There are a number of ways to experience Small Press Expo and the best is to be on the convention floor as much as possible. And, even better is to be an exhibitor and have your own table space. It can really be a lot fun. Sure, there’s a fair amount of waiting to see what will happen next but you just need to pace yourself. I kept telling myself I was on a mission that no one is going to appreciate better than me: “I am here to represent my new graphic novel, George’s Run, published by Rutgers University Press.” I had to convey that energy and determination. Each time I described my book, and gave my pitch, was a new opportunity. Each work of comics is an island unto itself which you are beckoning passersby to consider hopping upon.
I feel that it’s essential to be in the moment, acknowledge your table-mates, get to know them if possible, acknowledge your environment and everyone passing by, and certainly acknowledge yourself and your own comfort and well-being. I like to sneak in some time to draw in my sketchbook and that’s not only therapeutic but people often are curious and it can help strike up a conversation. Either that or people know right away that you’re not just a rep but the cartoonist! So, without further ado, I want to take a moment to acknowledge a few of my fellow creators. There are plenty more that I can share with you. This is a quick moment in time . . .
In this photo, you will see the following creators and contact info:
Sneaker Ghost by Jackie DeVito. Find it here.
Orts by Barrett Stanley. Find it at Radiator Comics.
Bruce Fort: Professional Bully by Bread Tarleton. Find it at So-So Press.
Bubbles #17. Find it here.
What I’ve Loved: Chapter 11 by Pam Wye. Find it here.
Precinct X99, Episode 2: Soft Toys. by Wren McDonald. Find it here.
I Owe It to My Parents to NOT Come Out by Richard Mercado. Find it here.
Empty by Jared Throne. Find it here.
Nickelodeon Guts by Sean Michael Robinson. Find it here.
Moonray by Brandon Graham and Xurxo G. Penalta. Find it here.
My Body Unspooling by Leo Fox. Find it here.
A big highlight for me, as it was for all of us at Small Press Expo, was Deb JJ Lee winning an Ignatz Award for Promising New Talent. Of course, Lee has many fans and she’s been around for more than a minute but the honor is highly significant. In fact, Lee cried when she went up to accept the award. For those new to Lee, this is the time to check out her new graphic novel, In Limbo, published by First Second.
Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t bring to your attention one of the hottest graphic novel releases for 2023: Naked: The Confessions of a Normal Woman by Éloïse Marseille (out November 7, 2023). This graphic novel presents a raw, tongue-in-cheek and refreshing look at sexuality in an engaging and entertaining manner that mature readers will appreciate. It is published by Pow Pow Press. The French edition is highly popular and we will soon have the English translation.
There is so much more that I need to share with you and I promise to just keep doing what I’m doing. I do my own thing regarding creating comics and I do my own thing writing about comics. See you again with more very soon!!
“Each work of comics is an island unto itself which you are beckoning passersby to consider hopping upon.”