Independent comics are one or more of the following:
1. Comics that fall outside the most popular and financially successful genres and styles.
2. Comics that are not published by the large mainstream publishers, these being Marvel, DC, Image, and Dark Horse.
3. Comics that are not carried by Diamond Distributing.
One yardstick for distinguishing independent comics from mainstream comics is where they are listed in Diamond Distributing's catalog, Previews. The large mainstream publishers "own" the front of the catalog, and the smaller publishers are listed in the back of the catalog.