tumblr_nbie1eMyE41qiccgro1_1280.jpgThis weekend the Small Press Expo takes place in North Bethesda, MD. The show is known for its collegial, summer camp vibe, but this year, it is going ALL OUT. There will never again be talk about the pig roast or the softball game or the karaoke or anything else, because this year there is going to be a PROM.

Yes following the Ignatzes there will be a danceathon in prom finery as we dance around the chocolate fountain in glee. This kind of display has been bubbling under in private parties for years but this year, it’s real. In case you’re worried about etiquette, the SPX tumblr has the rulez.

There is also going to be a post Ignatz WEDDING, according to Simon Hanselmann:

What is this wedding you’re doing?

I was joking about having a fake wedding, and then Cohen at Fantagraphics got really excited about it and said, “We’ll do it, it’ll be real.” It’s a publicity stunt, basically. I’m going to buy a wedding dress. Grant and I have to get drunk and go to the wedding dress strip and buy a wedding dress. I’m worried about how much it’s going to cost. It’s a fake wedding; DeForge is my best man. It was going to be officiated by Gary Groth, but I think Chris Mautner is doing it now, from Comic Book Resources. There’s going to be cake, balloons, I’m getting married to comics. It’s going to be a beautiful, emotional, symbolic kind of tribute to my love of the craft. I’m kind of nervous about it now, because I kind of have to write it, like it’s a comedy bit in a way. And it’s very heartfelt in a way. I’m kind of a bit crazy. It will have meaning to me, but it’s just kind of a lark as well. I’m going to do a talk at Parsons, I’ve got my list of all the stuff I have to do, I’m going to do Gridlords.

Will this surpass the time Nick Gurewitch talked to a gorilla? Very possibly.

Anyway, it looks like this will be a Saturday night SPX hoedown that people will be talking about for days, even weeks to come. Word on the street is that there will be Tumblr posts about it and possibly even tweets.

My only regret is that due to luggage restraints, I won’t be able to bring a hat. =( Oh well, best to leave that kind of thing to the kids, anyway.

Oh yeah Flashback Friday, here’s Eric Reynolds and Chris Oarr, then SPX director, from 2003 at the OLD hotel. I hear Oarr will be making an appearance for this 20th Anniversary show. Truly this one has it all.



  1. I wonder where they will find space for the Prom?

    The Ignatz Awards are always overcrowded (possibly illegally, given the fire code), and the ballroom space is now a lottery.

    The hotel is a nice space (I love staying on the mezzanine level), but I think the show needs to move to a bigger space, like the Marriott or Hyatt at Metro Center. Or perhaps the National Mall, now that the National Book Festival has moved to the convention center!

    As for hats, take the red line Metro to Friendship Heights. They’ll have something, from TJ Maxx to Neiman Marcus.

  2. I hadn’t heard that Oarr’s going to be at SPX. That’s great to hear. I was hoping that there might be some sort of programming or event that connected to the 20 years of history, but the current leadership was apparently uninterested, alas. With Oarr in town, most of the past ExecDirs would have been available; Lou Danoff (1994) is in Israel and Jeff Alexander (2010) sadly passed away, but everyone else is still local. (Zarlenga, myself, Conley, Flage, and of course Bernard.)

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