Small Press Expo has announced its first round of special guests for 2019. In addition to hosting over 650 creators, 280 exhibitor tables, 20+ programming slots and hands-on workshops to introduce attendees to the world of independent and small press comics, SPX 2019 will also host several special guests, including Raina Telgemeier, Box Brown, Eleanor Davis, Ed Piskor, Emily Carroll and Jaime Hernandez.

SPX takes place at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Bethesda, MD Sept. 14-15, 2019. Read on for details about the first wave of special guests and stay tuned for more announcements.

Raina Telgemeier

With more than 15 million books in print, Raina Telgemeier is one of the most critically acclaimed and successful graphic novelists of her generation. She is the #1 New York Times bestselling creator of Smile (2010) and Sisters (2014), graphic memoirs based on her childhood. She is also the creator of Drama (2012), a fictional graphic novel which was named an ALA Stonewall Honor Book and is another #1 New York Times bestseller, and Ghosts (2016), another #1 New York Times bestselling work of fiction, which was awarded the 2017 Eisner Award for Best Publication for Kids. Raina’s latest work is Share Your Smile: Raina’s Guide to Telling Your Own Story. Raina lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. To learn more, visit her online at and at @GoRaina.

Box Brown

Box Brown is an Ignatz Award-winning cartoonist, illustrator, and comic publisher from Philadelphia. His books include the New York Times-bestselling Andre the Giant: Life and Legend, Tetris: The Games People Play, and Is This Guy For Real?: The Unbelievable Andy Kaufman. Box Brown’s independent comics publishing house, Retrofit Comics, was launched in 2011. His newest book is Cannabis: The Illegalization of Weed in America, a searing nonfiction graphic novel about cannabis.

Eleanor Davis

Eleanor Davis is a cartoonist and illustrator. Her books include How To Be Happy, You and a Bike and a Road, Why Art? and The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook. The Hard Tomorrow is Eleanor’s first book published by Drawn & Quarterly. She lives in Athens, Georgia. Eleanor Davis’s The Hard Tomorrow blazes unrestrained, as moments of human connection are doused in fear and threats. Her astute projections probe at current anxieties in a cautionary tale that begs the question: What will happen after tomorrow?

Ed Piskor

Ed Piskor (b. 1982) lives and draws out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is a former student of the Kubert School, has collaborated with Harvey Pekar, and put out the graphic novel Wizzywig. His New York Times Best-Selling series Hip Hop Family Tree, which was originally serialized on Boing Boing, has gone back to print numerous times, and won the 2015 Eisner Award for “Best Reality-Based Work.” His series for Marvel, X-Men Grand Design, was released in 2017 to wide acclaim, and 2019 will see the release of the a large-scale, career-spanning artist’s edition of his work, Ed Piskor: The Fantagraphics Studio Edition.

Emily Carroll

Emily Carroll is a writer and artist of numerous award-winning comics, including the horror collection Through the Woods, which won both an Eisner and the British Fantasy Award for 2014. Her most recent work is When I Arrived at the Castle from Koyama Press. Her online comics work include numerous short stories, with subject matter ranging from haunted rivers to ravenous hand lotions. Her most recent work is a graphic novel adaptation of Laurie Halse Anderson’s 1999 novel Speak. She lives in Stratford, ON with two dogs, one cat, and her wonderful and talented wife, Kate.

Jaime Hernandez

Jaime Hernandez was born and raised in Oxnard, California. Together with his brothers Gilbert and Mario, Jaime co-created the comics series Love and Rockets in 1981, which Gilbert and Jaime continue to this day. Jaime’s work is a perfect synthesis of the anarchistic, DIY aesthetic of the punk scene and elegant cartooning reminiscent of Charles Schulz and Alex Toth. Love and Rockets has evolved into one of the great bodies of American literary fiction, spanning four decades and countless high-water marks in the medium’s history. In 2017, Jaime and Gilbert were inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame. This year, he adds two new collections to the Love and Rockets catalog: Is This How You See Me? and Tonta.

For more information about SPX ’19, please visit