A Few More Notes on SPX 2011

SPX logo

Now that I’ve given my first thoughts on this year’s Small Press Expo, just passed, a few more notes that I wanted to capture. I’ll be working on reviews of items I got there for a while, of course… In fact, since this is what I brought home:

SPX Haul 2011

I plan to be working on it for a LONG while. Word is that spending was up, and the event overall raised $12,500 for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a very worthy cause. Lots of books were sold out on Saturday, making Sunday-only visitors a little sad.

I’m curious to know what people thought of the panel I moderated, “Navigating the Contemporary Publishing Landscape”, but I haven’t seen much comment. Maybe they were all stunned by the abrupt way it ended, although I think we covered most of the high points by then. Publishers Weekly (whose coverage was co-written by my show roommate Heidi) said nice things about it, anyway.

A panel called “Navigating the Contemporary Publishing Landscape” included a handful of cartoonists who were published at big houses only to return to their small press roots. Mike Dawson’s graphic memoir Freddie and Me came out in 2008 from Bloomsbury USA, but his new book, Troop 142 is from Secret Acres. “I liked feeling like I was a big deal for a while, but the production of the book with Secret Acres I like better,” he said on the panel. Big publishers didn’t seem to know what to do with comics, said Julia Wertz, “But they tried to throw comics at the wall to see what would stick, and comics don’t stick because people don’t buy comics.”

The panelists advised cartoonists to stick with getting exposure on the web and at shows, and keep doing good work.

The memory I think I’ll be left with longest is noting just how many women were at the show on both sides of the table. It was really cool seeing so many women guests and panelists and aspiring artists and attendees.

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