This weekend The Small Press Expo takes place in North Bethesda, MD, offering what seems to be a once in a lifetime lineup of guests: Dan Clowes. Chris Ware. Both Hernandez Brothers. No one ever seems to remember seeing them all in one place before. They won’t all be on the same panel, but there is one featuring Clowes, Los Bros and Adrian Tomine. Get there early.
Indeed the programming for this year’s show is just a non-stop all-star jam session. Hopefully the panels will all get recorded and posted, or else we won’t have any time to get great comics on the floor. On Saturday, at 1 I’ll be moderating:
Publishing During the Apocalypse 1:00 pm | White Flint Auditorium
It is the best and worst of times for small press publishers. As the greater publishing industry faces major economic contractions and challenges from new media, smaller publishers must navigate the same difficult waters with fewer resources, while taking advantage of the opportunities that arise in times of turmoil. Leon Avelino (Secret Acres),Box Brown (Retrofit Comics), Anne Koyama (Koyama Press), and John Porcellino (King-Cat/Spit and a Half) will discuss the current publishing landscape with comics journalist Heidi MacDonald.
We’re sure few of you need convincing to attend but here are some highlights:
¶ Of course you follow the SPX tumblr, because it’s fucking amazing.
Original art by Gilbert Shelton, Jeff Smith, Peter Kuper, Jeff Lemire, Jeffrey Brown, Peter Bagge, David Mack and more top the list at the second annual Jeff Alexander Memorial Art Auction happening this Saturday at SPX! Read on for full list and slide show. Starting at 7:15, shortly after the convention closes at 7 in the main foyer entryway, the Jeff Alexander Memorial Art Auction continues the late SPX committee member’s passion for supporting the CBLDF’s important program work. This year we have gathered contributions from an incredible array of talent. In addition to original art, we also have rare prints by Frank Kozik, Paul Pope, and Charles Burns. Also included are signed and sketched copies of Best American Comics 2010 and 2011, and even a complete HATE story layout script by Peter Bagge. Come bid on Saturday night at 7:15 at SPX.
¶ Rob Clough offers you a concise list of Eight Publishers To Seek Out At SPX 2012 and you can’t go wrong with a single one.
¶ For a great overview of how the show has progressed this year, Tom Spurgeon interviews executive director Warren Bernard, whose attention to detail and vision for the show has taken an already great weekend and made it even better.
¶ Normally we clog your feed with a list of debuts but the show has already done that. Of course you’ll want Tomine’s New York Drawings, Noah van Sciver’s The Hypo, Nick Abadzis’s collected Hugo Tate and Chris Ware’s instant classic Building Stories. here are just a couple that struck our eye:
Life on Triton By Braden Lamb and Shelli Paroline Self-published 28 pages $5 On a ball of ice orbiting the wrong way around a distant gas giant, two scientists make an incredible discovery, but only one of them realizes its full significance. A sci-fi adaptation of the traditional fable, “The Fisherman and His Wife.”
Published by Hidden Fortress
This year at SPX, the Hidden Fortress Press will be debuting the first of the three-part MONSTER 2012 anthology. MONSTER first appeared in 1996 as the Fort Thunder house anthology, but has since grown to envelop much of it’s surrounding scene. This latest volume features close to 200 pages of comics from over twenty comic artists, printed in two colors on the Hidden Fortress offset printing press. MONSTER 2012 will be available at SPX with a limited edition silk screened dust jacket exclusive to the Small Press eXpo.
Written by RM Rhodes
Illustrated by Meredith Burke. Emo Galactus is a 16 page conversation between Galactus and The Watcher about indie comics and reality television – Galactus makes the former and The Watcher only consumes the latter. Emo Galactus was written by RM Rhodes and illustrated by Meredith Burke.
Mark our words — everyone will want Emo Galactus. That’s the just way things work.
Anyway, this weekend is going to be good times, good comics, good friends. See you there!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.