September 3, 2013

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SPX Spotlight 2013: Joey Weiser

Welcome to another entry in the 2013 SPX Spotlight series!  For the next month, I'll be highlighting creators and publishers who will be at the best convention, the Small Press Expo.  You can check out all of my spotlights for SPX from both this year and prior years here.

Joey Weiser is one of the first creators I ever purchased from at SPX, all the way back in 2008. It's been a long and fun run picking up his new comics as they come out and seeing him move from being known in mini-comics circles to working on SpongeBob Squarepants and getting his mini-comics series Mermin promoted to the big time with an Oni Press publishing.

Weiser would make a great dictionary example for the definition of "all ages" comics. His work is by no means juvenile but Weiser writes his comics at a level that is easily grasped by younger readers, both in content and in form. He's not shooting over their heads, nor is he trying to play down to their level, two mistakes that all-ages creators--especially those not used to it--tend to make. The stories are, not unlike Cartozia Tales, designed to be readable by just about anyone, but layered with enough that the content can register with younger children, teens, and adults.

In other words, he's just about perfect for SpongeBob.

I've written a lot about Joey's work over the years (here's a link to his tag), so I won't go into more detail here and repeat myself. However, I can't stress enough that he is one of the premiere all-ages creators you'll find at SPX, and that's a place where Weiser has heavy competition. I think he could be the next breakout all-ages creator that comes from the SPX circle. His writing continues to mature while he nails down an art style of thick lines, improved action, and a general cute feeling about the characters without tipping into pandering territory.

For SPX this year, Joey should have copies of the Mermin Book 1 (here's my review of the first three issues of that book), Cavemen in Space (review here), and the one that started me off with Weiser, the Ride Home (review here, but it's an early one). He'll also have his Toho alphabet book, the mini of his old webcomic Monster Isle, and also a collaboration, Explictica, which is a set of D&D themed drawings.

New for SPX will be Bezoar 2, pictured above. Edited by Weiser, it features stories by him, Patrick Dean, David Mack, and others. The first issue was a lot of fun, and if you like anthologies, see if your taste matches up with Joey's. Be aware Bezoar isn't going to be quite as kid-friendly, so you might want to preview it first.

That's a lot of good stuff, and I didn't even mention he'll probably have a print or two as well, and be more than happy to recommend the work of his friends who will be at SPX as well. So make sure you bring your pocketbook!

Can't get a Ride Home from SPX?  Well, you can find Joey's website here, with links to his store.