Thursday, October 9, 2008
SPX, Slight Return
(the photo above courtesy of the
Dirk Dada Live Journal)
Also check out this mini-article, with a photo of yours unruly: DCist.
SPX, in Bethesda, Maryland, was a whirlwind of a weekend. By general consensus, thee premiere showcase for self-publishing comics artists, and independent comic book publishers, it's an intense convention experience. However, it also is also by and large a friendly scene, with so many like-minded comics creators and publishers in one spot. Of course, there's the general sense of camps and cliques, but there's a pervasive, "we're in this boat together," sentiment.
Being that it was my first year, on one hand, I didn't know what to expect exactly, but also went in with almost zero expectations, save for meeting new people and seeing new work. Just a humble old aw-shucks hillbilly from the hills of eastern Kentucky, I was happy to see that I caught the eye of many goodly folks with my In Tongues Illustrated book and was glad that a few plunked down the change for a relatively high-end book from a relative unknown.
The Secret Acres gang definitely made me feel welcome. All their artists are worth checking out. I made it a point of SPX to pick up a copy of Theo Ellsworth's new Capacity book...I only just started reading it, but it does not disappoint.
Unfortunately, being chained, more or less, to my table as an exhibitor I had to miss out on the panel discussions. Jessi, my better half, got to check out the James Kochalka panel, and reported having a gay old time. The big let-down for me was not being able to swing the Ben Katchor panel (a feller whose work both us Transy Gents here covet); however, on the second day, Katchor's impeccable eye (if I don't say so myself, which I will) noticed my table and stopped by for a few questions about the work.
Introducing myself and glad-handing some of the Fantagraphics crew...Gary Groth, Kim Thompson, and Eric Reynolds was a kick. I was happy to get my hands on the new, hot-off-the-press Comics Journal featuring a career spanning interview with underground comix wild-man, S. Clay Wilson by Bob Levin, who is, hands-down, my favorite writer on the subject of comic book culture. I just in the past year self-educated (or would that be self-medicated?) myself in Wilson's work with his Checkered Demon anthology, as well as the Art of S. Clay Wilson
I'll be posting some sketches drawn during the conventions on my sketchbook blog soon. There's more to say about the weekend, but, see, I'm all talked out right now.