SPX Spotlight 2017: Fantagraphics Set the Pace, As Usual

It's another entry in Panel Patter's not Patented SPX Spotlight feature! We're ready to provide you with some great pre-show coverage for one of the best comic shows in the United States! In a show with nearly 700 exhibitors, we'll help you find some of the best! You can read all our SPX Spotlights from 2017 and prior shows here.

As usual, Fantagraphics, one of the oldest publishers of small press comics, will have a huge presence at SPX this year. We've written extensively about Fantagraphics over the years, and it's no surprise, given the wide variety of diverse, quality books they put out on a yearly basis. They're one of the best at reprinting classics, like Steve Ditko's horror work, Charles Schulz's complete Peanuts run, or spotlights on specific EC creators. You'll also find them as the primary home of such noted creators as the Hernandez Brothers and Dan Clowes. They've published histories of comics by Trina Robbins. Newer stars like Noah Van Sciver, Richard Sala, Simon Hanselmann, and so many others also call Fantagraphics home for a good portion of their work. It's basically one-stop shopping for great comics, and no trip to SPX is complete without stopping there and spending money.

Fanta has a great set of new books out for the fall, such as:

Fred the Clown In..."The Iron Duchess" by: Roger Langridge
Langridge has done everything from the Muppets to Dr. Who in his work for hire career, and is equally at home creating all ages material and some really acidly sarcastic adult work. This falls more into the latter category.

The Bloody Cardinal by: Richard Sala
Sala's bright colors, full page illustrations, and eye for classic horror themes shine again in his newest book, which I just got my hands on, and it looks gorgeous!

Last Girl Standing by: Trina Robbins
Trina was a great interview at SDCC (I hope to get that up soon) and this memoir of her years working in the indie comix scene when it was just starting and her interactions with cultural icons should be yet another amazing history book from someone who was there on the ground in in the ink pots.

Johnny Appleseed by: Paul Buhle & Noah Van Sciver
I wrote about this one as part of Catch it at the Comic Shop, but I'll just briefly remind you this is a biography of the man who inspired the tall tales we grew up with, illustrated by Noah's tight, detailed linework.

Like your books signed? Here's Fanta's signing schedule:

SPX is always a great way to meet your favorite Fantagraphics creators, too! In addition to the signings, many of them have their own tables. Creators with Fantagraphics books who will be at the show, either at their own table or with Fantagraphics includes:

  • Gilbert Hernandez 
  • Tommi Musturi 
  • Emil Ferris 
  • Charles Forsman -
  • Eleanor Davis 
  • Ann Telnaes 
  • Ben Marra
  • Michel Fiffe
  • Noah Van Sciver
  • Simon Hanselmann
  • Katie Skelly
  • Sophie Goldstein
  • Graham Chaffee
  • Joseph Remnant
  • Mark Fertig
  • Dash Shaw
  • Liz Suburbia
  • D.J. Bryant

Whew! What a list! You could just visit each of these people and buy something from them, and your SPX would be a great success! It's a sign of just how good Fantagraphics is at identifying talent and quality books. Not everything will be to your personal taste, but that's part of the fun. Whether it's creators working on the edge, like Johnny Ryan or Simon Hanselmann, people who draw characters you'd never meet in real life like Chuck Forsman, or explorations of sexuality from Katie Skelly, Fantagraphics has a comic for you. Stop by and see them, and find one that's just right for you!

Can't make SPX? Fantagraphics should be in your favorite comic shop or bookstore, or also at their website.