September 12, 2014

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SPX Spotlight 2014: The Cartozia Tales Gang (Bellwood, Cates, Cheng, McGinty, Vaughn, and Wenthe)

Welcome to another entry in the 2014 SPX Spotlight series!  For the next month, Panel Patter will be highlighting creators and publishers who will be at one of the best conventions, the Small Press ExpoYou can check out all of Panel Patter's spotlights for SPX from both this year and prior years here.

It's hard to believe it's been a year since Cartozia Tales was wrapping up its Kickstarter around the time of the Small Press Expo! One of the best all-ages comics to show up recently in my experience, I've spoken about Cartozia several times (Issue 1, Issue 2, and Issue 3), so I won't duplicate it here.

For those unfamiliar and click-adverse, Cartozia Tales is an ambitious shared-world anthology based around the concept of maps and cartography. Each character in Cartozia is searching or exploring, in their own way. What makes this anthology unique is that the creators divide the map into nine sections and each issue, the core creators swap areas, meaning that a story started by one person gets continued by the next and so on. In addition, each issue has two guest creators who also work within the map space.

The guest list has been stellar, including Dylan Horrocks, frequent SPX-attendee/exhibitor James Kochalka, Kevin Cannon, and Adam Koford.

At SPX, several of the "Cartozia Tales Gang" will be there. They'll be happy to sell you what's left of issue one, as well as issues 2, 3, and 4. If you're smart, though, you'll pick up a full subscription, because Cartozia is awesome.

In addition to the back issues, the Cartozia Team has worked tirelessly to be prepared to have a HUGE SPX, so they'll also be bringing brand new issues 5 and 6! These are so new, I haven't even read them yet!

While unfortunately, not everyone from Cartozia could make SPX (maybe they can try next year, to celebrate the completion of issue ten). many of them will be at SPX this year:


  • Isaac Cates, the main face of Cartozia Tales, also creates Satisfactory Comics, which he may have on hand for the show.
  • Mike Wenthe is Isaac's frequent collaborator, and while not listed, according to Isaac, he'll be on hand.
  • Lupi McGinty does not have a comic for sale to my knowledge, but her illustrations are gorgeous and if available, you should pick one up or see if she'll do a commission.
  • Shawn Cheng will also be at the show, but I am not sure what he's bringing because I forgot to ask!
  • Jen Vaughn is part of the marketing team supreme at Fantagraphics Books. She usually makes the flight across the country to sell you some amazing comics, so if she is at the Fanta booth (you can't miss that amazing splash of pink in her hair), make sure you say hi. Jen has some digital work available at Monkeybrain, but I don't think she has a physical book (yet).
  • Lucy Bellwood is also coming cross-country, just for you at SPX! We'll be giving her a Rose City Roll Call next week. At SPX, you'll find her new book Down to the Seas Again, about her trip on the Charles W. Morgan, a wooden ship built in 1841! She may also have copies of her travelogue about the Grand Canyon, Grand Adventure, and nautical nuggets in her informational series Baggywrinkles.


The Cartozia booth is a must-visit spot at SPX! Make sure you get an issue on Saturday, then go subscribe on Sunday!

Can't make SPX? Find Cartozia on the web here.