Monday, September 13, 2010
(The Sundays table with me, Alex and Melissa - photo courtesy of Jacie Anderson-Coovert)
SPX - No Snoozin'.
Another year, another great SPX. This was my fourth year at the show, and every time I've gone it's been my favorite show of the year. There's something great about having (most of) the best cartoonists in the world trapped in a fancy hotel, sharing chocolate fondue and beer tickets, making gin and tonics out of their backpacks, hanging out in each other's rooms and trading minis and goofy sketches. The Marriot adds a kind of glamor and gravitas to the affair (something that MoCCA Art Fest lost when it moved from The Puck Building into a dark, poorly ventilated gym).
I went down with my good friends Barry and Leon, publishers of Secret Acres, and Ignatz-nominated Ken Dahl aka Gabby Schulz, artist of the great Monsters. We had a grand old time in the car on the way down and even an better one on the way back, after celebrating Gabby's Ignatz win for Outstanding Story and making millions of dollars selling comics.
The Ignatz Awards, hosted by Liz Baillie, were a lot of fun - highlighted by Gabby's Monsters win and a win by Mr. Sturm for Market Day in the Outstanding Graphic Novel category. Both were well deserved. The highlight of the night was probably Dean Haspiel taking off his shirt to present what ended up becoming Sturm's award, leading to a touching skin-on-Sturm bro-hug. The audience was delighted.
The Sundays table, pictured above, which I split with Alex Kim, Melissa Mendes, Chuck Forsman and Joseph Lambert, had a great time, as always.
The show itself was a feel-good affair and seemed well-attended, though from what I gathered from my friends, sales were down a little bit compared to previous shows. Or maybe everyone was just spending all their money at Kate Beaton's table - she seriously had a line that spilled out a side door into the hallway every time I looked over. I was not immune, I purchased one of her Great Gatsbys prints and love it.
I got a ton of great books through trades and purchasing. I haven't had a chance to read them all yet, but my favorites of the show so far, in addition to the Beaton Gatsby print, are:
Melissa Mendes - Freddy More Stories
Jon Naught - Birchfield Close
Aaron Reiner - The Unsinkable Walker Bean
Monster - The new Fort Thunder anthology edited by Paul Lyons and featuring work by pals Chuck Forsman and Melissa Mendes, among a lot of others. (It's huge, I think 10" x 14" or something.)
TOO FAR - a new anthology about taking things too far, edited by Joe Lambert, featuring Dane Martin, Jose Luis Olivares, JP Coovert, James Hindle, Alexis Frederick-Frost, Joe and others. That one sold out pretty quickly - I imagine Joe will post more info about ordering the re-print at Sub Sub at some point.
(no image at this time, but a great great cover.)
I also haggled with Tom Devlin for the new Chris Ware Acme Novelty book and tried to grab the new Love and Rockets, but was too slow on the latter.
Overall, what felt like it might have been the best show yet at SPX was really just par for the course. I bet next year will be even more fun (also, that's when my book comes out).