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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.

Simon Hanselmann’s Webcomic Crisis Zone Comes to Print this August from Fantagraphics

Crisis Zone

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, coming from Fantagraphics this August 17.

Set in the colorful NSFW world of the bestselling MeggMogg and Owl series, Crisis Zone was born amidst the uncertainty of the Covid-19 crisis. As the pandemic continued to escalate far beyond any reasonable expectations, Crisis Zone escalated right along with it — in real time, with daily posts on Instagram. Its battle mission was to amuse the masses: after all, no matter how horrible and bleak everything seemed, at least Werewolf Jones wasn’t in your house! Over the course of 2020, Crisis Zone 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.

Watch Megg attempt to bury herself in a digital world of escapism! See Mogg fall down the rabbit hole of paranoia and conspiracy theories! Experience Owl’s metamorphosis from timid and uptight worrywort to a no-holds-barred, asskicking leader and back again! Witness Werewolf Jones’s journey from reluctant erotic performer, to viral TikTok stardom, to Netflix sensation! Bouncing rapidly between comedy, horror, action, and relational soap-operatics, Crisis Zone refuses to take the pedal off the gas as we all hurtle towards unknown destinations.

Small Press Expo 2014: International Guests Simon Hanselman, Aisha Franz, Yvan Alagbé, Dominique Goblet, Mana Neyestani, Daniel Jiménez Quiroz and More

spx-logo-240This year marks the 20th Anniversary of SPX, which will be held September 13 and 14, 2014 at the North Bethesda Marriott Hotel & Conference Center. For their 20th birthday, the convention has announced a robust slate of international comics artists, publishers and critics from Australia, Germany, France, Belgium, Iran, Colombia, Spain and more, contributing to SPX’s growing status as a global meeting place for the exchange of ideas, aesthetics, and points of view.

Simon Hanselmann will arrive from Australia to debut Megahex, his eagerly awaited new collection from Fantagraphics, collecting the darkly comedic and unexpectedly moving comics that have earned him an enormous following online. At SPX, Hanselmann will kick off a national book tour with Michael DeForge and Patrick Kyle; the trio will participate in a special live edition of the Inkstuds radio show at SPX, led by regular Inkstuds host Robin McConnell and special guest co-host Brandon Graham.

Aisha Franz is a German cartoonist whose SPX debut and first book for Drawn & Quarterly is Earthling, which has also been published in German, French, Italian, and Spanish. Franz lives in Berlin where she is a member of the Treasure Fleet comics collective. In addition to an active illustration career she has contributed comics to  Pitchfork Review, Kus!, Kuti Kuti, and many more publications. Her second graphic novel, Brigitte und der Perlen-hort, has been published in German and French.

Yvan Alagbé and Dominique Goblet will travel to SPX from France and Belgium, respectively, with a range of work from the avant-garde Brussels-based publishing house Frémok. Alagbé co-founded the influential French publishing house Éditions Amok, which later merged with the Belgian publisher Fréon to form Frémok and continues to champion poetic work at the borderline of comics and fine art. Alagbé’s new book École de la Misère, rendered in beautiful ink and wash, further expresses his clear-eyed, penetrating career-long investigation into mysterious desire and explosive cultural conflict.

Goblet, an early contributor to the Fréon flagship anthology Frigorevue, has produced a challenging and beautiful body of work that productively troubles the distinctions between fiction and autobiography, and between narrative and poetic image-making. At SPX she will debut the groundbreaking full-color graphic novel Plus si Entente, a book produced collaboratively with German cartoonist Kai Pfeiffer. Working internationally, the pair swapped pages and responded to ideas, images, compositions and colors proposed by the other to test the possibilities of narrative within the comics form.

Exhibiting as Frémok, Goblet and Alagbé will also bring with them many works from the publisher’s catalog, including the award-winning collection of Kamagurka and Herr Seele’s Cowboy Henk comic strips (an instant sell-out at MoCCA) and the American debut of Kamagurka and Seele’s brand new Cowboy Henk book, Histoire de la Belgique (pour tous).

Mana Neyestani is an Iranian cartoonist and illustrator for economic, intellectual, political, cultural, and professional magazines. He is particularly known for his work for the newspaper Zan and Persian language Radio Zamaneh. A 2006 political cartoon by Neyestani prompted riots among the oppressed Azeri minority in Iran; the paper in which the cartoon appeared was promptly closed and Neyestani was imprisoned. Upon his temporary release three months later he left the country and currently resides in France. He is the recipient of the Cartoonists Rights Network International award for courage in editorial cartooning, 2010. His graphic novel An Iranian Metamorphosis was originally published in French, and will debut in an English-language edition from Uncivilized Books at SPX.

Publisher, editor, critic and event organizer Daniel Jiménez Quiroz is the editor of  Revista Larva, the leading Colombian comics anthology, which publishes work by artists from throughout South America. Larva has spun off the comics publishing house Editorial Robot, which has published work by artists including Peter Kuper and Powerpaola. Quiroz also co-organizes the Entreviñetas comics festival which is now in its fifth year and has featured guests including Gabrielle Bell, Ruppert & Mulot, and Anders Nilsen. At SPX, Quiroz will exhibit work from Colombia and will participate in a special panel about Spanish-language comics, including Spanish critic Santiago García, Colombian critic Pablo Guerra, and American publisher Scott Brown. Quiroz’s visit to SPX is supported by the Ministerio de Cultura of Colombia.

Many other international publishers and artists will exhibit at this year’s event, including London-based New Zealander Roger Langridge and Australian cartoonists Frank Candiloro, Matt Emery, Luke Humphris, Matthew Hoddy, Caitlin Major, Nicholas McIvor and Lex Sugden. SPX’s 20th anniversary event will offer a unique opportunity to encounter the work and perspectives of international artists, and to more fully appreciate the truly global character of the comics form.

Fantagraphics Books To Publish Simon Hanselmann’s Megahex

Simon HanselmannFantagraphics has announced the acquisition of the first book by acclaimed Australian cartoonist Simon Hanselmann, to be released in the summer of 2014. Megahex will be a deluxe hardcover featuring over 200 pages of Hanselmann’s beloved Megg, Mogg, and Owl comics, including over 70 never before seen pages. Hanselmann’s Tumblr site Girl Mountain has already propelled Megg, Mogg, Owl & Co. to Internet infamy, and Megahex will be the solid collection those fans have long been waiting for.

Megg (a green-skinned witch), Mogg (a black cat), and Owl (an anthropomorphic owl) are a trio of ne’er-do-well roommates cohabiting in a suburban flophouse. Megg and Mogg spend most of their time smoking pot and having sex, while Owl works various office jobs and usually comes home to find himself as the butt of every joke. Behind the crass poop jokes and stoner humor are the depressed and misanthropic lives of these characters. They all possess tragedies that weigh on their shoulders, keeping them from escaping the nihilistic pit into which they’ve fallen. Equally funny and melancholic, Hanselmann is able to evoke empathy for his characters, making it easy for readers to fall in love with this disdainful bunch. Part Tennessee Williams, part Peter Bagge, Megahex will make people laugh, cry, and then take a shower.

Megahex is set to release in June 2014 from Fantagraphics Books, Inc.

Megg, Mogg & OwlMegg, Mogg & Owl

Silver Sequin Mini-Skirt

Megg's Depression
Megg's Depression

Almost American