August 27, 2018

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SPX Spotlight Season is Here!


It's time to set the fountain!
It's time to vote for Ignatz!
It's time to get things started for the SPX Spotlight!

If there's one thing I've learned about doing Panel Patter for this long, it's that some features will come and go. Then there are others that stand the test of time.

For us, it's the Spx Spotlight, a feature I began officially in 2011 to cover the Small Press Expo, but started in 2010. (I see there's a cringe-worthy note in 2009 as well. Well, we all grow over time, right?) While the number of SPX Spotlights shifts from year to year, we at Panel Patter are extremely proud of the fact that we do one of the best jobs in the comics review field at prepping people for the show, even when we don't have anyone able to make it.

So why cover SPX so heavily? Part of that is because of what SPX means to me personally. While I'd been reading non-Marvel/DC books prior to my first trip to SPX in 2008, SPX exposed me to the fact that even the amazing Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh couldn't provide the variety of work being put out by names I'd never heard of before. As I wrote in 2010, and it still holds true, "SPX changed how I read comics, and it did so for the better."

Without SPX, it's unlikely there's a Panel Patter. Without SPX, I'm not friends with Rafer and Whit and Rob and Chris and Joey and Marguerite and Lisa and Lucy and so many, many others who came into my life via comics and are now people I consider friends. For that reason alone, I'd find a way to promote this show, regardless of whether or not I can ever make it back again.

But the other reason is that just as Panel Patter is all about finding great comics, so is SPX. No matter how many people you're already familiar with when you walk in the door (either as a first-timer or as a person who goes year after year), there's always going to be some new, awesome creator whose work you'll discover at SPX for the first time. Additionally, no matter how awesome other shows are, in terms of what we as Panel Patter-ers read, SPX probably has the highest concentration of creators and publishers we focus on, from AdHouse to Top Shelf and from Derf Backderf to JT Yost. That also makes it a perfect fit for us and a great reason to focus on the show for the next few weeks.

So whether you can make it to Bethesda, MD on September 15th and/or 16th or not, our SPX Spotlights are a great way to see what our (and maybe your!) favorite creators and publishers are up to this fall. Make sure you check them out. You can find them all at this link and of course throughout the next several weeks. Enjoy!