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Small Press Expo provides an Update as the Convention is Up in the Air

Small Press Expo Logo

Conventions have been sending out updates as to their statuses with COVID still lingering. Small Press Expo released an update that things are still in flux.

The convention is in a jam. If it cancels by itself, it will be devastated and be wiped out permanently. If the local health department steps in, then that’s a different story.

The convention give a pretty deep dive into where things stand and the answer is… not much has changed.

The convention is still working with Montgomery Country government as to whether or not a show of its size and scale can be held in September. They are also working with the Marriott in case of a cancelation. If there is no physical event, SPX plans to hold a virtual one with chances of expanding it. That could include programming and the Ignatz Awards.

With the pandemic ongoing, the Ignatz Awards submissions will be done digitally again this year. The submission process will be released soon and the publication eligibility covering June 1, 2020 through May 30, 2021.The submission deadline is June 1, 2021.

The Small Press Expo also has initiatives including their Graphic Novel Gift Program, the Library of Congress National Book Festival, and the SPX Collection at the Library of Congress. About 5% of the shows revenue goes towards these.

The future of these programs are uncertain and the Graphic Novel Gift Program and the National Book Festival sponsorships will be funded at 2024 at the earliest. There’s also been a disruption as far as the work with the Library of Congress for the preservation of material which is being worked on.

You can read the Small Press Expo’s full update below.

Earlier this year, we reached out to SPX’s creative community and attendees to provide a status update on the fate of SPX 2021. In a nutshell, should we elect to proactively cancel our show (versus the event being cancelled by an external body, like the local health department), SPX would incur a devastating cancellation fee that would, essentially, wipe us out permanently.

We want nothing more than to see all your beautiful faces, your amazing artwork, and everything else that comes with creating our annual festival together, with you. We also want to make sure the return of SPX is both safe and economically viable: for your travel, for your stay, and for the exhibition itself.

We promised an update on our status around the end of March. So, along with some specifics about where we stand with regard to SPX 2021, we’re including in this note a deeper look into where SPX is as an organization and what you can expect in the coming year. Needless to say, the pandemic has touched and changed us all.

As there are some long-term impacts to the show, we want to let everyone know what those are and what they mean for the community.

STATUS OF SPX 2021
At this point, not much has changed with our situation regarding SPX 2021. We are actively engaged with various entities within the Montgomery County government about whether or not a show of the size and scale of SPX could (or should) be held in September.

We are also negotiating directly with the Marriott regarding the potential cancellation fee as well as the terms of future contract years. We will give everyone a status update by the end of this month at the latest, while we push for a final resolution, one way or the other.

In the absence of an in-person festival, we anticipate continuing, and perhaps expanding, aspects of the virtual events held by SPX in 2020, including programming and, of course, the annual Ignatz Awards presentation.

2021 IGNATZ AWARDS

Given the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, we have made the decision to once again have the Ignatz Awards submissions submitted digitally (we do ask that you retain one copy of all works for potential submission to the Library of Congress).

We will be sending out the submission process details within a few days. The publication window of eligibility for the 2021 Ignatz Awards is June 1, 2020 through May 30, 2021, with a submission deadline of June 1, 2021.

SPX INITIATIVES

SPX is a volunteer, non-profit organization. Everything we do goes toward a range of initiatives devoted to promoting the visibility and success of creators in the independent comics community. About 95% of festival revenues and sponsorships goes towards operating the show, with the remaining going towards these programs:

The Graphic Novel Gift Program – Since its inception in 2011, our Graphic Novel Gift Program has provided over 2,500 copies of works by members of the SPX community to libraries serving under-privileged patrons. Besides supplementing their constrained budgets, these gifts expose both library collection managers and patrons to titles that better reflect the diverse make-up of their communities.

The Library of Congress National Book Festival – As the sponsor of graphic novel programming at the Library of Congress National Book Festival, SPX provides financial support to indie comics creators to support their appearance as special guests of the festival, the largest such show in the United States. This allows a few SPX creators to share “The Big Stage” every year with the most esteemed authors in the country, and have their works promoted to the over 200,000 people who attend the NBF every year.

The SPX Collection at the Library of Congress – The Small Press Expo Collection at the Library of Congress was established in 2011 with the express purpose of preserving the works of SPX creators for future generations. In the 9 years of its existence, over 10,000 mini-comics, graphic novels, posters, prints, original art, and ephemera have been preserved as part of the cultural, artistic, and social history of the United States at the preeminent Library of Congress.

With the impact of the pandemic on future SPX events and its revenues still uncertain, neither the Graphic Novel Gift Program nor the NBF sponsorships (nor any other non-festival related initiatives) will be funded until 2024 at the earliest.

We will need at least 2 years of attendance to ascertain whether we have the cash flow to either re-start these programs, or create new programs to support the SPX creator community. When we are in a position to do so, you’ll be the first to know.

The same goes for the small stipend SPX provides for our Executive Director. This stipend was suspended in June 2020, and will not be reinstated until 2024 at the earliest, if approved by a vote of the Executive Committee.

The pandemic has also impeded our ability to capture the history and legacy of SPX creators for preservation and study in the decades to come as a part of our Library of Congress collection. It has been a truly momentous period in so many ways and your work has often been an essential commentary to these events. We are committed to working with you, as well as with the Library of Congress, to ensure the preservation of material from this “lost” time.

CBLDF RELATIONSHIP

When SPX was created in 1994, one of its primary non-profit purposes was to be a fundraiser for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. When our corporate charter was rewritten in 2011, this explicit language was removed in support of a broader mandate that has allowed us more flexibility to expand into other initiatives, with our Graphic Novel Gift Program and Library of Congress Collection being notable new programs that resulted.

SPX no longer has any relationship with the CBLDF, our last collaborative effort with that organization being the initial fundraising for the “Defend the 11” campaign, in 2018, which saw SPX divert 100% of its funds budgeted for the CBLDF to defray the legal defense costs of members of our creative community who faced a defamation lawsuit. Proceeds from all sales at the CBLDF’s table at that year’s show also went to the Defend the 11 fund.

SPX has not contributed any funds to the CBLDF since 2017 and going forward has no intention of supporting them in any way.

BEHIND THE SCENES

SPX is a labor of love for our team. We are volunteers, with about 20 of us contributing our time year-round as a part of the Executive Committee. As SPX has grown, so has the crew that supports it, resulting in an ever-more diverse, multi-generational range of perspectives about who we are today as an organization and how we should accomplish the mission set out in our charter. One thing that has not changed is that we are here to support you.

Along with the work we put into our year-round initiatives, when you are here with us at SPX, whether it be by providing coffee in the morning, hosting a reception in the evening, or being your advocate with the hotel when it comes to shipping, parking, etc., we strive to care for our creative community, the attendees, and the 100+ volunteers that support SPX, so that you can focus on what you’ve joined us to do, be it reconnecting with friends, moving merch, or singing your heart out at karaoke.

SPX aims to be a place where you can be your best self, to find acceptance and joy amongst the family you choose, while also finding the creative challenge and insight that forces you to grow as an artist, and the professional opportunities that help you build a successful career. We are always eager for your feedback on how well we hit this mark, year-after-year.

Thanks SO Much,The SPX Executive Committee

SPX 2021 Faces an Unknown Future Due to COVID

SPX

At this point, the planning process for this year’s Small Press Expo would be well underway. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, that planning has led to continued uncertainty over the event.

In an update to the community, the SPX team has let it be known that the “only certainty we have for SPX 2021 is uncertainty”.

The convention is in a difficult position as large-scale in person events are booked years in advance which means there were already contractual obligations for 2020 and 2021 before everything went to shit.

Due to those contracts, SPX can’t unliaterly and preemptively cancel their 2021 event. They would experience penalties they’d have to pay the hotel and it’d jeopardize the future of the show.

So, that puts the convention in the hands of the Montgomery County, MD government. If the county says events such as SPX still cannnot happen, it makes it easier for the show to back out of their contract. So, the convention needs to wait to see what decisions the county makes before making a final determination on the status of the 2021 event. Last year, that decision was made in June.

SPX has vowed to do the following:

  • Stay in contact with MontCo’s Department of Health and other agencies to monitor them so SPX can see how they are reacting, or not, to allowing events like SPX to happen.
  • SPX will hold off the exhibitor processes of the lottery and invites until at least April. Sometime in late March, they will update the community on whether they will start the Exhibitor processes or not.
  • Room block information for reserving hotel rooms will not go out until SPX decides whether to move forward with the Exhibitor processes.
  • SPX will work with publishers on a slate of Special Guests with the understanding that they might not attend an in-person event but would be invited to participate in virtual programming.

The next update will happen in late March when we all will have a better idea as far as how vaccination programs are going and what the infection rates are.

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:

The Small Press Expo Announces the 2020 Ignatz Award Nominees

The Small Press Expo (SPX) has announced the 2020 nominees for the annual presentation of the Ignatz Awards, 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 nominees for the ballot were determined by a panel of the best of today’s comics professionals, Scott Cederlund, November Garcia, Malala Gharib, and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell. Voting beings August 31 and continues until September 9. Register to vote via the SPX website. Everyone registering to vote after the initial ballots are mailed on August 31 will be emailed ballots soon after registration.

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

SPX 2020 Has Been Canceled, Ignatz Awards Go Virtual

SPX

SPX 2020, originally scheduled for September 12 – 13 at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, will be canceled due to the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. SPX will not have any in-person exhibitors room, programming, or Ignatz Awards ceremony.

The 2020 Ignatz Awards ceremony will be live-streamed on Saturday night, September 12, exact time TBD. The late-August timeframe will be the target date for the announcement of the details for the virtual awards ceremony.

Over the next few weeks, Small Press Expo will be developing both the process and platform as to how Ignatz voting will be held, with a target of mid-late July to announce the details to the SPX community on voting for this year’s nominees.

Due to the disruptions of the pandemic, the Ignatz submission timeframe has been extended to June 19.
Here is the information to submit works for the Ignatz 2020 Awards.

Small Press Expo is looking into holding some programming over the weekend of September 12, with a decision on this aspect of the show to come sometime this Summer.

Online Resources for the SPX Community

Part of the Small Press Expo’s mission is to help, as best they can, the SPX Community in uncertain times such as these. To that end, SPX has identified some online resources that contain information about various grants, relief funds, and other mechanisms to hopefully aid the SPX Community in weathering the current circumstances:

Small Press Expo Addresses the Impact of Coronavirus on SPX 2020

SPX 2020 is scheduled to be held this coming September 12 – 13, with both Exhibitor Registration and Ignatz Submissions beginning this month. The convention has announced that they are extremely concerned about the short- and long-term impacts of the coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis on the SPX community.

The convention has released information about this year’s upcoming show with a prioritization on the physical and financial well-being of the community.

The following is how SPX will be handling the coronavirus issue going forward:

  • SPX will review the status of the 2020 event in late May/early June
  • Exhibitor invitations and the lottery will proceed the weekend of March 22
  • Table payments will be deferred until more clarity about the show emerges late May/early June
  • Ignatz Award submissions will temporarily shift to a digital format, details will be released the weekend of March 29, after which they will then accept submissions
  • SPX will provide online resources to help the comics community cope with financial and other impacts of the outbreak.

General Status of SPX 2020

SPX does not expect to make a determination about proceeding with, postponing, or, in the worst case, canceling this September’s SPX 2020 until late May/early June. In the interim, SPX will proceed with their regular schedule for exhibitor registration, including the annual exhibitor lottery. SPX 2020 invitation and lottery information will be released the weekend of March 22.

Deferred Exhibitor Payments

While exhibitor registration will take place as normal in the coming weeks, SPX will defer table and badge payment until at least the late May/early June timeframe. Many event and freelance job cancellations currently taking place have placed a substantial and unexpected burden on creators and publishers.

By shifting their payment schedule by several months, SPX hopes to help alleviate, where they can, the short-term burden of this crisis upon the indie comics community by not tying up crucial funds at this sensitive time and not requesting any payment until the status of the 2020 Expo is confirmed.

Digital Submissions for the Ignatz Awards

Full details on the Ignatz submission process will be made available the weekend of March 29. Prior to this information being made available, please do not send any Ignatz submissions to SPX.

Given the recently reported likelihood that coronavirus/COVID-19 can remain active on cardboard and other surfaces for several days at a time and in order to protect the volunteer staff, who in a typical year process hundreds of submissions from all over the world, SPX will be moving temporarily to a digital submission process.

In previous years, potential Ignatz nominees were asked to submit six physical copies of their works to be distributed to the Ignatz Jurors, with one copy being preserved in the SPX permanent collection at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. For the 2020 Ignatz awards, SPX will request digital copies of all submissions, along with an optional single physical copy earmarked for the Library of Congress.

Along with curtailing the potential spread of infection, the shift to digital submission will also reduce the financial burden during this uncertain time on individual creators who wish to submit their works for consideration.

Online Resources for the SPX Community

Part of the Small Press Expo’s mission is to help the SPX Community in uncertain times such as these. SPX has identified some online resources that contain information about various grants, relief funds, and other mechanisms to hopefully aid the SPX Community in weathering the current circumstances:

Small Press Expo Announces Kickstarter Table Grants for SPX 2019

Small Press Expo 2019

In addition to its sponsorship of the 2019 Ignatz Awards, Kickstarter is also directly supporting creators at SPX’s 25th Anniversary. SPX is honored to have Camilla Zhang, Kickstarter’s Comics Outreach Lead, along with Product Designer Jenna Leonardo and Senior Engineer Pritika N. on site to provide SPX creators with dedicated consultation as to how to design and launch the best Kickstarter campaigns possible.

Kickstarter is also directing part of its sponsorship to subsidize tables for a selected group of exhibitors at SPX 2019, which was developed in consultation with members of the SPX Executive Committee.

The following SPX exhibitors will have their tables paid for by this most generous Kickstarter sponsorship, with any monies already paid to SPX to be refunded after this years show:

  • Shortbox/Zainab Akhtar
  • Lawrence Lindell
  • Carla Speed McNeil
  • Hazel Newvalent
  • Laura Knetzger
  • Archie Bongiovanni
  • Claire Connelly
  • Richie Pope
  • Maia Kobabe
  • Christina “Steenz” Stewart
  • Henry Barajas
  • Rhael McGregor

Come to SPX 2019 to celebrate SPX’s 25th Anniversary. There will be 30 special guests, 22 program panels, 14 workshops and over 600 creators/exhibitors, many of whom have used Kickstarter to fund their works.

Small Press Expo Announces Special Events

Small Press Expo 2019

While you’re waiting for Small Press Expo, celebrate the show’s 25th anniversary with these additional events in the Washington, D.C., area.

Small Press Expo takes place on Saturday and Sunday, September 14-15, at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center and will have over 650 creators, 280 exhibitor tables, 22 programming panels and 14 hands-on workshops to introduce attendees to the amazing world of independent and small press comics.

Wednesday, September 11 

Curated by SPX Executive Director Warren Bernard, the show traces the history of comics on newsprint from Little Nemo in Slumberland to such indie comics publications as Smoke Signals, Magic Bullet and LAAB. See works on newsprint by SPX creators such as Chris Ware, Charles Burns, Lilli Carre, and Ron Wimberly, as well as those by George Herriman, Will Eisner, and Frank King. The show runs through September 27.

Wednesday, September 11 

French artist and illustrator Yann Kebbi, who is a Special Guest at SPX 2019, will give a talk about his collaboration with author Viken Berberian and the story behind their book, The Structure is Rotten, Comrades.

Thursday, September 12

In conjunction with the 25th Anniversary of SPX, the Library of Congress is holding a year-long retrospective of the history of comics. Works from the SPX Collection at the Library of Congress will be displayed from Jaime Hernandez, Bill Griffith, and Raina Telgemeier among others. These works will be shown alongside those of George Herriman, Walt Kelly, Richard Outcault and other historically distinguished comics creators.

Thursday, September 12

Conversation with comic artist Jaime Hernandez, co-creator of the alternative comic Love and Rockets. Hernandez was the winner of the 2014 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for best graphic novel/comic and the 2014 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award for Best Writer/Artist. He will be interviewed by Gary Groth, founder and president of Fantagraphics, about his work and creative process, representing Latinx experiences in comic art, and changes in the field over the course of his career.

The event is free, but due to expected demand, tickets are recommended, and there may be special restrictions. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Entry is not guaranteed.

Friday, September 13

Join SPX 2019 Special Guest Jérôme Tubiana in for a book talk and panel discussion about Mohammad El-Gharani, who as a child went to Pakistan to study and ended up as one of the youngest prisoners at Guantánamo Bay. Mohammed’s experiences are documented in Tubiana’s book, Guantanamo Kid. This event is hosted by Amnesty International and the Justice for Muslims Collective.

Ignatz-nominated series Heavenly Blues gets a digital release from Scout Comics and Illicit Press

In celebration of Heavenly Blues’ nomination for “Outstanding Series” at the upcoming Ignatz Awards, the acclaimed series will be available for the first time on digital comics leader comiXology. Illicit Press is partnering with original publisher Scout Comics to bring the series to its widest audience yet.

Reuniting writer Ben Kahn and artist Bruno Hidalgo, the creative team behind Shaman and Gryffen: Galaxy’s Most WantedHeavenly Blues introduces readers to Hell’s greatest thieves, as they plan eternity’s greatest heist—against the angels of Heaven itself! To pull it off, Depression-era gun runner Isaiah Jefferson and accused Salem witch Erin Foley enlist a crew of outlaws from across time, including an Old West bank robber, a samurai addicted to a drug that provides a glimpse of the living world, and an Ancient Egyptian tomb raider. Together, they must evade the forces of both realms as they seek the afterlife’s greatest prize!

By turns thrilling, poignant, and darkly funny, Heavenly Blues was a critical darling upon its print serialization and has been optioned for film. The new digital editions re-present the six-issue series in its entirety, complete with Hidalgo’s breathtaking covers, just in time for the Ignatz Awards at 2019’s Small Press Expo. If attending the convention, you can vote for the series.

Issues #1 & #2 release September 11
Issues #3 & #4 release September 18
Issues #5 & #6 release September 25

Issue #1 will be offered at 99¢ for a 27-page issue. Subsequent issues will be offered at $1.99.

Heavenly Blues #1

Small Press Expo 2019 Announces Comics Debuting at the Show

Small Press Expo has announced that over 100 books and comics will debut at the 2019 festival. The festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday, September 14-15, at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center and will have over 650 creators, 280 exhibitor tables, 22 programming panels, and 14 hands-on workshops to introduce attendees to the amazing world of independent and small press comics.

A complete list of debuts, including cover images and publishing information, can be found on the SPX web site.

Check out some of books debuting this year:

Rusty Brown

Chris Ware’s Rusty Brown is a fully interactive, full-color articulation of the time-space interrelationships of a couple people in the first half of a single midwestern American day and the tiny piece of human grit about which they involuntarily orbit. Published by Pantheon.

Rusty Brown

CosmoKnights

For Hannah Templer’s ragtag band of space gays, liberation means beating the patriarchy at its own game.

In CosmoKnights, Pan’s life used to be very small. Work in her dad’s body shop, sneak out with her friend Tara to go dancing, and watch the skies for freighter ships. On the run and off the galactic grid, Pan discovers the astonishing secrets of her neo-medieval world… and the intoxicating possibility of burning it all down. Published by Top Shelf.

CosmoKnights

The Hard Tomorrow

Told with tenderness and care in an undefined near future, Eleanor Davis’s The Hard Tomorrow blazes unrestrained, as moments of human connection are doused in fear and threats. Her astute projections probe at current anxieties in a cautionary tale that begs the question: What will happen after tomorrow? Published by Drawn & Quarterly.

The Hard Tomorrow

Twice Shy

Joel Orff’sTwice Shy tells the story of two strangers who have shut themselves down emotionally as a way to cope with their lives. Bob is an artist with a creative block who loses himself in an aimless existence; while Casey suffers from deep-seated anxiety and feelings of abandonment. As they tentatively try to build a life together, the harsh realities of the outside world begin to intrude on their happiness, but the experience changes them both in fundamental ways. Published By Alternative Comics.

Twice Shy

Sports Is Hell

For Ben Passmore, some wars are for religion and some are for political belief, but this one is for football. After her city wins the Super Bowl for the first time, Tea is separated from her friend during a riot and joins a small clique fighting its way through armed groups of football fanatics to meet a star receiver that just might end the civil war or become the city’s new oppressive leader. Published by Koyama Press.

Sports Is Hell

The Breakaways

Cathy G. Johnson’sThe Breakaways is a middle-grade graphic novel about a rebellious girls’ soccer team. It is a portrait of friendship in its many forms, and a raw and beautifully honest look into the lives of a diverse and defiantly independent group of kids learning to make room for themselves in the world. Published by First Second.

The Breakaways

So Buttons #10

How does Jonathan Baylis celebrate his 10th-anniversary issue of So Buttons? With friends of course! This all-new issue features cover art by Thomas Boatwright in tribute to Jim Aparo’s cover for Detective Comics #469 (my first Batman comic). It includes new, funny toddler stories by Summer Pierre, heartwarming tributes to my passed dog Mocha by Haley Boros and New Yorker cartoonist Emily Flake. Plus art & stories by T.J. Hirsch, Princess Pamela, Nicole Miles, Jeremy Nguyen and Paul Westover. Published by Jonathan Baylis.

So Buttons #10

Henni In the Lowlands

Miss-Lasko Gross’Henni In The Lowlands continues the heroines adventures as an anti-authoritarian protagonist in this special edition only available at SPX 2019. Self-published.

Henni In the Lowlands
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