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ALTERNATIVE COMICS began as a response to  mainstream corporate run American comics mostly since the 1980s, following and being inspired by the FANZINE and UNDERGROUND COMIX MOVEMENT of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
With access to emerging new technologies, traditional & experimental publishing methods (small press boutique printing services & "desktop publishing") as well as access to an ever growing comic book marketplace via independent comic book distribution & locally owned "Comic Shops" individual writer/artists found they were capable of entry & parity with traditional comics brand name publishers.
Alternative Comics or "INDIES" also referred to as post-underground comics, independent comics, indie comics, auteur comics, small press comics, new wave comics, creator-owned comics & many self-published "minicomics" 
Often an eccentric and/or satiric choice relative to mainstream superhero comics which have dominated the American comic book industry for 8 decades. These Indies span a wide range of genres, artistic styles, and subject matter including politics, alternative lifestyles and mature adult themes.