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SPX Summary

Just got back from the SPX (Small Press Expo) that's held annually in the lovely, and lively, Bethesda, MD. This con showcases the best of the small and independent presses and indy creators. They moved the show this year to a larger venue just a few miles up the road from the old location. I miss the intimate setting the old location had but I must say the new hotel/convention center was impressive. This was a massive, state-of-the-art Marriot Hotel located in White Flint, MD and nary a speck of dust was to be found...the all-you-can-eat seafood buffet was outstanding as well. And this little geek got his $28 bucks worth let me tell you! The SPX crew always puts on a great show and if you are at all interested, intrigued or like to see how the vagabond artists are all dressing these days, I highly recommend you attend this show. PLUS! There was some absolutely kick-ass goodies there. Here are but as few of the highlights I picked up/perused...

James Kochalka's newest installment of his absolutely hilarious SuperF***ers! There are very few artists in this industry who can write profanity with James' certain flair. His cursewords make me laugh hysterically. This may sound like an odd critique but I'm telling you, sometimes it just seems that writers add profanity for the sake of adding profanity. James does it with style! Not to mention that his take on teen Super-Heroes is drop-dead hilarious as well. This is James' best stuff to date. And I love the majority of his past efforts.

I also picked up a slew of books from Drawn and Quarterly. I always do. These guys consistently produce some of the finest books in the market––comics, graphic novels, books; all of the above. Their books fit all these genre descriptions. I usually stear clear of anthologies but their D&Q Showcase is absolutely incredible. They don't fill it up with a lot of garbage. They pick three quality, 20ish page stories by very promising new talents and, well, "showcase" them in a high-quality, prestige format graphic novel anthology. I read it and loved it. This is truly a book that showcases these three particular artists and makes me want to seek out their other works and look forward to their works in the future. Other pubs who do anthologies should take a good look at D&Qs template here.

Another interesting book I purchased was The Spindletons by Josh Johnson. This book was the eyecatcher of the show as Josh brilliantly packaged the hardcover version of his graphic novel in a gorgeous, hinged pine box (similar to a cigar box) that had the Spindletons logo branded into the boxes top. Inside the beautiful box was a limited edition signed print and limited signed hardcover version of his book. As I took my first quick lap around the show I was immediately drawn over to his table because of this beautiful book/box/limited print combo. It was $80 for the box set (perhaps a bit pricey for this show but will rock at bigger shows like Comic-Con, I'm sure) but I couldn't resist. I was also a bit peeved at Josh because I've been planning a Wine box set of my own which would be similar to what he has. A nice limited box set containing all my 3 Geeks issues and an original piece of art. I guess great minds think alike.

I have a whole slew of other goodies I picked up at the show but haven't had a chance to read them yet.

In other SPX news...My pal, and SPX roomie Wayne Beamer, now holds the title for world champ in the "most annoying snore" division! This title was previously held by my mother but Wayne has dethroned her. I simply cannot describe the unique nuances of Wayne-O's snoring. Not only does he have the usual rattling crescendo we've all heard at one time or another but he has these little gurgles and high-pitched squeaks worked in on occasion making his a truly eclectic symphony from the snotlocker! I always bring my earplugs on the road...had them for this show...didn't do me a bit of good with the Wayne-O! His decibal level not only attacks the ear it attacks and encompasses the entire body. His soundwaves enter through every pore in your body and, seemingly, assails your entire central nervous system. I had the plugs, pillows, and my arms wrapped around my head and still clearly heard every rattle, squeak, cough and nasal dripping sound. In the three nights we shared a room I probably got about 4 hours of solid sleep. And, amazingly, our other roommate, Rich Henn, said he slept like a baby. I hate them both.

'til next week! I'm going to get some friggin' sleep.

Word! R

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