Are you reading Bubbles yet? I hope so. I can’t help but think that if everyone read Bubbles and absorbed a sliver of its unpretentious love for art we’d be living in a far better world. In the 2+ years and 11 issues of its existence Bubbles has become essential.
In issue 11 creator Brian Baynes describes Bubbles as a “fanzine about what I’m currently obsessed with.” Thankfully his obsessions are diverse and deep. Each issue burrows into a wide range of work. For example, issue 11’s selection includes art comics star Dash Shaw, little-published-in-US Finnish artist Amanda Vähämäki, and Morrie Turner of Wee Pals comic strip fame.
If Bubbles was just a hot mess of enthusiasm for comics I’d be on board but it’s way more than that. Baynes is a thoughtful interviewer who forges unusual connections with his subjects. Other Bubbles contributors, such as manga historian/translator Ryan Holmberg, match Baynes’s obsession for the material. There are no duds.
The amount of work Baynes has done on this project in such a short time is staggering. This latest issue is 48 densely-packed oversized pages plus a tipped-in 8-page art extra. That’s a lot of zine!
Every issue leaves me with a list of publications to seek, museum exhibits to covet, and comics destinations to someday explore. A zine that spotlights and uplifts an arts community outside of the grinding algorithmic media hustle is right in my wheelhouse. I’m thankful that Brian Baynes is going all out to make it happen.