Man there are a lot of them. A few that tickled us. First off, The Washington Express has tons of video interviews with folks like Paul Karasik, Gary Groth and so on.
Alec Longstreth was excited as only he can be to meet Jeff Smith:
I guess Jeff [Smith] and Steve [Hamaker] both listen to the Indie Spinner Rack podcast while they are working, so they had heard me on there a bunch of times (THANK YOU CHARLIE AND PHIL!) We made small talk for a few minutes and then I let them go up to their room. I sat back down, shaking, and then spent the rest of the night telling any one who would listen that I had ACTUALLY TALKED TO JEFF SMITH. I really can’t think of another cartoonist I really NEED to meet at this point. I am ready to die!
Anyone who cares should really read the whole post because it is so full of excitement and fun.
And, I guess you can kind of see a pattern here, right? This was why I’d probably say this is one of my top favorite SPXers of all time. This year was the assemblage. People from the past and people from the now were all coming to one location to talk comics. I kept finding old school surprises like Jon Lewis, David Lasky and lil’ Mikey Dawson at the show. Add the new peeps who I met for the first time like Monica Gallagher or the guy who handed me those bigfoot comics, and it becomes excitement on top of excitement. Comicace said something about it being a “cycle” of sorts, and I guess that’s it. Anyways.. it was a nice mix. And the cherry on the top was Dean Mullaney making it his first SPX. Dean use to run Eclipse Comics, and that was where I got my start in the funny book biz. I hope he had fun. Another classic peep was Dustin Harbin who showed up Friday and even offered to help me set up. People probably know Dusty as the Indy voice of Heroescon in Charlotte, but really, he’s one helluva cartoonist.
Ben Towles makes a keen observation:
Curiously, the one element that’s been present at the last couple of SPX shows that I didn’t note this year were editors from the bigger comics publishers and/or “regular” book publishers. It seems like these days every-damn-body’s already got a book deal, so maybe they just ran out of deals to give out… or cartoonists to give them to? Adam and I hit the road around ten on Sunday morning and thus didn’t attend any of Sunday’s events. If there’s one thing I wish SPX would do over the long run, it’s decide on a strategy for what to do with Sunday and then stick with it. Over the years Sunday’s involved at times another day of the show, a softball game/picnic, panel discussions, lunch at Dave & Buster’s, etc. This year it looked like there were some good panels in place and if that continues to be the focus for next year, maybe Sunday will begin to become an integral enough part of the show that more folks will stick around.
Our car-mate Brian Heater has many fun photos and anecdotes:
The driver asked if we were “in research.” Perhaps there was a rival nerd convention in town, or maybe Bethesda is actually a hotbed of scientific discover—I couldn’t say for sure, either way, though I’ve since been informed that the city is indeed something of an epicenter for science in the area, and is also where George W. Bush goes when he need to have a few polyps removed from his lower intestine. Too tired explain to the driver why two grown men had taken a four hour car ride through the deepest bowels of New Jersey, in order to look at funny picture books, I answered, simply, “No. We’re in publishing.” “Mm,” answered the cab driver. “Publishing.”
Rachel Nabors plans for the post con funk:
It is doubly worse with a convention like SPX, which is the cream of the northeastern crop of comickers. Everyone is interesting and friendly and fabulous, and you get home and you miss all the fun. I wonder if it’s the festival atmosphere or the people I actually miss?