It bugs me when I read about cartoonists who don't read comics. Why devote yourself to an art that you aren't immersed in/enthralled with? Honestly I think there are more good comics being produced today than ever before, so there's no excuse not to be reading somehting great, whether it's a mainstream comic, indie graphic novel, kids comic or mini-comic.
The secret has been out about Michael DeForge (multiple Doug Wright Award winner) for some time now. The guy is a comics-making machine. When he's not doing Lose for Koyama Press, his webcomic Ant Comic, or various one-shots, he's busy making mini-comics the old-fashioned way => stapling and folding a comic himself in very limited quantities. Some of these minis really represent his best work, his mini-comic "Kid Mafia" is one of my picks for Best Comics of 2012.
Kid Mafia by Michael DeForge
This past year I picked up "Kid Mafia" #1 and #2 at the Beguiling in Toronto. These are two little square-shaped minis about Franco, a high-school dropout and skater kid does all the regular teen things like hanging out by the variety store and playing video games with his friends. He also happens to be a crime boss and he's having an affair with his best friend's Mom.
This is a very fun, very well thought-out and polished book. Granted DeForge's minis are hard to find, but I think that's half the fun. With ebay and Amazon, there are very few comics that are hard to find and you need to seek out these days. It used to take me years to find certain back-issues for my collection and the hunt was half the fun. I am currently on the lookout for "Kid Mafia" #3 which recently came out. I neeeed it!
Luckily DeForge has posted the complete Kid Mafia #1 online at his website. You can read it here.