Andrew D. Arnold of Time online reviews the independent comix scene. He's also done a piece on Chester Brown and Derek Kirk Kim in their archives as well as an interview with Will Eisner.
Like the video revolution in cinema, the wide availability of photocopy machines completely changed the direction of comics. Anyone could make and distribute "mini-comix" outside of the old-guard publishing system. Without the editorial demands — or benefits — of the top-down system, the Do It Yourself movement created its own aesthetic. The form lent itself to deeply personal, even solipsistic, stories and a punk-rock aversion to "craft" in favor of raw, expressionist artwork. Over time that outsider style has been adopted (co-opted?) by traditional, established publishers. Three recent works, available in regular comicbook shops, typify this style with their autobiographical stories rendered in immediate, rough graphics: Allison Cole's "Never Ending Summer," James Kochalka's "Sketchbook Diaries Vol. 4" and Jeff Brown's "Unlikely."
The archive of articles is formidable and I'm just about to delve into them. It offers a continuing look at an independent movement that probably serves as the conscience of comix today.
(Thanks to Jeff Pidgeon for the lead)