Small Press Expo is easily the best independent comics show I’ve been to. The show took place this weekend, and I’m still processing the whole experience. The short of it was: “It was awesome!”
I met a who’s-who of cartoonists – many of whom I have been following on Twitter for a few years. One of the best aspects of going to this show was meeting a wide swath of fellow cartoonists. It was like nerd heaven. My biggest regret was not taking enough photos – but I believe that my cohorts Dawn and Chris (more on them in a bit) took more pics.
After an uneventful flight, I arrived in DC on Friday afternoon, and was transported to the hotel by the inimitable Jeremy Bentley (cartoonist of Ouros Bros and the Never Ending Tour). That would be Jeremy in the photo below, chatting with cartoonist Lee Cherolis (cartoonist, Little Guardians)
Jeremy and I soon met up with this guy:
That would be none other than Brandon J. Carr.
Later that evening, the SPX staff arranged a meet and greet at the venue, spoiling us all with a bevy of finger foods and an alcoholic beverage. I had a chance to meet and briefly chat with Ananth (Johnny Wander), Jerzy Drozd, and Mark Rudolph.
Friday night we celebrated Phil Kahn (KAHHHNNN!!)’s birthday. I celebrated a bit too hard that night, but was wide awake and chipper the next morning – just in time to meet my table mates for the show… Dawn Griffin (Zorphbert and Fred) and Chris Flick (Capes N Babes).
We teamed up by offering a combo deal (3 for $30) that allowed new readers to sample each of our wares. We did pretty well with those. 97% of my sales were to people who had never heard of PC Weenies before.
On a side note: Every single copy of PC Weenies / UNcubed Sampler #2 I brought to the show sold out by Saturday afternoon. I had a few UNcubed readers stop by to buy books and say hi.
As the day wore on, traffic picked up. There was a lull of about an hour or so when people filtered out of the exhibitor floor to sit in on the panels. Chris, Dawn and I spent much of Saturday standing behind our booths – engaging with passers-by and handing out promotional items (leave-behinds) for our comics. Incidentally, I ran out of all my PC Weenies postcards by Saturday.
After the show closed for the evening, Dawn, Chris, and about 15 other cartoonists walked a few blocks to Whole Foods to grab dinner. Yes, we ate dinner at a grocery store, but it was good – especially considering that I hadn’t had time to eat a proper meal all day long.
At around 9:30PM, I attended the famous Ignatz Awards ceremony – and had the honor of co-presenting an award with the super affable Mark Mariano for “Outstanding Cartoonist”. Jerzy Drozd served as MC (and did an outstanding job of it, if I may say so…). In attendance were the legendary Hernandez Bros (Love and Rockets), who received at least three of the “Ignatz Brick” awards for their achievements.
After the ceremony, we all made our way to the Chocolate Fountain to indulge in more finger foods and dessert. Standing on my feet was the last thing I wanted to do, so I ducked inside the Super Art Fight competition to enjoy several entertaining bouts. Among the participants were Brandon J. Carr, Phil Kahn, Joe Dunn (Joe Loves Crappy Movies and Joe Hunter (Ghost Bucket). They were on fire at during the “art fight” and the audience ate it up.
(Whew!) All that in two days… Day 2 of my SPX experience will post later this week.