September 9, 2010

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SPX 2010 Preview: Creators You Should Visit

The Small Press Expo is almost here, and in my final preview post, I wanted to highlight some of the creators who will be there with cool stuff that I think you should check out. There's so much, I need two posts to do it!

I just want to mention here that everyone who tables at SPX has worked so very hard on what they are presenting to you, and also, paying for that privilege. Take some time to look at unfamiliar things when you are there. I always find a few new gems every year, and you will, too.

Also, I apologize in advance, because I'm sure I'm going to miss someone I wanted to include here. The trouble with lists is that it's always so easy to omit something. Kinda like going to the grocery store, and realizing you forgot to buy more eggs.

So let's get started, shall we? I'm going to use alphabetical order, just to be nice and neat.

Kate Beaton
is a person who's really on the rise, and deservedly so. Her webcomic features all sorts of historical figures acting rather sarcastically. I need to do a full review some day, but for now, just have a look at her stuff. History buffs really owe it to themselves to do so.

Anthony Clark is the man behind a twisted webcomic that haunts my RSS feed, Nedroid Picture Diary. His characters are horrible to each other, and that's the key to keeping me reading on a regular basis.

James Cuartero can make you feel a lot better about yourself, with his series, The Worst Kind of People. Enjoy laughing at the horrible actions of others. It's therapeutic!

I'm going to put in a general plug here for the gang at the DC Conspiracy, a loose collective of comics creators from the Washington area. I don't have all their stuff, but I really dig most of what I've picked up from their tables. They're definitely worth spending some time at, to see what might interest you.

Matt Dembicki should be somewhere near the DC Conspiracy folks, with his mini-comic series Xoc, about the adventures of a great white shark in its natural habitat. Dembicki also has an anthology of Native America tales, Trickster, that looks pretty cool.

Roger Langridge is listed as being at the show as an exhibitor, and I really hope that's true, because I want to meet the man behind the flabergastingly awesome Muppet Show comic, which was one of my favorite comics of 2009. I've yet to read anything by Langridge I didn't like.

Sara Lindo's Lobotomy tells a touching story of two brains, and was one of my favorite pickups last year at SPX.

David Malki! uses all sorts of vintage sources to put together Wondermark, a webcomic that is one part old-school Wendy's table, one part absurd, and several parts hysterical. When Victorian men discuss blogs, hilarity inevitably ensues.

Katie Omberg has a lovely sense of humor that comes out in her comics. She does a mix of styles, and I'll be curious to see what she has available this year.

Tim Piotrowski was out of Kool Aid Man Gets Fired last year. I hope he's got it this year, because it's one of the funniest minis I've read, and I want more folks to see how good it is. Beware of being a commercial icon past your prime!

Rafer Roberts is the main man behind Plastic Farm, a completely twisted story that weaves in and out of several narratives, only to show why everything from start to finish has been so important. And that's just in book one! I love the complex nature of this series, and am happy it's continuing to grow. I took a chance on the trade, and it was well worth it. Roberts also has a mini I haven't reviewed yet, about zombie dope fiends. See why I like this guy so much? Oh, and he's also a DC Conspirator.

Bill Roundy has a number of fun mini-comics, dealing with everything from pirates to the troubles of being a gay superhero. He also writes diary comics, for those who enjoy that genre (I know I do).

Tom Scioli draws in the style of the King, Jack Kirby. His work stands out from the rest of SPX as a result, because there aren't a lot of people doing what Scioli does, at least not at this level of quality. He creates space epics in the old-school cape comic tradition, and fans of those stories by Kirby, Starlin, and others should really dig his stuff.

I can't tell if the Subterranean folks will be at SPX this year or not, but I've enjoyed their anthologies for the past few years, so I'm listing them there as a group to check out. Look for the really impressive silkscreen covers, which are hard to miss.

Raina Telgemeier's Smile should really win some book awards, at least if I had something to say about it. (I don't.) This look at growing up and dealing with being different through no choice of your own really registered with me. It probably helps that we're roughly the same age.

Rob Ullman is a big hockey fan, and a Penguins fan to boot, so I may be a bit biased here in telling you to go see him. But if you like hockey too, his mini on the sport is really cool. Rob also draws very pretty women, and those who are fans of the female form should check out his table for his comics of that kind. Rob's women are not only very attractive, they also look like real people. More creators could learn from that.

Matt Wiegle is up for an Ignantz this year. See why with any one of his mini-comics, but I particularly recommend Seven Days of Not Getting Eaten. He has a plethora of mini-c0mics in all sorts of styles, from the serious to the silly. If you need a guide to bacon, this is the man to see.

Joey Weiser may be towards the end of this list, but don't let that stop you. Grab some Mermin while the series is still new, and be sure to check out Cavemen in Space, a book I'm definitely looking forward to getting on Saturday.