Panel Patter Shines the 2012 SPX Spotlight!

The 2012 edition of my favorite show, which is referred to in the Panel Patter household as "Rob's Christmas" is almost here!  The annual Small Press Expo, located in North Bethesda, Maryland, will be held on September 15th and 16th, at its newly-expanded home at Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center.

I'll be talking extensively about the show over the next month, including show advice, panel recommendations (if it's released in time), thoughts on the show's annual Ignatz awards, and a tag-team with periodic Panel-er Erica on who you need to see.  Those who are interested will get plenty of information and be ready to get the most out of their SPX experience, whether it's their first time or fourteenth.

For anyone who has never been, the Small Press Expo is the San Diego Comic-Con of East Coast Small Press/Alternative/Self-Published Comics.  It is THE show for that genre on the East Coast, drawing exhibitors from all over the region (and even across the country) and providing a place to debut books that might get lost at other Cons, along with a definitive, show-voted award.

I put that regional modifier on it, because unlike superhero comics or even the major independents like Boom!, Image, IDW, and Dark Horse, the small press/alternative/mini-comic world is very much a regional affair.  The internet may make it easier for me to know that, say, some great creator in Seattle is making awesome autobiographical comics, but I am a lot less likely to encounter her than I am some guy who hangs out in Brooklyn who can put the pieces of paper right in my face at SPX.

Last year, I created a series of special entries for Panel Patter (along with the help of Erica and Sarah) shining the spotlight on different creators before the show.  That was so much fun, I'm not only doing it again,  I've started it sooner so that I can accommodate even more great creators, including a few who are new to me in 2012.  Need shopping suggestions?  The SPX Spotlight can help!

Keep an eye on Panel Patter for the next month for SPX Spotlight entries, highlighting everyone from well-known publishers like Fantagraphics to local comics regulars (such as members of the DC Conspiracy) to those I'm just starting to enjoy work from that I picked up last year.  I'll do this right up to the show itself, and you can find all the SPX Spotlight entries here.  Enjoy, and I'll see you in Bethesda!

NOTE:  If you are a creator and want to get in touch with me for the SPX Spotlight, you can do so by e-mailing me.