You’d think with me now being pretty much done with Oyster War I’d have time for a big, extensive SPX 2014 wrap-up, but I’ve actually got to jump right into several other comics (and other) projects pretty quickly. But, I did want to do just a quick post–mainly just to show off some of the great stuff I bought at the show.
As with last year, I went to the show this year as a “civilian” and did not get a table. It’s looking like (knock on wood!) I’ll have a book out by next year’s show, so this was probably my last show for a bit where wandering the floor and catching a lot of programming is an option. I caught several interesting panels including the Lynda Barry talk, The John P. panel (which included a screening of a shortened version of the documentary about him, Root Hog or Die), and the Digital Comics panel. My favorite panel of the show by far, though, was the panel on Spanish language comics. You occasionally hear some discussion of Argentinian comics because of the connection with Italian comics, but it was so great to hear folks discuss comics from places you rarely hear mentioned: Columbia, Mexico, Spain (which you’d think would be discussed more with other European comics, what with Spain’s being in Europe and all), etc.
I don’t have any idea how things with sales-wise with the new, bigger floor, but I did observe a few general things just wandering around:
- The level of quality of work was exceptionally high. There’s always great stuff at SPX, but this year in particular there seemed to be almost no glaringly non-professional looking work on display.
- People were mostly selling actual comics. There have been years in the past when it seemed like non-comics stuff was in danger of taking over the show: t-shirts, stuffed animals/characters, screenprints, and other crafts. There was a smattering of that kind of stuff throughout, but the bulk of merch at the show was actual comics.
- There are still a few outlying folks trying sell to straight fantasy and SF genre comics packaged/printed like monthly books from the “big two.” There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but that sort of material has never seemed to do well at SPX.
- There were almost no old school black and white foldedover 8 1/2 x 11 minicomics for sale. Other than King Cat and Phase 7 this format seems to have largely vanished. This is a bad thing.
- There were no carnival barkers. I wasn’t once hit with the “hard sell” as I walked through the floor. This is a good thing.
- The younger set seemed to really get into the “SPX Prom.” I’m betting/hoping that this will become a regular thing.
- The level of organization was exceptionally high. This has been the case for the last several years, but it bears mentioning again. The folks who are currently running SPX are doing a spectacular job. The show just gets better and better.
Anyway… I had an absolute blast and enjoyed seeing all the folks that I usually hang with at SPX and I met a bunch of new folks as well. I also managed somehow to completely miss a number of people who I was looking forward to meeting/seeing. I’m gonna do a better job of “making the rounds” next year if I can.
So, on to the swag! I got a ton of great stuff and would have bought more but I was going broke and maxing out my luggage.
1 – Titus and the Cyber Sun/Lale West – Maybe my fave “find” of the show. It’s a big, surreal, wordless comic that’s beautifully drawn with all kinds of great hatching and stippling.
2 – New Comics Workbook magazine.
3 – Broken Summer/JP Coovert – JP’s stuff is always so great. I’m really looking forward to this one.
4 – The Garden of Earthly Delights/R. Bensen – Impulse buy. I flipped through it and really liked the art.
5 – In the Sounds and Seas vols. I & II/Marnite Galloway – Again, I don’t know this artist, but the interior art looked fantastic so I picked both of these up. They’re wordless as well.
6 – The Aeronaut/Alexis Frederick-Frost – I love Alexis’s art and I’ll buy pretty much anything he puts out. This is the first thing I’ve seen from him in a while.
7 – The Lorian Gendarme Guidebook for Adventuring Standards/M.K. Reed & Jonathan Hill – This is an adventure manual for an imaginary fantasy world gendarme. I’m a sucker for this kind of stuff.
8 – A little print by J. Chris Campbell.
9 – Warlow’s Guide to Wizards & Familiars Arcane/Andrea Kalfas – A beautifully drawn bestiary/character guide.
10 – A Cartozia Tales minicomic of Kickstarter reward art.
11 – The two most recent issues of Cartozia Tales.
12 – Pictures of Pitchers/Katherine K. Wirick – The title says it all.
13 – Eat or Be Meatball/Liz Suburbia – I love this artist’s webcomic, Sacred Heart, but don’t know her other work at all.
14 – My Biblical Dreams/R. Bensen
15 – How to Make Art/J. Chris Campbell -
16 – Margo Maloo black and white “teaser”/Drew Weing. This came with a great Margo Maloo business card.
17 – A Josh Cotter sticker.
18 – A little blank sketchbook with Eleanor Davis covers.
19 – Minicomics by Connie Sun – I’ve been reading Connie’s comics on GoComics for a while, but I got to meet her and hang out some at the post-Ignatz party. She’s awesome–and her comics are great!
20 – A sketchbook mini by Eleanor Davis.
21 – My Own Petard/Art Baxter.
A – A Derf DEVO drawing.
B – A Josh Cotter one-pager. (And he had some originals from his in-progress GN with him at the show. That book is gonna be amazing.)
C – A Popeye page by Roger Langridge.