Tag Archives: Comics

Small Press Expo 2022 reveals its Special Guests

Small Press Expo has announced the first Special Guests for SPX 2022. The first in-person show in three years takes place on Saturday September 17 and Sunday September 18 with programming and workshops about the amazing world of independent comics and an exhibitor floor with over 500 creators.

Additional Special Guests will be announced over the next few weeks.

Keith Knight is the inspiration and Executive Producer of the Hulu series Woke, as well as being a current nominee for the  Cartoonist of the Year Reuben Award. Among Keith’s many other awards are the Glyph Award, the Harvey Kurtzman Award for Best Syndicated Comic Strip, the Inkpot Award from San Diego ComiCon along with receiving a NAACP History Maker Award. His latest cartoon collection, Good On Both Sides, the fifth collection of his socio-political single-panel cartoon, (th)ink.

Radical: My Year with a Socialist Senator is a remarkable first-hand account of New Yorker cartoonist, Sofia Warren’s experience embedded with New York State Senator Julia Salazar and her staff during their first year in office. “So much of this experience was a surprise to me,” says Warren: “that for their entire first legislative session, Julia and her staff let me be in the room.” Sofia will be making her first appearance at SPX.

Ruben Bolling is the author of the weekly satirical comic strip “Tom the Dancing Bug,” which has appeared in hundreds of publications, including The Washington PostThe Village Voice, and The New York Times and currently appears on the online publications BoingBoing.net, DailyKos.com, and GoComics.com.  Ruben has won the Herblock Prize, an RFK Journalism Award, a National Cartoonists Society Award, a Society of Illustrators Gold Medal, and a Berryman Award from the National Press Foundation and is a two-time Pulitzer Prize Finalist (2019 and 2021).

Lonnie Millsap has been twice nominated for the prestigious Rueben Award and has won the Los Angeles National Cartoonists Society Dingy Award along with the Comic Art Professional Society’s Don Rico award. In 2018, his first cartoon was accepted by The New Yorker, which used his cartoons for their renowned Caption Contest. Millsap was also the character designer for Donny Hathaway’s Official animated ‘This Christmas’ music video released by Warner Records that has well over two million views. His work has also appeared in season one and two of Keith Knight’s television show, ‘Woke.’ Millsap’s latest cartoon book release is titled ‘Hit It To The Mermaid!’ (2022).

Megan Kelso has been drawing comics for over 30 years. In 2007, she was invited by The New York Times to serialize her “Watergate Sue” comic as part of the weekly “Funny Pages” feature. In 2019, she was selected for a public art commission for Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle.  Her books include The Squirrel Mother (2006), Artichoke Tales (2010), and Queen of the Black Black (2011).

Tommi Parrish is a cartoonist and painter based in Montreal, QC. Their debut work, The Lie and How We Told It, won the 2019 Lambda Literary Award for the best LGBTQ graphic novel, was nominated for the Ignatz award, and was featured in several best of 2018 lists and translated into several languages.

Small Press Expo Announces Its In Person Return in September

Small Press Expo

The Small Press Expo has announced that it will return, live and in person, September 17-18, 2022. With COVID still an issue, the convention has announced safety precautions along with exhibitor registration and attendee information.


SPX plans to take a variety of measures to help ensure that they can provide as safe an environment as possible for the exhibitors, guests, and attendees. For this year’s in-person show, SPX will have the following COVID protocols in place:

For SPX Volunteers and Staff

  • Volunteers and staff must provide proof of vaccination to participate onsite
  • Volunteers and staff must abide by social distancing measures while on shift
  • Masks will be mandatory in all indoor SPX spaces, except while eating or drinking

For Exhibitors and Special Guests

  • Exhibitors must provide proof of vaccination to receive their SPX badge
  • Exhibitors will be limited 2 people per table allowed on the floor at any one time
  • Masks will be mandatory in all indoor SPX spaces, except while eating or drinking

For Attendees

  • Attendees must provide proof of vaccination to receive their badge
  • Masks will be mandatory in all indoor SPX spaces, except while eating or drinking
  • The convention is exploring the possible use of timed attendee tickets to help alleviate crowding

Additional Measures Under Consideration

The risks, and risk factors, for COVID-19 have continued to evolve and, with many months until showtime, it is likely that the safety measures will need to evolve as well. SPX will update the community periodically with the status for both the show and COVID protocols.

Over the next few months, SPX will explore whether they should require a negative COVID test within 48 hours of SPX as a condition of attending the show. Rapid antigen (at home) tests and PCR (lab reviewed) tests are costly and hard to come by in many locations. The convention will assess the additional margin of safety these measures could provide against the practicality and feasibility of their use.

Small Press Expos is also working with the Marriott over the course of the next several months to ensure the availability of sanitization supplies and masks, as well as the necessary equipment and logistical planning to enable proper social distancing in our meeting rooms, lines, etc.


One positive with regard to the pandemic is that SPX takes place in Montgomery County, Maryland, one of the most highly vaccinated areas in the United States. Based in part on these high vaccination numbers, currently, the Montgomery County Department of Health and the State of Maryland are allowing large functions at the Marriott, with mask wearing required except in the small breakout rooms and eating areas. Barring a decision from the county to halt large events such as ours, SPX feels confident in its ability to move forward with the show, and the attendees ability to plan accordingly. 


Following is the planned schedule for opening table registration for SPX 2022:

  • March 4 – Invitations to publishers and creators sent
  • March 20 – Table lottery opens
  • March 28 – Table lottery closes
  • Week of April 4 – Lottery winners contacted
  • Mid-April – Hotel room block information sent to all table holders

The convention hasn’t yet determined the timeframe to provide payment for exhibitor tables. Expect May at the earliest and they’ll confirm the date with everyone by the first of March.


  • Advance tickets will go on sale no earlier than late June, with availability dependent upon the state of the pandemic.
  • For those attendees coming from out of town, the hotel room block will be made available the first week in May.
  • Capacities for panels and workshops may be limited. Sign-up forms for workshops will be available in August. 

Those Two Geeks Episode 136: Talking PTSD With Paul Gomez

Alex and Joe are joined by Paul Gomez, writer of the comic PTSD, which is currently live on Kickstarter.

PTSD is about Steven Christensen, a traumatized veteran, reliving a series of significant moments over the course of his life in one fateful afternoon. What could be in that house next door could exist in any town across America. A tale of a man who served his country, but now, through a simple twist of fate, finds himself at a deadly crossroads of denial and self-examination…

You can find Paul at inked.pub/pgomez or on Twitter @raveknight13.

As always, Alex and Joe can be found on Twitter respectively @karcossa and @FirstRonin4 if you feel the need to tell them they’re wrong individually, or @those2geeks if you want to yell at them together on Twitter, or by email at ItsThose2Geeks@gmail.com.

Review: Ginseng Roots #1

Ginseng Roots #1

As a child of immigrants, it’s never lost on me about the sacrifice they made. My parents came from different parts of the world to only meet in the “greatest city in the world”. Storybook romances only happen in the movies, but my parents came close. For children who have had to listen to hours of stories by their parents growing up, the main lesson we were to learn was, that “our life is easier”.

My mother used to talk about how hard it was growing up poor in the Philippines. As my father would tell us how he had to work the sugar cane fields on Trinidad. While we did not grow up rich, we were far from well off. In the debut issue Ginseng Roots #1, Craig Thompson connects his childhood to the geopolitics of America-China relations which start right in his backyard.

We find a younger version of our author and his brother, Phil, waking before dawn, as their summer camp, this particular year, was not with their friends but on a Ginseng garden, where he and his brother will toil for the rest of the day, harvesting roots. As we find out that this particular farm in Marathon, Wisconsin, was the largest producer of American ginseng in the world in 1980. As we soon find our narrator and his brother discovering comic books this particular summer but having the naiveté of children, that they reveled in the fact they would get paid for what they did, no matter the weather. By issue’s end, Thompson would give us a history of the root and its supply chain while endearing it to the summer he worked at this ginseng garden.

Overall, Ginseng Roots #1 is a vast and inherently heartfelt love letter to “working-class guilt” and the survivor’s remorse we often feel after rising above our station. The story by Thompson is simply, beautiful. The art by Thompson is striking. Altogether, Thompson proves with this book, how masterful a storyteller he is and how some trials we go through, make us who we are.

Story: Craig Thompson Art: Craig Thompson
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Purchase: Uncivilized Books

Those Two Geeks Episode 102: Talking Tessellation With Mike Phillips

Alex and Joe chat with Mike Phillips, the creator of the comic Tessellation, launching on Kickstarter for February 17th.

As always, Alex and Joe can be found on twitter respectively @karcossa and @jcb_smark if you feel the need to tell them they’re wrong individually, or @those2geeks if you want to yell at them together on twitter, or by email at ItsThose2Geeks@gmail.com.

Comics Deserve Better Episode 19: Papaya Salad by Elisa Macellari

On the penultimate episode of Comics Deserve Better Season 2, Brian, Darci, and Logan discuss the historical fiction/biography/magical realism comic Papaya Salad by Elisa Macellari. This 2020 release is a Thai/Italian comic about Macellari’s great-uncle as he goes from rural Thailand to serving in the military in Europe on the eve of World War II and gives a unique perspective on this historical conflict. Also, there’s the usual news chatter including new Image comics by Guillem March and James Harren, upcoming books Brindille and Chef’s Kiss, and Dan Rather working on a graphic novel. There’s also a discussion of Grant Morrison doing an origin story for Atomahawk, more R-rated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and finally, an obituary for legendary cartoonist, Richard Corben. Other comics mentioned on the podcast were Homunculus, Gonzalo, Minotaar, Cry Wolf Girl, Under the Dead Oak Tree, Karmela Krimm, Phonogram: Singles Club, Ronin Island, The Picture of Everything Else, and Reckless. (Episode art by Elisa Macellari)

Comics Deserve Better Episode 16: 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank by Matthew Rosenberg, Tyler Boss, and Thomas Mauer

On this episode of Comics Deserve Better, Brian and Logan geek out about the darkly comedic, crime comic 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank by Matthew Rosenberg, Tyler Boss, and Thomas Mauer.

They break down the cast of annoying, yet endearing middle-school-aged characters, their favorite sequences, and the connections that this Black Mask Studios masterpiece has to other works of pop culture. Brian and Logan also discuss the latest indie comics news, including Graham Coxon‘s comic Superstate from Z2, the announcement of Vault‘s queer monster love story Hollow Heart and Geoff Johns and Gary Frank‘s creator-owned series Geiger, and a new ordering format from Scout Comics. They also talk about the upcoming Black Hammer: Visions and their dream creators on the miniseries. Other comics mentioned on the show are We Only Find Them When They’re Dead, Getting It Together, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, and 12 Reasons to Die. (Episode art by Tyler Boss)

Comics Deserve Better Episode 12: Beyond the Demon, The Sea by Ben Goldsmith, Davy Broyles, and Justin Birch/Burning Tree by Nuna

On this week’s Comics Deserve Better, Brian, Darci, and Logan discuss a couple of horror one-shots from Source Point Press. The comics are the maritime scarefest Beyond the Demon, The Sea by Ben Goldsmith, Davy Broyles, and Justin Birch and the almost-silent Gothic horror book Burning Tree by Nuna. They also chat about indie comics news like Heavy Metal‘s Magma Comix imprint, Abbott 1973, TKO‘s third wave of graphic novel, and Dark Horse Comics‘ Halloween sale. Other comics mentioned on the show include Culdesac, Blood on the Tracks, Die, Bitter Root, Death of the Horror Anthology, and Maids. (Episode art by Nuna)

Comics Deserve Better Episode 9: Copra Round One by Michel Fiffe

In the penultimate episode of this season of Comics Deserve Better, Brian, Darci, and Logan talk about the re-release of the Scott Pilgrim beat ’em up and the Little Bird prequel. However, the main attraction is a lively chat about Michel Fiffe‘s ass-kicking Silver Age-Ditko-meets-Bronze-Age-Ostrander pastiche, Copra. Other comics mentioned, include On the Stump, Klaus Hargreeves’ solo comic, Slaughterhouse-Five, Flower of the Deep Sleep, and Heavy #1.

And the 2020 Ignatz Award Winners Are…

The 2020 winners for the annual Ignatz Awards have been announced during this year’s virtual Small Press Expo. The Ignatz are a celebration of outstanding achievement in comics and cartooning.

The Ignatz, named after George Herriman’s brick-wielding mouse from his long running comic strip Krazy Kat, recognizes exceptional work that challenges popular notions of what comics can achieve, both as an art form and as a means of personal expression. The Ignatz Awards are a festival prize, the first of such in the United States comic book industry. The 2020 Ignatz Awards are sponsored by Politics & Prose, a D.C. based independent bookstore devoted to cultivating community and strengthening the common good through books, programs, and a respectful exchange of ideas.

The winner for each category is in bold below. Congrats to all of the winners and nominees!

Outstanding Artist

  • Ana Galvañ – Press Enter to Continue
  • Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
  • Tianran Qu – Slices of Life 100 Comic Montage
  • Michael DeForge – Familiar Face
  • Katie Hicks – Guts

Outstanding Anthology

  • Dates III – edited by Zora Gilbert & Cat Parra
  • Be Gay, Do Comics – edited by The Nib
  • LAAB Magazine #4 – edited by Ronald Wimberly & Joshua O’Neill
  • The Anthology of Mind – Tommi Musturi
  • Sweaty Palms Volume 2 – Sage Coffey

Outstanding Collection

  • GLEEM – Eddy Carrasco
  • Glenn Ganges in: The River at Night – Kevin Huizenga
  • Inappropriate – Gabrielle Bell
  • Slices of Life: 100 Comic Montage – Tianran Qu
  • The Complete Works of Fante Bukowski – Noah Van Sciver

Outstanding Comic

  • Cosmoknights – Hannah Templer
  • My Dog Ivy – Gabrielle Bell
  • Cry Wolf Girl – Ariel Ries
  • Theth Tomorrow Forever – Josh Bayer
  • Mooncakes – Wendy Xu & Suzanne Walker

Outstanding Graphic Novel

  • Hot Comb – Ebony Flowers
  • Pittsburgh – Frank Santoro
  • Skip – Molly Mendoza
  • How I Tried to be a Good Person – Ulli Lust
  • This Was Our Pact – Ryan Andrews

Outstanding Minicomic

  • The Gulf – Nguyen Nguyen
  • Chapter Two – Keren Katz
  • Canvas – Theo K. Stultz
  • I Feel Weird #4 – Haleigh Buck
  • Black Hole Heart – Cathy G Johnson

Outstanding Online Comic

  • I Exist – Breena Nuñez
  • Like the Tide – Isabella Rotman
  • SUPERPOSE – Joe Seosamh & C. Anka
  • Gabby Schulz (@gabbyschulz)
  • Witchy – Ariel Ries

Outstanding Series

  • The Misplaced – Chris Callahan
  • Fizzle – Whit Taylor
  • SUPERPOSE – Joe Seosamh & C. Anka
  • kuš! – kuš! komiks
  • Frontier – Youth in Decline

Outstanding Story

  • The Lab – Allison Conway
  • The Hard Tomorrow – Eleanor Davis
  • The Weight #9 – Melissa Mendes
  • “Little Red Riding Hood” – Inappropriate – Gabrielle Bell
  • BTTM FDRS – Ezra Daniels & Ben Passmore

Promising New Talent

  • AJ Dungo
  • Sylvia Nickerson
  • Theo Stultz
  • Emil Wilson
  • Andrew Lorenzi

You can watch the ceremony below:

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