Small Press Expo 2013

I had to stop reading a comic so I could write about this. All I've want to do all day was read but this is all worth it. 

I have been amped and ready for SPX 2013 since last year. As soon as the convention was over and I was in my car hearing Gangnam Style on the radio as I drove back to Norfolk I was dreaming of coming back. I was ready and inspired to work on my comics and I was ready to read all types of new, weird and wonderful books, stories and minis. I really don't think a week went by where I didn't think about SPX, wanting to go back to the magical world of comics and fun that the weekend was and wanted to go this year. I got to work reading and working on my books, riding the wave of inspiration and enthusiasm I got some books made. 

Jump to this year, I'm scrambling to get new business cards and my books reprinted so I can sell them, trade them and give them out at the show. 2 of them come out perfectly, I failed the third one a little, but it still looks good. But I was humming and ready on Friday for the day to hurry up and end so I could get to Bethesda to mingle and catch up with people. 

I wasn't able to meet up with the SPXers from last year, but I did star making new friends and talking with people about all types of things as I hung out for the evening. I met Terrance (TheBlackNerd) and hung out with the Draw Friends crowd first. I got to meet Josh PM and Tony Breed and some other wonderful people before I wandered to the bar to see if some alcohol would help me feel less weird and less alone (spoiler alert: it did).

I met Montogmery Goose, Nick Sumida and Davis Fowl in the bar, I recognized Nick and told him he was adorable, because he is and I'm really honest when I'm drunk. I almost literally bumped into James Kolchaka at the bar which was crazy. I'd gone up for a drink and was just going to politely say excuse me to the person to my left when I realized it was him. I told him I'd just started reading American Elf in September before he announced he was ending the book, it was bittersweet but nice to be on the same page but for different reasons. (I forgot to find his table or signing and buy one of the volumes, but I'll get the other books eventually :D). I ran into Darryl Ayo and that was great chatting for a moment, it's still flattering for me that he follows me on twitter. (this gifset on tumblr represents pretty much everytime I met someone at SPX and they liked me)

Outside I met Seth and really didn't think anything of it until I turned around on Sunday and saw a drawing of his in the map. After talking about racism and something...I've forgotten what (three drinks in and I hadn't eaten anything in 7 hours.....) I went in for another drink and met Danielle Corsetto who was absolutely delightful and nice to me. I was just going to compliment her on the comic and then I took out my sketchbook - I really wish I could remember why - but she wanted to see it so we flipped through. I sobered up enough to trust buying McDonalds and  driving home, which was still  mildly questionable.

Saturday: 

Offical Day 1 of the convention I have breakfast with my best ladybro, Bianca, who couldn't make it and we discussed the possibility of working on a story for Smut Peddler. I get to the convention center later than intended but it works out because the line has died down by the time I get up there and my wait is pretty short. I find Lee Cherolis, Christopher William, Lynn Andrews, Jeremy Bentley and Samantha Kyle, my 2012 SPXbros first before walking around the convention. I spent much of Saturday buying printed books from webcomic artists, but people remember me which makes me feel special. I grab a Girls with Slingshots book from Danielle and trade my minis for Ballad of Laundry Cat with Yuko and Ananth (Johnny Wander) which was really cool for me. I wander around a bit more and find Nick Abadzis and let him know I'm incredibly flattered that he has liked some of my sketches on instagram. I bought Laika and Hugo Tate from him and gave him the oversized Cinema book. 

I was surprised to stumble upon Michael Bracco and Phil Kahn sharing a table, last minute entrants this year, along with Jamie Noguchi so it was great seeing some Super Art Fight frandz around. Speaking of Super Art Fight, I was sad there wasn't an event at SPX, and I did re-meet Carlos whom I had met at last week's show at Ottobar.  

I met Dave McKenna on Friday in a group of established indie creators, I traded books with him. I feel as if my hubris annoyed him, if he reads this, I'm sorry. I should I given him one of my books and bought one of his, the daring of youth... 

I'm sure I've skipped over a ton of people I met and bought things from, but I have books, business cards and memories. I spent some time Saturday afternoon going through my 3ds streetpasses before catching up with the SPX2012 crowd (and some new-to-me buddies) at Chili's for food before we hung out at the Ignatz After Party. Lots of drinking, talking sharing, bumping elbows after a while. I wandered from group to group not having any one group or person to return to, which is both nice and sad. It was nice to meet so many different people and different groups, but it would also have been nice to not spend time standing by a wall watching other people socialize. 

I drove home just as late as the night before, but a lot more sober.  

Sunday: "Day 3, no day 2...fuck it, Sunday" 

I posted this photo flaunting my new hair cut, more for people not at SPX.  Bianca did it Saturday, I received a lot of compliments on it which was awesome. I picked up Nora, a high school ladybro and drive to Bethesda for breakfast and the tumblr meet up. It was cool meeting MDT (who runs SPX?), Mike Mitchell, Diana Nock and everyone else I greeted downstairs and gave or traded books to and with respectively. Upstairs I beelined Smut Peddler and had a mini mission of getting the book signed by as many of the creators as I could so I could give it to Bianca who missed out on SPX all together. It took all day because Spike was on a panel when I bought the book and Dechanique was walking the quieter floor but I think I got everyone who was there. 

I met Kori Michele who does Prince of Cats before meeting John Allison and embarrassing Nora. That was fun, I was calm. I mean, I was excited but she was in superfan mode. We wandered and shopped. Nora bought Kate Leth's second to last bag and I was proud of her for buying something she'd never heard of. 

We ended up running into someone we knew from high school which was weird, especially because we kept bumping into one another.  

In the afternoon we went to the Queering Mainstream Comics panel, I thought it was interesting and enlightening. I was there because I'd met Northwest Press's Rob the night before and was invited to check it out. I didn't go to as many panels as I'd've liked but I did enjoy the one. After the panel I was able to buy their anthology so that was cool. 

A slight change of plans happened and Nora left early. I went out to dinner with Mario "Santiago" Gonzales, Monica Ray, Lee, Dern, Phil Chan, Samantha Kyle, Adriana Blake and Jimena Sarquiz Look at their blurry-lovely faces eating pizza! My Sunday ended with just hanging chatting and meeting Mitch Clem before having to drive home for work Monday.

I bought a ton of comics including a non-yet-released Art Spiegelman collection, Nedroid, Seth's book, Phuzzy Comics, Little Guardians 2, Intrepid Girlbot and so many more. I'll snap a picture to share, but it was a great weekend for me. I think I'm going to try to table next year which means I need to get serious about working on my new books and some minis for next year's show. i think I might be ready, and i have plenty of friends and acquaintances to ask for advice about how to table, so I will use my resources wisely.  

If I missed your name here, it's nothing personal, so many people were everywhere. I had a blast and I can't wait to get to another convention and to be around that excited energy of comic, creating and possibility. I love you all, you're wonderful and thanks for reading. I'll add a photo of my purchases soon, I have a lot...

 

(in other news, SPX was huge this year, the floor a third larger than in the past)