Back in the days of Factsheet Five, I used to order tons of minicomix. Most were mediocre, but a few were terrifically good and that made it worth the risk to send in the fifty cents or so that they cost. One reason there were so many minicomix was because they were really easy to make. You just took a two-sided photocopy of an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper and voila! -- you had yourself an 8-page comic book.
Fantagraphics just released a massively thick (900 pages!) anthology of minicomix called Newave! The Underground Mini Comix of the 1980s, and it's a treat. Many of my favorite comic book artists got started or contributed to minicomix and they are well represented here: Mack White, Rick Geary, Peter Bagge, Jim Blacnhard, J.R. Williams, Mary Fleener, Dan Clowes, Dennis Worden.
Many of the comics are for adults only, so don't buy this as a gift for youngsters!
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.