I left this year’s SPX feeling good about the world of comics and my place in it. Can’t say that’s a common post-con experience. This might be the #1 good vibes show.
I haven’t slept much since Friday night, so I’ll jump right to the highlights.
1. Women sweep the Ignatz for the first time ever
Women won in every category. Can you believe it? I was actually a juror this year. Most of this year’s jury (four out of five) are women. I have to believe this contributed to the high number of women on the ballot. And no one on the jury was a white male. I wonder if that’s a first too?
And what’s kind of awesome is that during the ceremony it didn’t even occur to me that only women were winning. I had to be told the next day. It’s a pretty great moment for women in comics, when something like this happens and it doesn’t even register as being unique.
2. Kilgore Books
I met Dan Stafford and Luke Janes, co-owners of Kilgore Books, and dropped a good chunk of change at their table. I’ve never been to their shop, but I’m a fan of their books (especially anything Noah Van Sciver or John Porcellino). I just learned that they’re selling the store to an employee, will carry on publishing (not unlike Bergen Street).
I did the math and I’ve been going to this show for fifteen years. Well fourteen I guess, because it was cancelled on 9/11. Heck, I’ve been going so long that I remember when I couldn’t go because of 9/11! Don’t believe me? Here’s proof. I was a baby! (Photo via Jeff Mason.)
This year my roommates and I carpooled down to the show with my friend/landlord Nick Bertozzi and friend/not landlord Jason Little. I’ve been hanging out with these guys at convention for well over a decade.
Sorry to get mushy, but it’s friendships fostered at conventions like SPX that’s kept in this crazy world of comics for so long. I’m getting older and I have to admit I’m looking back.
Not to suggest SPX is a lovefest for all involved. Communities like this are near-utopic when you’re on the inside, but watching from the outside is rough. (I’ve been there too.) I know there are people who don’t feel a sense of belonging at SPX. (I’d guess, those who are unable to get a table year after year). I’d be interested in hearing these voices too.
But let’s get to the fun part: pictures.
Chuck Forsman and Melissa Mendes of Oily. Lots of good stuff (Revenger, The Weight, the Lou book) on the horizon for both of them.
Dan Stafford and Luke Janes of Kilgore Books
2D Cloud gang: Melissa Carraher (publicist) in the back, author Sarah Ferrick, Raighne Hogan (publisher), and author Maggie Umber.
One Percent Press: JP Coovert (publisher), Alexis Frederick-Frost (author), Stephen Floyd (publisher).