September 10, 2011

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Rob and Erica's SPX 2011 Creator Guide!

It's almost here!  The Small Press Expo will be held at the Marriott in Bethseda, MD on Saturday, September 10th and Sunday, September 11th.  We can't wait!

Obviously, SPX is the favorite comics show of the year for this blog and we've taken time to really dig in and spotlight some of the great folks who will be there.  Unfortunately, we can't give them all individuals posts.

Instead, Erica and I have created a list of people you should find at the show this weekend if you end up being an awesome person and attend either day (or maybe even both!).  Erica's contributions are tagged with "E" and mine are given a "Q".  Not really.  I'm using "R" of course.

We like this show so much, we have to break this post into two in order to accommodate everyone!  Please stop and find these wonderful people at the show this weekend and start (or continue) to enjoy their great comics!

List is in alphabetical order and based on the list on the SPX website.  My apologies in advance if we miss anyone (which could happen given how many there are!) and if we list someone who ends up not being able to make it.

Troy Allen is one of the many members of the DC Conspiracy who will be at SPX this year.  He got me to read a wrestling comic to its finish, which is no small feat.  Have a look, especially if you like your Monday nights raw. (R)

I have not read a lot of Darryl Ayo's comics, but he's a great Twitter conversationalist and that's good enough for me.  I know him from the Box 12 anthology on Comixology and I'm curious to see what he has with him at the show. (R)

Liz Baillie is the author of the long-running, dearly departed minicomic My Brain Hurts and currently the author of the webcomic Freewheel. Her work has also appeared in a handful of anthologies. (E)

If you haven’t heard of Kate Beaton… where have you been? Beaton’s history-themed webcomics have been making the rounds for the past few years, and she has also been featured in the New Yorker. Her first book by a major publisher comes out this fall from Drawn and Quarterly. (E)

Carolyn Belefski and Joe Carabeo tag-team at shows due to their many collaborations.  There will be new Curls material at SPX, and also some of their other comics, too! (R)

Hermit Hill creator Nate Bramble isn't doing that webcomic any longer, but is on to other projects.  I admit I lost track of him after the comic folded, so it will be nice to see what he's up to nowadays.  You should, too. (R)

Andrew Cohen is another DC Conspiracy member, who I recently became a big fan of.  This SPX Spotlight recipient will have several new things at his table, and I can't wait to get them! (R)

The DC Conspiracy  is a big part of my SPX experience.  I've been reading and enjoying Matt Dembicki's comics for quite awhile now, whether they deal with the creepy, the animal world, or classic tales and legends.  He's a person you need to talk to and buy some comics from.  (R)

Jess Fink is an illustrator who has collaborated with writers such as Joey Comeau and Polly Frost. She is also the author of the erotic robot comic Chester 5000-XYV and the time travel memoir We Can Fix It. Several of her designs have been featured on the T-shirt site Threadless. (E)

Colleen Frakes is a relatively new addition to my list of creators to look for.  I met her at the Comics Geek Speak Supershow earlier this year, and quite liked her Xeric comic, Woman King.  Frakes is moving and I don't know how far--this might be your last chance to see her on this coast for all I know. She's bringing lots of minis for sale, too.  (R)

If you like stories that are both introspective and also tackle difficult issues, then definitely talk to Sarah Glidden, author of How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less. The book itself is back in print in softcover and I'm sure she'll have them at the show. (R)

Dustin Harbin has the pleasure of hosting the Ignantz this year, and you should have the pleasure of reading his fine, funny comics.  Harbin's detailed linework will knock your socks off. (R)

James Kochalka is the author of the decade-long, daily slice-of-life comic American Elf, as well as numerous books for both children and adults. His current series for children is Dragon Puncher (Top Shelf), which mixes illustration and photography (and punching). He is also a prolific musician, releasing ten albums under the name James Kochalka Superstar. (E)

Roger Langridge makes a return visit to SPX, offering up his indie work.  The man is extremely talented and funny, though to be honest I've only read his licensed work, which is some of the best I've read. (R)

Sara Lindo has a new book, which features a fictional adventure for her cat in the world of Wall Street.  I'm a big fan of her work over the past few years, almost all of which should be available at the show. (R)

In David Malki!’s webcomic Wondermark, Victorian iconography and modern humor work in tandem. A collection of his strips has been published by Dark Horse Comics. In addition to Wondermark, Malki ! is part of the Machine of Death squad. (E)

Anders Nilsen not only has arguably the sexiest voice in indie comics (seriously, he could be a leading many of radio), he's also got some great comics.  Nilsen is touring for his new collection, which contains comics that show off his cynical and pointed insights on the world through his pictures. (R)

Ryan North’s Dinosaur Comics shows that you can make a highly entertaining comic strip using only six panels. T. Rex and his friends Utahraptor and Dromiceiomimus discuss philosophy, video games, and Batman. It’s awesomoderately okay. North is also one of the masterminds behind the “Machine of Death” book of short stories (stories about people who know how they will die), it being inspired by a Dinosaur Comics strip. (E)

In this era where we might finally start treating gay people with equality, it's great to see comics like Katie Omberg's Gay Kid showing that it's normal to have the feelings that might make you different.  She's also got a series of comics that poke gentle fun at the life of retail. A new Gay is promised for the show.(R)

Morgan Pielli is friends with Sara Lindo and Steve Seck (see below) and I wanted to get Indestructible Universe into the SPX Spotlight but I just ran out of time.  The mini-comic/webcomic is a collection of short stories that range from the whimsical to the weird, and that's right up my alley.  If you live in that alley, too, stop by to see Pielli. (R)

Nate Powell’s Ignatz-award-winning book Swallow Me Whole (Top Shelf) was probably my favorite graphic novel of 2008. The highly anticipated Any Empire has just been released, and will be available from the Top Shelf table at SPX. Powell’s work combines extremely evocative illustration with keen insight into social issues. (E)

I also ran out of time to do more on RM Rhodes, the purple-suited purveyor of pictures.  Rhodes uses a variety of mixed media from the limited samples I got to view up to tonight, and what I saw intrigued me enough to make sure I go back and read more later.  See what you think! (R)

Rafer Roberts is not only a cool guy but a great cartoonist of the creepy.  It's been a great year for me because I've seen him enough to catch up on how things are going.  He has a new Plastic Farm and is always available for art and good conversation. (R)

Bill Roundy has been busy with paying projects and who can blame him?  Still, he's hoping to have a new mini or two in addition to his autobiographical work and probably some horrible romances. (R)

Variety is the spice of life, and Jim Rugg is the embodiment of that spirit.  He does everything from movie parodies to comics appropriate for teenage girls to spot-on satire of old Marvel comics.  You're bound to find something of his that you'll like.  Personally, I like all of it. (R)

Tom Scioli is about as close to an heir to Kirby as you are going to get.  A native of my old stomping grounds, he's amazingly good at doing homages to the King without it feeling completely derivative.  Hell, even if it was, it's so good, who cares? (R)

Steve Seck is another friend of Sara Lindo's that keeps an ongoing webcomic/mini-comic, Life is Good.  The series revolves around a quirky cast that quickly grows on you.  I liked the ones I got recently so much I ordered all the back issues. (R)

I should see if Katie Sekelsky can use her time travel powers to send me back so I have more time to write up posts about SPX.  Her book is debuting at the show, and is on my "must purchase" list for this year's SPX. (R)

I'm so excited that Raina Telgemeier has a new book coming out, but sad we won't see it at SPX this year.  However, I'm sure she'll have Smile, one of my favorite books from 2010. (R)

Anne Thalheimer writes the autobiographical minicomic Booty, and also makes adorable monster hats. She is a member of the New England-based Trees and Hills Comics Group. (E)

Noah Van Sciver is behind the minicomics series Blammo, and has been featured in a number of anthologies. His graphic novel The Hypo will be published next year by Fantagraphics. (E)

Rob Ullman is one of the best I know at drawing beautiful women, and has great taste in sports teams, too.  He's got two debuts at the show this year, one of which features hockey stories with Jeffrey Brown.  How can you go wrong there? (R)

Joey Weiser wraps things up, and given that Joey was one of the artists I liked best from my first SPX back in 2008, it's quite appropriate.  Weiser writes comics that can truly be said to be all-ages, with an upbeat outlook and a positive message.  Weiser's latest is a collection of strips from his webcomic, Monster Isle. (R)

And that's the list!  WHEW!  We'll see you--along with all these great people!--at SPX!  Have an amazing show.  SPX is such an affirming show for all involved, and we can't be there soon.