Saturday night after posting my previous entry on SPX, I headed downstairs to try to catch the tail end of the Ignatz awards and then to rendezvous with some folks afterwards, but managed–as seems to be becoming my unintentional tradition–to miss the entire ceremony. Not in a million years will I ever suggest that a comics award ceremony be longer, but next year I’m gonna get off my duff and get to the damn thing. Apparently (like last year as well) there was insufficient room in the “model U.N.” area for everyone that wanted to see the awards anyway, so I likely wouldn’t have gotten in even if I had gotten motivated a few minutes earlier.
Results-wise, I heard immediately that Ted Stearn, who I was really rooting for to finally get some props, didn’t win anything. My friend Chris Reilly remarked appropriately that Ted was rapidly becoming the “American Roger Langridge,” getting nominated over and over again for awards and never winning any of the damn things.
Unlike Friday’s post-show shindig, the joint was jammed after the awards. Some individuals, who I’ll not mention by name, managed to “acquire” a shopping cart somewhere between dinner and the party, and were using it to wheel around a case of store-bought beer and a bottle of Jack Daniels, both ow which were being consumed liberally by all concerned. There were too many notables in attendance to do a roll call of, but suffice it to say, everyone seemed to be having a good time and really yucking it up big time, no doubt in part because of the prospect of sleeping in on Sunday rather than having to hit the convention floor bright and early, as on the previous day.
Overall, this year’s SPX seemed by all anecdotal accounts I heard to have been a really standout show, and I’m hoping its success will put to rest the “SPX vs. MoCCA: Last Show Standing” prediction that had been floating around for a bit early on when MoCCA first started catching on. I heard via “friend of a friend” chatter a figure of 500 exhibitors, 2000 attendees through the door, but that’s just hearsay, so make of that what you will.
Whatever the numbers may have been, it definitely seemed to me–and the folks near my table–that there were a ton of new faces at the show, which in a lot of ways is more important than a total number through the door. I noticed a fair number of “Press” badges on folks, so hopefully that speaks to a strong comics press presence as well. I don’t know a lot of these folks by sight, but I met and spoke to Heidi MacDonald of Publishers Weekly “The Beat,” and Whitney Matheson was on the floor as well. There was some journalist from Vermont hanging out in our hotel room after the party, but I didn’t catch his name, and folks from ComeXology.com and The Dollar Bin podcasts were in attendance as well.
Curiously, the one element that’s been present at the last couple of SPX shows that I didn’t note this year were editors from the bigger comics publishers and/or “regular” book publishers. It seems like these days every-damn-body’s already got a book deal, so maybe they just ran out of deals to give out… or cartoonists to give them to?
Adam and I hit the road around ten on Sunday morning and thus didn’t attend any of Sunday’s events. If there’s one thing I wish SPX would do over the long run, it’s decide on a strategy for what to do with Sunday and then stick with it. Over the years Sunday’s involved at times another day of the show, a softball game/picnic, panel discussions, lunch at Dave & Buster’s, etc. This year it looked like there were some good panels in place and if that continues to be the focus for next year, maybe Sunday will begin to become an integral enough part of the show that more folks will stick around.
I, as usual, took my camera but never took any actual pictures of anything. Heidi’s got some pictures up over at The Beat, as will some other folks here shortly I’d guess.