Small Press Expo has released their complete schedule of workshops and panels for the upcoming SPX 2023, taking place the weekend of September 9 and 10 at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center. We have endeavoured to merge the two separate schedules into one list but you can check them out on the official SPX 2023 website here and here

For workshops, those that are definitely All Ages or 18+ are marked.

NOTE: All workshops at SPX 2023 require a signup in advance to guarantee your spot. The signup sheet can be found here (but we have also added the signup link to each workshop in the list too).

Over 450 exhibitors will be in attendance SPX 2023 weekend. Excited to check out the Ignatz nominees? We have you covered too!

And if this isn’t enough – there are some satellite events up to and through the SPX 2023 weekend including a Derf Backderf lecture at the Library of Congress AND a Cousins-Tamaki chat about new book Roaming at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library on Thursday September 7. Definitely check out the Citywide Events list here.

SPX 2023

SPX 2023



11:00am – 12:00pm: Make A Comic NOW With Jason Little [WORKSHOP – ALL AGES]
Glen Echo Room
Instructor: Jason Little

“You’ve never made a comic before? Today you will. In this beginners’ class, Jason Little—Comics Coordinator at the School of Visual Arts—will help you let go of inhibiting obstacles to creativity so you can let the panels flow. Bring any old kind of pen, and we’ll supply the rest. Also fun for jaded professional cartoonists.”

12:00pm – 1:00pm: Drawing Cuteness With Shauna J. Grant [WORKSHOP – ALL AGES]
Glen Echo Room
Instructor: Shauna J. Grant

What is the magic behind cuteness? Here we’ll be learning with Shauna J. Grant what makes things look cute and drawing our own bundle of cuteness!”

12:00pm – 1:00pm: Horror Of The Everyday [PANEL]
White Oak Room
Panelists: Nicole Goux, Julia Gfrörer, Beth Hetland, King Ray | Moderator Dr. Rachel S. Miller

“Sometimes, the most effective horror stories aren’t about jump scares and blood. Sometimes, they spring out of mundane and everyday situations, slowly turning reality into something terrifying. Be it a dog that slowly takes over someone’s life, demons silently interfering with a couple, or a woman’s desperate need for motherhood driving her to terrifying extremes, the horror of the everyday is often the most terrifying because it feels so familiar. Join moderator Dr. Rachel S. Miller along with panelists Nicole Goux (Pet Peeves), Julia Gfrörer (Too Dark To See, Vision), Beth Hetland (Tender), and King Ray (Phonestoned) as they explore their own takes on horror.”

12:30pm – 1:30pm: Birth, Blood, Loss, and Love: Celebrate a MUTHA-Decade [PANEL]
White Flint Amphitheater
Panelists: Glynnis Fawkes, Summer Pierre, Whit Taylor, Pam Wye, Leela Corman | Moderator: Meg Lemke

“Join cartoonists who take a radical, unexpected look at becoming parents (or longing to), from all angles. Their comics take on the tension of balancing art, work, and family; candid stories of heartache and humor living with kids; the blood and guts of birth; the taboo of loss and grief; grappling with families of origin and identity; and more. Ten years ago, the alternative online zine MUTHA launched, from its outset a place for comics in conversation with essays, poetry, and other hybrid work. Comics from the site have been short-listed for the Eisner’s, won Ignatz awards, and become books, as MUTHA’s remained a home for experimentation and community for artists in the sometimes messy transition to parenting. There are still folks in the often clique-y art world who claim you can have an artist’s life or a family, and MUTHA explodes that false dichotomy. Featuring Leela Corman, Glynnis Fawkes, Summer Pierre, Whit Taylor, and Pam Wye, moderated by MUTHA editor-in-chief Meg Lemke.”

1:00pm – 2:00pm: Three Killer Panels: How To Keep Your Web Audience With Eleri Mai Harris [WORKSHOP]
Glen Echo Room
Instructor:  Eleri Mai Harris

The internet is a fickle beast. If you haven’t caught your readers’ attention by the third panel of your comic, you’ll probably lose them! This workshop with Eleri Mai Harris (The Nib) will teach you how to craft killer intros for longer digital comics, to maximize reader eyeballs and build bigger audiences. You have three panels. Go!”

1:00pm – 2:00pm: Gay Shit, Kink Shit, And King Shit [PANEL]
White Oak Room
Panelists: Ngozi Ukazu, Rebecca Mock, Casey Nowak, Rosemary Valero-O’Connell | Moderator: J.A. Micheline

“This panel will explore queerness and kink in comics, with a specific eye to how yaoi (and other queer comic traditions) have influenced the work of American cartoonists — or not! The discussion will emphasize each of the featured cartoonists’ personal history with yaoi and queer comics, the structural lessons taken from these works, and where they would like to see queer comics go next. Moderator J.A. Micheline will join artists Ngozi Ukazu (Check, Please!), Rebecca Mock (Die Horny), Casey Nowak (Bodyseed), and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell (Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up WIth Me) in the panel.”

1:30pm – 2:30pm: Weird and Rare Manga That I Own [PANEL]
White Flint Amphitheater
Panelist: Ryan Holmberg

Popeye as a sumo wrestler, Charlie Chaplin under the cherry trees, Babe Ruth in a Japanese sandlot, Tatsumi Yoshihiro being kawaii, and more. This talk by manga historian and translator Ryan Holmberg will peruse some of the weird and rare manga in his collection, assembled over the past 20 years of research and impulsive spending.”

2:00pm – 3:00pm: Figure Drawing For Cartoonists With Danielle Corsetto And Babs New(d) [WORKSHOP – 18+]
Glen Echo Room
Instructors: Danielle Corsetto, Babs New(d)

“Learn how to apply figure drawing to make more confident, believable, and dynamic comics characters! This will be a live figure-drawing workshop, so be prepared to draw! 18+ and please be respectful; we will have a live nude model. Hosted by cartoonist/lecturer Danielle Corsetto, and cartoonist/model Babs New(d).”

2:00pm – 3:00pm: Spotlight on Bill Griffith and Three Rocks: The Story Of Ernie Bushmiller [PANEL]
White Oak Room
Panelist: Bill Griffith | Moderator: Paul Gravett

“Bill Griffith is a legend of the underground comics era, co-editing Arcade and syndicated his surreal Zippy The Pinhead strip for nearly fifty years. His new book, Three Rocks: The Story Of Ernie Bushmiller, is his latest graphic novel, detailing the creator of Nancy’s life and the influence that strip had on him. He’ll be joined in conversation by writer, historian, and critic Paul Gravett, made immortal as “The Man At The Crossroads” by Eddie Campbell.”

2:30pm – 3:30pm: Fish Out Of Water Science-Fiction [PANEL]
White Flint Amphitheater
Panelists: Tyrell Waiters, Casey Nowak, Julia Gootzeit, Hannah Templer | Moderator: Ana Merino

“What happens when you wake up one day and your normal existence has completely changed? When you get a job at a lab and wind up cleaning black holes? When the soil you’re investigating has a mind of its own? When you’re recruited from a backwater planet for a noble quest? Moderator Ana Merino joins panelists Tyrell Waiters (Vern, Custodian Of The Universe), Hannah Templer (Cosmoknights), Casey Nowak (Bodyseed), and Julia Gootzeit (Golem Pit 224) to discuss how their characters find themselves in alarming new settings.”

3:00pm – 4:00pm: Comics and Tarot: Pages And Panels [PANEL]
White Oak Room
Panelists: Shing Yin Khor, Coco Fox, Izzy Rotman, Kevin Jay Stanton | Moderator: Alice Santos

“From spiritual practice to party game, many artists have found a home in tarot and other forms of cartomancy. Join Shing Yin Khor, Isabella Rotman, Coco Fox, and Kevin Jay Stanton with moderator Alice Santos to talk comics, creating decks, and the interplay between the two.”

3:00pm – 4:00pm: Puppet School Homework With Keren Katz [WORKSHOP]
Glen Echo Room
Instructor: Keren Katz

“We will develop short 60 second performances, karaoke numbers, interviews or just plain old crossing of the stage as household objects. After a brief introduction of my own puppet shenanigans, we will work on our chosen characters during the first half of the workshop, creating impromptu puppets and costumes, and then, a selection of brave volunteers will take take the stage in turns to practice their body language, delivery, and the articulation of their selected point of view to a cheering and supporting audience of fellow household objects.”

3:30pm – 4:30pm: History On The Ground: Personal Accounts [PANEL]
White Flint Amphitheater
Panelists: Ana Penyas, Derf, Tracy White, Michael Cherkas | Moderator: Eleri Mai Harris

“When history books are written, they rarely take into account how momentous events affect individuals. Eleri Mai Harris (The Nib) will discuss how larger historical events informed the personal stories told by the panelists. Join Ana Penyas (We’re All Just Fine), Derf (Kent State), Tracy White (Unaccompanied), and Michael Cherkas (Red Harvest) as they reveal personal and unexamined perspectives on history.”

4:00pm – 5:00pm: Crowdfundr Presents: Crowdfunding From Eh? To Zed [WORKSHOP]
Glen Echo Room
Instructor: David Barach

To learn how to get the most out of crowdfunding, join David Barach, president of Crowdfundr (based in Canada – in case you couldn’t tell from the title) for a nuts and bolts, best practices workshop that will set you on the path toward a sustainable revenue stream for your comics.”

4:00pm – 5:00pm: MariNaomi and Rob Kirby In Conversation with Justin Hall [PANEL]
White Oak Room
Panelists: Rob Kirby, MariNaomi | Moderator: Justin Hall

“Rob Kirby has been a crucial part of the queer comics scene for over three decades, both as a cartoonist for his Curbside Boys series as well as an editor and publisher. His latest book, Marry Me A Little, focuses on what led to getting married after it was legalized for queer couples. He’ll be joined by cartoonist and organizer MariNaomi, whose new book, I Thought You Loved Me, is an intriguing mix of memoir and mystery. Educator and cartoonist Justin Hall will delve into their new books and other topics with them.”

4:30pm – 5:30pm: The Difficulty Of Simplicity: Writing For Young Readers [PANEL]
White Flint Amphitheater
Panelists: Rodrigo Vargas, Coni Yovaniniz, Miranda Harmon, Leigh Luna, Shauna J. Grant | Moderator: Meg Lemke

“Writing comics aimed at young readers requires an incredible level of craft. Not only is a cartoonist’s toolbox limited in terms of subject matter, they must also be able to make it easy for kids to understand the art of comics. Moderator Meg Lemke explores the joys and difficulties of writing for young kids with Rodrigo Vargas & Coni Yovaniniz (The Do-Over), Miranda Harmon (Mayor Good Boy), Leigh Luna (Clementine Fox And The Great Island Adventure), and Shauna J. Grant (Mimi And The Cutie Catastrophe).”

5:00pm – 6:00pm:  Carousel: Comics Performances [PANEL]
White Oak Room
Panelists: Lawrence Lindell, Breena Nuñez, Kayla E, Jonathan Baylis, Robyn Smith, R.Sikoryak | Moderator R. Sikoryak

“Since 1997, R. Sikoryak has hosted Carousel, a series of comics readings and visual performances by cartoonists and theater artists, presented around the U.S. and Canada. This special edition of Carousel at SPX features exhibiting artists and guests, performing live. Join us for an audio-visual journey to the place where comics and performance collide! Featuring: Lawrence Lindell (Blackward), Breena Nuñez (The Nib, The New Yorker), Jonathan Baylis (So Buttons), Robyn Smith (Wash Day Diaries), Kayla E (Precious Rubbish). and R. Sikoryak (Constitution Illustrated).”

5:00pm – 6:00pm: Giving Wonder To The Mundane With Ashley Jablonski [WORKSHOP]
Glen Echo Room
Instructor: Ashley Jablonski

“Seemingly everyday things can inspire us every single day. You can draw inspiration and wonder from the mundane. Ashley Jablonski will be working with you on prompts and exercises to spark that wonder and make a comic from it. Color, texture, emanata, and text can help show that wonder.”

5:30pm – 6:30pm: Dancing About Architecture: Depicting Other Arts Through Comics [PANEL]
White Flint Amphitheater
Panelists: Reinhard Kleist, Leslie Stein, Keren Katz, Andrew White | Moderator: Dr. Craig Fischer

“Comics’ unique combination of word and image allows them to not only create their own immersive worlds but also to effectively comment on other arts. Finding ways to depict music, dance, literature, and other arts is a fascinating challenge for many cartoonists. Moderator Dr. Craig Fischer joins cartoonists Reinhard Kleist (Starman), Leslie Stein (Brooklyn’s Last Secret), Keren Katz (The Academic Hour), and Andrew White (Together And Apart) to discuss their own efforts drawing comics about other art forms.”

6:00pm – 7:00pm: New Approaches to Nonfiction: Pushing the Form [PANEL]
White Oak Room
Panelists: Box Brown, Whit Taylor, Dan Nott, Briana Loewinsohn | Moderator: Dr. Francesca Lyn

“This panel will focus on creators using innovative approaches to the form in their nonfiction comics. Working on topics ranging from history, journalism, graphic medicine and neuroscience, cartoonists will discuss how nonfiction comics can explore the most exciting possibilities of the form. Moderator Dr. Francesca Lyn will join Dan Nott (Hidden Systems), Whit Taylor (The Greater Good), Box Brown (Tetris, Cannabis), and Briana Loewinsohn (Ephemera) as they discuss their approaches to nonfiction narratives.” 

6:00pm – 7:00pm: Physical Self-Care For Artists And Writers With Kriota Wilberg [WORKSHOP]
Glen Echo Room
Instructor: Kriota Wilberg

Living a creative and productive life centered around a sketchbook, digital device, desk, or small-scale work area can be liberating for your mind, but hard on your body. Hours of daily writing and drawing can lead to repetitive stress injuries, eye strain, stress, and all sorts of pain. This workshop explores the relationships between your creative environment, tools, hand/wrist alignment, and posture when working with traditional or digital equipment. Learn some ergonomics hacks and how to prevent eye strain. Explore ways to make drawing and writing postures easier on your body. Practice some self-care techniques that will loosen tight muscles and reduce stress.”

SPX 2023



12:00pm – 1:00pm: Paws And Puns: An Animal Comics Workshop With Coco Fox And Annabel Driussi [WORKSHOP – ALL AGES]
Glen Echo Room
Instructors: Coco Fox, Annabel Driussi

Calling all animal lovers! In the all-ages Paws and Puns comics workshop, you will learn how to draw comics about your pets or favorite animal species! Coco Fox and Annabel Driussi will lead you through fun joke generating activities and guide you to make a finished 2 panel comic about your purrrrfect animal friends.”

12:30pm – 1:30pm: Live Performance Of The Ardent [PANEL]
White Oak Room
Panelist: Carl Antonowicz

“A multimedia one-man live reading of a new graphic novel by Carl Antonowicz, featuring live sound effects and projected images from the book! When the silent monk Odulf is tasked with transporting the jeweled bones of his order’s patron saint, he jumps at the chance. But the road ahead is filled with sorrow, danger, and iniquity. Will Odulf make it through? Recommended for mature audiences.”

1:00pm – 2:00pm: Raeghan Buchanan Spotlight [PANEL]
White Flint Amphitheater
Panelist: Raeghan Buchanan | Moderator: Dr. Rachel Miller

“Raeghan Buchanan is an artist, writer, and musician whose book, The Secret History Of Black Punk: Record Zero is a fascinating deep dive into the lives and careers of trailblazing Black musicians who have been unjustly forgotten. Moderator Dr. Rachel Miller will go into depth with Raeghan on her book and her background.”

1:00pm – 2:00pm: Resiliency Narratives With Natalie Norris [WORKSHOP]
Glen Echo Room
Instructors: Natalie Norris

In this workshop we gather to learn techniques for approaching memoir stories that we find difficult to tell but feel compelled to share. We’ll focus on the resiliency that grows out of personal stories about adversity, illness, and survival and how you can harness your strength to face these kinds of memoirs. This workshop will include discussion and a drawing activity. All skill levels are welcome, drawing materials will be provided.”

1:30pm – 2:30pm: Subgenres Of Memoir [PANEL]
White Oak Room
Panelists: Eddie Campbell, MariNaomi, Elizabeth Trembley, Kayla E. | Moderator: Paul Gravett

Memoir comics have expanded from simply depicting personal narratives to dipping into the tropes of other genres. Paul Gravett moderates a panel of memoirists whose work spills over into different storytelling styles. The artists are Eddie Campbell (the meta-memoir The Second Fake Death Of Eddie Campbell), MariNaomi (the mystery-memoir I Thought You Loved Me), Elizabeth Trembley (the multiple points of view narrative Look Again), and Kayla E. (the reclaimed-image memoir Precious Rubbish).”

2:00pm – 3:00pm: Drawing Anatomy In Action With Kriota Wilberg And Babs New(d) [WORKSHOP – 18+]
Glen Echo Room
Instructors: Kriota Wilberg, Babs New(d)

“No matter what we are doing, the shapes of our bodies are determined by the positions of our bones, the contraction and stretch of our muscles, and the contours of our tissues and skin covering the anatomy underneath. This workshop explores drawing the body based on the anatomy of movement. Cartoonist/anatomist Kriota Willberg will—literally—draw on cartoonist/live model Babs New(d), tracing muscles and bones for participants to draw in any style they choose. Drawing supplies will be provided. All levels welcome! 18+ and please be respectful; we will have a live nude model.”

2:00pm – 3:00pm: Philosophies of Comics Pedagogy [PANEL]
White Flint Amphitheater
Panelists: Justin Hall, Daryl Seitchik, Laurenn McCubbin, Jason Little, Tom Hart | Moderator: Cuyler Hedlund

“An art school experience focused on comics is a relatively new phenomenon. What do different educators prioritize in terms of their pedagogical philosophies? Moderator Cuyler Hedlund joins artists and educators Justin Hall (CCA), Tom Hart (SAW), Jason Little (SVA), Laurenn McCubbin (CCAD), and Daryl Seitchik (CCS) as they compare notes on how they approach teaching.”

2:30pm – 3:30pm: The Mechanics Of Writer/Artist Teams [PANEL]
White Oak Room
Panelists: Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki, Ananth Hirsh, Yuko Ota | Moderator Warren Bernard

“Writer-artist teams are uncommon in alternative comics, but there are certainly a few highly successful pairings. Foremost among them are Ignatz Award winners Mariko & Jillian Tamaki (Roaming) and Ananth Hirsh & Yuko Ota (Johnny Wander). Moderator Warren Bernard will find out how each team functions, the process of creation, and other fine details of collaboration.”

3:00pm – 4:00pm: Crowdfundr Presents: How To Build An Audience In The New Social Media Environment [WORKSHOP]
Glen Echo Room
Instructor: David Barach

Join David Barach, president of Crowdfundr, for a deep dive into how comics creators can become less dependent on platforms that are subject to the whims of algorithms and despots and instead build a lasting audience by using platforms that are geared toward direct engagement and community building.”

3:00pm – 4:00pm: SOLRADio Live: Joel Priddy’s First There Was Chaos [PANEL]
White Flint Amphitheater
Panelists: Joel Priddy, Rob Clough, Thomas Campbell | Moderator: Alex Hoffman

This is a live version of the SOLRADio podcast, the show where SOLRAD critics take a deep dive on a single book. The twist here is that the artist will join the critics as they talk about their new comic. Moderator Alex Hoffman will join Rob Clough and Thomas Campbell along with artist Joel Priddy as they ask him about his new book, First There Was Chaos.”

3:30pm – 4:30pm: Queer Friendship Spaces [PANEL]
White Oak Room
Panelists: Lawrence Lindell, Archie Bongiovanni, Emma Jayne, Al Varela | Moderator: Rob Kirby

For many queer authors, the depiction of friendships and romances goes beyond the people involved. It specifically extends to the physical spaces they hang out, can feel safe, and create traditions. Whether it’s clubs, cafes, bars, rec rooms or beyond, the spaces themselves tell a story. Join moderator Rob Kirby as he talks about these spaces with Lawrence Lindell (Blackward), Emma Jayne (Trans Girls On The Town), Archie Bongiovanni (The Greasebats, Mimosa), and Al Varela (Young, Dumb, And Queer).”

4:00pm – 5:00pm:  Immersive Worlds: Complex Depictions Of Environments [PANEL]
White Flint Amphitheater
Panelists: K.Wroten, Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, Wren McDonald, Daria Tessler | Moderator: Rob Clough

“There are cartoonists who pay as much or even more attention to depictions of the worlds they create as they do to their characters. For some, it’s even more important. Whether it’s densely-inked backgrounds or vivid colors dominating each panel, a complex environment tells its own story. Moderator Rob Clough joins Wren McDonald (Cyber Realm), Rosemary Valero-O’Connell (Don’t Go Without Me), K.Wroten (Eden II), and Daria Tessler (Salome’s Last Dance) as they discuss their immersive worlds.”

4:00pm – 5:00pm: Master Comic Workshop: Splash Pages And Panels With Josh Bayer [WORKSHOP]
Glen Echo Room
Instructor: Josh Bayer

Cartoonist and educator Josh Bayer takes us into the weeds for a discussion on some techniques for dealing with the most prevalent issues in making a panel work; the small details, We look at how to best play with space, explore a composition, and place a figure into a convincing reality by engaging with inspirations from the past. We work from the corners and towards the center in this effort to explore new ways to make a world within the page. Materials will be provided, but attendees are also encouraged to bring their sketchbooks and preferred tools.”

4:30pm – 5:30pm: Depicting Viscerality In Sports And Wrestling [PANEL]
White Oak Room
Panelists: Ed Luce, Leela Corman, Rob Ullman, Tanya Dorph-Mankey | Moderator: Teppi Zuppo

“There is dazzling skill in hockey, from the speed of the skaters to their deft work with the stick. There is magnificent spectacle in pro wrestling, with a vast array of high-flying maneuvers and gnarly-looking submissions. What they have in common is the sheer, visceral thrill of contact: a bone-rattling check to the boards or an agonizing body slam. Moderator Teppi Zuppo asks Ed Luce (Wuvable Oaf), Leela Corman (Victory Parade), Rob Ullman (Old-Timey Hockey Tales), and Tanya Dorph-Mankey (The Plight Of Orange Cassidy) how they convey this feeling of impact in a two-dimensional form.”

5:00pm – 6:00pm: Comics About Pets! With Anna Sellheim [WORKSHOP – ALL AGES]
Glen Echo Room
Instructor: Anna Sellheim

“Working with cartoonist and educator Anna Sellheim, participants will be introduced to the concept of “shape language” and will use this knowledge to create an abstract character design to capture their pet’s personality. Participants will then draw a one-page comic about their pet! All ages.”