September 05, 2013


SMall Press Expo! This weekend (Saturday and Sunday, 9/14-15) Bethesda.

We are lucky here in the DC metro area in that we play host to the nation's premier annual convention for independent comics and graphic novel producers.

Small Press Expo has been kicking around suburban Maryland in various hotel conference rooms since 1997. It's a great place to meet eager fresh-scrubbed relatively unknown talents who have published their debut or magnum opus and hope to wow the world -- or be read at all.

And this is the real fun of the event. Most comics industry conferences are stocked with jaded semi-famous artists who are churning out work for a large publishing house, and long lines of fans who wait just to get them to sign the cover of a book, often paying for the privilege.

Not so at SPX where the artists are eager to share and talk and sell their book and tell you the backstory or inspiration behind the work. Most have been locked in a room for a few years, hunched over their drawing desks only now finally get a face to face contact with prospective readers.

Quite often the work is brilliant, if commercially questionable. You will read works by artists whose names you will never see again, who gave their all to the work and then have to succumb to real life. Wistful or poignant thought maybe, but the books are full of loopy exuberance and experimentation and energy, it's worth browsing and picking up a copy and every now and then finding a real treasure whose books will soon be found on the shelf of your local library.

Come meet the artists, and stop by panels to hear from artists who have made a name for themselves in independent publishing. Last year we got to meet and talk with The Hernadez Brothers (the Love and Rockets series, including Palomar and Locas 741.5973 in our adult section) and Chris Ware (JImmy Corrigan the Smartest Kid on Earth 741.5973 Ware on the adult side; and Building Stories -- R 741.5973 Ware in our office reference since it has so many lose-able pieces).

This years panels include Gene Yang (American Born Chinese YA-J-741.5973 Yang on the young adult comics shelves).

Find out more here.

Posted by Dave at September 5, 2013 02:01 PM
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