of a break-up and the process of putting everything back together. Absolutely engaging and affecting in its simplicity, and so, so relatable.

the cover of calling dr. laura

Calling Dr. Laura: A Graphic Memoir (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by Nicole J. Georges

At the age of 23, Portland artist Georges learned from a psychic that the father she thought was dead was, in fact, still alive. Racked with confusion, she does what any of us would do: she turns to Dr. Laura Schlessinger, radio talk-show host. Georges has always displayed a wonderful knack for storytelling, ever since she hit the scene with her comic auto-bio comic Invincible Summer, and her debut full-length graphic novel is every bit as delightful.

This list was put together by Short Run organizers Eroyn Franklin, Kelly Froh, and Janice Headley. Get more information on Short Run’s free festival and the entire schedule right here.


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Comments

4 comments have been made. Post a comment.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a small press????

Hi Brian! You're right --

Hi Brian! You're right -- it's not, but Nicole has such a long history of small press and self-publishing that we wanted to include her on this list. Thanks so much for reading, and hope to see you at Short Run!

I'm in Seattle and I'm so

I'm in Seattle and I'm so excited about Short Run, and going to the fest on November 30! Thanks for this post! I love books and small presses! This is really helpful and awesome. Gosh, I love you so much, Bitch magazine.

Are any of these publications by women of color?

There are some great zine-writers of color in Seattle, which I had the pleasure of meeting when I performed there on the POC Zine Project Race Riot Tour last month. Nyky Gomez stands out to me, as both the writer of one of my favorite zines (Skinned Heart), and the sole proprietor of Brown Recluse, a POC-focused zine distro. Check out her collection of zines by folks of color at http://brownreclusezinedistro.webs.com/