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Small Press Expo Announces Tillie Walden, Shira Spector, Hartley Lin, Simon Hanselmann and Keiler Roberts as Special Guests for SPX 2021

Small Press Expo has announced the first group of Special Guests for SPX 2021. The virtual festival takes place on Saturday September 18 with live and pre-recorded programming about the amazing world of independent and small press comics, as well as a livestream of the annual Ignatz Awards.

Additional Special Guests will be announced over the next few weeks. SPX 2021 has announced the following creators as Special Guests to this year’s show:

Tillie Walden

Tillie Walden

Alone In Space compiles award-winning cartoonist Tillie Walden’s short comics into a comprehensive collection of the early work which shot her to fame on both sides of the Atlantic.

We start with Tillie’s first published comic The End of Summer, as well as I Love This Part, Tillie’s bittersweet breakout story of small-town teen romance, and A City Inside, a study of growth and adulthood through a surreal and poetic recounting of one woman’s life.

Finally we share never-before collected early sketches, webcomics, and short stories from magazines, such as What It’s Like To Be Gay In An All-Girls Middle School.

If Tillie Walden is the future of comics, then the future starts here.


Shira Spector

Shira Spector

Shira Spector literally paints a vivid portrait of the most eventful 10 years of her life, encompassing her tenacious struggle to get pregnant, the emotional turmoil of her father’s cancer diagnosis and eventual death, and her recollections of past relationships with her parents and her partner.

Set in a kaleidoscope of Montreal and Toronto, Red Rock Baby Candy from Fantagraphics unfolds as one of the most formally inventive comics in the history of the medium.The drawing is visceral, symbolic, and naturalistic and is the most formally revolutionary visual storytelling since Emil Ferris’s My Favorite Thing is Monsters. Photo courtesy- Zoë Gemelli


Hartley Lin

Hartley Lin

After insomniac law clerk Frances Scarland is recruited by her firm’s most notorious senior partner, she seems poised for serious advancement—whether she wants it or not. But when her impulsive best friend Vickie decides to move to the opposite coast for an acting role, Frances’ confusing existence starts to implode. Young Frances from Adhouse Books is an intimate study of work chaos and close friendships over time.

“Hartley Lin builds out a young woman’s life in illuminating detail and agonizing nuance… the draftsmanship is sumptuous and the storytelling is top-notch, making for a narrative meal that leaves one satisfied and enriched.” —Vulture


Simon Hanselmann

Simon Hanselmann

In March 2020, as the planet began to enter lockdown, acclaimed cartoonist Simon Hanselmann decided that what the world needed most was free, easily accessible entertainment, so he set out to make the greatest webcomic ever created! The result is also certain to be one of the most acclaimed and eagerly anticipated graphic novels of 2021, Crisis Zone from Fantagraphics.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continued to escalate far beyond any reasonable expectations, Crisis Zone escalated right alongside, in real time, with daily posts on Instagram. Over the course of 2020, Crisis Zone has amassed unprecedented amounts of new fans to the Megg and Mogg universe and is presented here, unabridged and uncensored, with a slew of added pages and scenes deleted from the webcomic, as well as an extensive “Director’s Commentary” from Hanselmann himself.


Keiler Roberts

Keiler Roberts

My Begging Chart is Keiler Roberts’s breakout graphic novel from Drawn & Quarterly is heralded by The Chicago Reader, Chicago Tribune, Publishers Weekly, and more. In it, Roberts mines the passing moments of family life to deliver an affecting and funny account of what it means to simultaneously exist as a mother, daughter, wife, and artist.

Drawn in an unassuming yet charming staccato that mimics the awkward rhythm of life, no one’s foibles are left unspared, most often the author’s own.

Almost American

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