October 6th, 2008

wombat

SPX and afterward

Well, the Small Press Expo was pretty cool; it reminded me of an artist's alley allowed to expand to, say, 3/4 of the space in the Thunderbird's Hall of Tribes. There were a couple of tracks of programming as well, but since the only guest I wanted to see was Ben Katchor (and I wanted to practice active avoidance of both Ted Rall and Tom Tomorrow) I didn't pay much attention to most of the panels anyway.

Katchor was a third of the reason SPX was worth attending; he did a reading of several cartoon stories, which was more fun than one would have expected; then an interesting Q&A ensued. I truly regretted not being able to find my copy of Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer so that I could get his autograph, but I'm going to be here a while and he's in New York, so eventually it'll get signed. Yes, I suppose I could have had him sign my SPX program book, but meh. I stopped doing that sort of thing when I was a wee neo going to Disclave.

Another third of my reason for attending was the evil genius behind Wondermark, Dave Malki!
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I admit to mild disappointment that he had no beard of Babylonian proportions, as I expected. Still, I purchased his books Dispatches from Wondermark Manor, which are every bit as bizarre as his comics. Imagine William F. Buckley in the role of Allen Ginsburg, or better yet Ginsburg with Buckley's language skills. NOW HOW MUCH WOULD YOU PAY???

Finally, beatonna! *swoon*
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Unfortunately, I had overestimated the amount of cash in my wallet when I got to her table (and she was off getting coffee anyway) so I had to hike out to the nearest 7-11 and its ATM, which had not been emptied by comics fans like the one in the Marriott. By the time I got back, she was back at her table, but had sold out of her chapbooks. She did recognize me by my LJ handle, which was flattering. :) I bought a couple of her buttons (Napoleon, Eater of Cookies and Fat Pony) and she did an excellent sketch of George Washington as a consolation prize. Because she's a total history freak. ^__________________^
I pointed her toward Roy's Place as a food place worth visiting, and headed off for the Ben Katchor panel after doing a lap around the dealer's room. Like most such, the bulk of what I could afford didn't interest me, and a good deal of the stuff I couldn't afford didn't either. Don't get me wrong, there was a lot of well-done work there (Fantagraphics, among other semi-pro presses, had a table) but a lot of it just wasn't up my alley. I think if I'd worn my vest, with its "JUST BECAUSE NOBODY UNDERSTANDS YOU, IT DOESN'T MEAN YOU'RE AN ARTIST" button, I might have found a whole posse of people who might have taken it personally. One diamond in the rockpile was Jennifer Hachigian, proprietress of Greeble Graphics. Aside from the comic Lore, which appears to be an interesting tale of robots, vampires and a Catholic high school, she also had Pocket Editor mini-comics, the second volume of which is amusingly based on the infamous Zero Wing dialogue, better known as All Your Base. Pretty cool. Go check out her site; you might like her stuff!

The balance of the evening was spent with therevdrnye discussing Kingmaker, Vincent Price's biography, eating cheese bread and pizza at Ledo's in Adelphi, and losing my blood test kit. :( Ledo's pizza is okay, but we erred in ordering a large (which covers two lunch trays in their entirety) and the cheese bread was pretty ghastly, being dry Parmesan on garlic toast.

And that was Sunday.