Little Mountain Press is a publisher of comics helmed by Xiao Mei and Mountain Dog, two Chinese illustrators who first met at New York’s School of Visual Arts. After working together at various art book fairs, in 2018 they decided to join forces and launch a press to publish their own work. Their illustrations portray women in everyday, slice-of-life scenes, enjoying a bowl of instant noodles, applying sunscreen, donning facial masks, or relaxing in a qipao with unshaven armpits. These artworks pull back the curtain on the intimacies of womanhood.
Little Mountain Press （“小山社”）是由 Xiao Mei 和 Mountain Dog 两位中国插画家组成的漫画出版商，她们的第一次相遇是在纽约视觉艺术学院。在参加各种艺术书籍展之后，他们决定在2018年联合起来，成立一家出版社，出版自己的作品。她们的插画描绘着日常生活场景中的女性形象：吃方便面、涂防晒霜、敷上面膜，或者不刮体毛就穿旗袍。这些作品展露着女生之间的亲密状态。
Xiao Mei and Mountain Dog also refuse to shy away from sex. “When we first became good friends, we talked about everything, including dating and sex,” says Xiao Mei. “In our art, we wanted to show that talking about sex is as simple as talking about a good meal.”Their work isn’t all realistic, though. Mountain Dog in particular creates a fantastical take on the everyday. “My work is mostly about my life, even if things aren’t great, I want to create my own version of the world that is fun.”
Xiao Mei 和 Mountain Dog 也拒绝回避性话题。 “我们刚成为好友的时候，我们就聊了一切，包括约会和性。” Xiao Mei 说， “在我们的作品里，我们想表明谈论性就像谈论一顿好吃的一样简单。”但她们的作品并非都是写实的，尤其是 Mountain Dog 在日常生活中创造了一种奇妙的感觉。“我的作品主要是关于我的生活，即使它没那么棒，我也想创造一个有趣的世界版本。”
Color is a key element to their art. “When we create work, we think of how to incorporate color into the subject matter.” Xiao Mei explains. She and Mountain Dog primarily use risograph printing, a medium they were introduced to in art school. “We were instantly hooked by the colors and wanted to learn more. Now our goal is to get a new risograph machine for ourselves.”
Little Mountain Press often has text in Chinese and English, as well as elements of Chinese culture. “There aren’t that many zines written in Chinese. Even Chinese artists only write in English,” Xiao Mei notes. “In America people usually buy the zines without asking us the meaning of the Chinese, which we find pretty incredible.”
While Xiao Mei works in New York City, where she’s lived since age 12, Mountain Dog moved to Shenzhen after graduation. “I think there is a lot zine-making in China, but it’s very underground. It’s kind of in a gray area,” Mountain Dog says. “It’s harder to find out about other artists there.” Still, she adds that art book fairs are very supportive communities in both countries.
色彩是她们漫画的关键元素。“我们创作的时候会想如何将色彩融入作品的主题中。” Xiao Mei 说，她和 Mountain Dog 主要用的是激光印刷，这是他们在学校学会的。“我们立刻被那些颜色吸引，并想继续了解。现在我们的目标是为自己买一台新的激光打印机。”
Little Mountain Press 里常有中英文双语，也有中国文化的元素。“独立杂志不太有很多中文版。即使是中国艺术家也只能用英语写作。” Xiao Mei 注意到这一点，“在美国，人们买杂志时常常不问我们中文的含义，我们觉得也挺不可思议的。”
Xiao Mei 从 12 岁就在纽约生活，目前已经在那里工作。而 Mountain Dog 在毕业后搬到了深圳。“我认为在中国有很多独立杂志，但形式是小众地下的，就像在灰色地带那样，很难找到其他艺术家。”不过她补充说，艺术书展在两国都很受支持。
Despite working in separate locations, their partnership remains strong, and they motivate each other to create while juggling full-time careers. “My recent zine, I Don’t Draw Anymore, is basically inspired by Xiao.” Mountain Dog says jokingly.
Laughing, Xiao Mei explains: “I was yelling at her to go draw for a few months. And she finally started a zine about how she doesn’t draw anymore.”
Luckily for the duo’s fans, Xiao Mei’s constant encouragement worked. Little Mountain Press has been quite busy so far in 2019: they’ve expanded their catalog to include works from other artist friends, attended fairs like Unfold in Shanghai and AbC Art Book Fair, and are currently working on a series of new prints.
Prints and zines are available for purchase on the Little Mountain Press website.
尽管两人在不同的地方工作，但她们的合作关系仍然很牢固，在都有全职工作的同时，她俩互相激励着创作。“我最近的杂志《I Don’t Draw Anymore》（都不画画了）基本上是受到她的启发。” Mountain Dog 开玩笑地说。
Xiao Mei 笑着说：“我跟她咆哮，让她去画几个月的画。然后她画了一篇关于她不再画画的杂志。”
目前，印刷品和独立杂志都可以在 Little Mountain Press 网站上购买。