Aj Michel

Comic artists and comic lovers think about comics and the importance of comics in their lives. (They even draw a few along the way.)

Within: A dusty comic book store in the '80s serving as salvation for a geeky teen girl; dealing with Asperger’s and learning social cues from comics; the current state of Heavy Metal; adapting The Secret Garden; a girl in the 70’s and her love of war comics; superheroes; Harvey Pekar; and much much more. (“Entries from the indexes of The Complete Peanuts, Vols 1-16” is a pretty amazing, easy to miss, moment.)

44 pages, half-letter size.

Ideal Jeopardy boards from 25 contributors (including our own Joshua James Amberson). Taking the idea made popular by Douglas Coupland's Microserfs, A.J. Michel asks us to look at these as a fun "way of summing up a person's quirks descriptively and quickly." The result are lists that are funny, curious, and odd. Look out Ken Jennings.

32 pages, oblong quarter-size, cardstock covers.

Syndicate Product, one of the all-time great compilation zines, returns with Unrecommended Reading. Ten contributors write about the books that disappointed, angered, or otherwise drove them nuts. Within: Hallmark-level hatred, revolutionary fails, anti-Anne of Green Gables, and the life-changing magic of being okay with your mess.

With words from: Davida Gypsy Breier (Xerography Debt), Jenna Freedman (Before I Forget), Kathy Moseley (Ear Plugs & Ticket Stubs​), Ken Bausert (The Ken Chronicles), Juleigh Howard-Hobson, Samantha M. Connors, Joanna Czerepowicz, Aidan E. Derrico, Kris Mininger, and Aj Michel.

28 pages, half-letter size.

From Aj Michel of the great Syndicate Product zine, I've Worn All the Shirts in the Drawer is a daily diary of quarantine by way of t-shirts. Photos of shirts accompanied by their stories, and a day-by-day account of watching the world crumble. Bleak fun, fandom, and the mundane.

"As the days piled up, I wrote less about the shirts and more about pushing through the days," Aj writes, "what worried, disgusted, and frightened me. This zine project is my way of making sense of a small part of the year 2020."

68 pages, oblong quarter-size.

The sequel to Aj Michel's COVID t-shirt zine project, I've Worn All the Shirts in the DrawerGot a Box Full of T-Shirts is another charming daily project in an effort to stay sane through a global pandemic.

This time Aj digs through the box of shirts that were slated to become a quilt, or be donated, and wore one each to try to understand why these shirts had been relegated to the box to begin with. What emerges is a nice peek into '80s and '90s punk and indie rock, 2000s comic culture, underground movies, and more. 

20 pages, quarter-size.