Time for the Fifth Annual SPX Spotlights!

After a few years of learning that there were western comics beyond Marvel-DC-Dark Horse (Image was not the company they are today, Boom! was effectively a micro press, and Dynamite was that company doing some stuff with Red Sonja), Erica and I finally decided to go to the Small Press Expo in 2008. We'd just missed hearing about it in 2007, but had planned for it most of the following year.

The show changed my life, how I read comics, and is directly responsible for Panel Patter, really, as the site became the place where I got to talk more and more about the comics no one else was giving a lot of attention to. I went every year from 2008-2013, and started writing about it extensively in 2011, with what came to be known as the SPX Spotlight series

SPX has grown immensely over the years. There are some issues relating to that growth, but the fact remains that it's the premiere show on the East Coast for those who like truly independent comics, micro-presses, and webcomics. That might have been MOCCA once upon a day, but look at how many debuts are timed to SPX. It's like the San Diego Comic-Con of the small press, and that's why, quite frankly, I'm terrified that television is trying to get its greedy mitts into SPX.

But that's not the reason this post is here. This is about celebrating another year of great talent and about using Panel Patter's full powers to help be a one-stop guide for those attending the show this year, both old and new. We'll cover the "bigger" names but also ensure that you've got a great group of people who are still flying under the radar. Even if you can't make it, we'll have links to where you can purchase the comics directly from the creators.

Our coverage of the 21st Small Press Expo begins today, and continues right up to the show! I won't be there, but Panel Patter folks Whit Taylor and Rob Kirby will be tabling, and Guy Thomas will be wandering. Make sure you say hi to them when you go!