I had two things to push at this show: my contribution to Indie Spinner Rack's AWESOME anthology, and a new Knuckles the Nun comic book, She Might Get Rather Crude, both debuting that weekend. I have no idea how well AWESOME went, but I sold most of the Knuckles books, as well as nearly everything else I brought with me, so I'm well pleased.
I managed to have a drink and/or talk with so many people that any list would be both incredibly boring and likely to offend somebody I left out, so I'll just say how nice it was to catch up with Nick Abadzis, who only lives a few miles away from me but who I never seem to see except at American conventions. It was also really good to put faces to a bunch of familiar names from the Indie Spinner Rack community.
I picked up a few books and was most kindly given a whole lot more. I think there were only about three that weren't absolutely great, and even those were obviously made with love. The highest quality swag I've yet had at one of these shows. I'll single out Tom Neely's The Blot as the one I like best so far. I'm still working through the pile.
I owe a big thank you to Sacha Mardou for looking after my table while I was on a panel about Comics and Animation (which, having never done any animation, I had no business being on in the first place - but it was a good excuse to meet Jeff Smith and Kim Deitch, and to catch up with Tom Neely). Mardou's latest comic, Washing Machine, is recommended, by the way.
Some random memories:
- Discussing the topic of passing out in bars with Jamie Tanner, Jim Ottaviani and others - it seemed to be a recurring theme for some reason
- Chris Reilly's stolen supermarket trolley full of alcohol in the bar on Saturday night - which nobody commented on ("It was a gift from a friend," says Chris)
- Meeting the extraordinary Dustin Harbin and being invited to be a guest at Heroes Con next year - which I'm still thinking about
- The Ignatzes, comprehensively covered elsewhere on the Interweb, which were a hoot - speed presentations, gorillas accepting awards from the tops of their buttocks and all
- And just how generous and friendly everybody was. Cartoonists really are the nicest people in the world.
For me, SPX has always been a tremendous energising experience in previous years, so I was a little surprised at how melancholy I was feeling at the end of it. I spend most of Sunday feeling acutely aware that I need to "up my game" somewhat.I'm still not exactly sure what the problem is, except that it has something to do with a kind of coldness about my style that needs to be dealt with, and a feeling that the work-for-hire stuff I've been doing lately has been gnawing away at something fundamental that I'll never get back. (Not that I've had a choice; I have a family to feed.) I've been hoping for a moment of clarity that isn't coming. All I'm sure of is that this is something I need to work through.
Well, whatever. I was going to upload some pictures about this point but Blogger is being a bad boy, so I'll have to wait until the technical difficulties are over. Check back shortly.