Small Press Expo has announced the first group International Special Guests for SPX 2019. 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, over 20 programming slots and additional hands-on workshops to introduce attendees to the amazing world of independent and small press comics. Additional Special Guests will be announced soon. SPX 2019 is honored to have the following creators as International Special Guests to this year’s show:
Aimée de Jongh (1988) is a comic author, animator and illustrator from the Netherlands. After drawing a Dutch daily newspaper comic called “Snippers” for nearly five years, Aimée decided to change the direction of her career entirely. Now focusing on graphic novels and graphic journalism, Aimée has reached an international audience for her work. Her debut graphic novel “The Return of the Honey Buzzard” won the Prix Saint-Michel and was adapted to a feature film. In her recent comic works, Aimée does not shy away from social and political subjects. During a visit to the refugee camps in Greece, she made the comic “Europe’s Waiting Room” to draw the attention to the poor living conditions of the refugees. Her new graphic novel “Blossoms in Autumn” is a taboo-breaking book about love and sex after 60, written by the acclaimed Belgian comic author Zidrou. The book reached third printing in France in only three months time, and won the Silver Japan International Manga Award 2019. Her upcoming graphic novel is “TAXI!”: an autobiography about taxi rides all over the world.
Kenny Rubenis (1984) is one of the Netherlands best known cartoonists. His popular comic strip “Dating for Geeks” is published daily in the country’s largest newspaper “Metro”, and is read by close to a million people every day. To date, 9 collections of the strip have been published and the 10th book in the series is coming out later this year.
“Dating for Geeks” details the lives of 7 nerdy characters. There’s Jasper, who’s searching for true love (and mint condition comic books) with the help of dating-consultant Yvon, there’s geeky couple Renee and Edward who have just moved in together and now have twice as many collectables, there’s hopeless romantic Claire, not so much looking for a Prince Charming on a white horse, but more for a Doctor in a bright blue box and there’s Jeff, your typical gamer who isn’t really looking for a girlfriend, but more for someone to play “two player games” with, if you know what I mean. And finally the author himself is one of his own characters. A little bit dumber, more insecure and less charismatic than in real life.
The first proper translated Dating for Geeks comics will debut at SPX this year.
José Quintanar is an artist working on narrative drawings, comics, and books. He has released several full-length graphic novels and artists’ books includingConociendo a Jari, Grundfunken, Fartlekand Culto Charles. His drawings have been published in The New York Times, Nieves, Vice, Esquire, kuš! Komikss, Fulgencio Pimentel, Editions Misma, Fosfatina and many more. His work has been exhibited in galleries in New York, Paris, London, Rotterdam, Madrid, Porto, and Berlín. José is also a professor at Willem de Kooning Art Academy of Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and a Ph.D. Student at Universidad Politecnica Madrid, where he researches narrative structures and artists’ books. Recently, his short stories have appeared in several issues of Now: The New Anthology, from Fantagraphics.
Yann Kebbi was born in Paris in 1987, and studied at the École des Arts Décoratifs. His paintings and illustrations have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Washington Post and elsewhere. Most recently, he collaborated with writer Viken Berberian on the graphic novel The Structure is Rotten, Comrade. He lives and works in Paris.
Typex is a Dutch illustrator and graphic novelist. A graduate of the Amsterdam College for the Arts, his work has appeared in many national newspapers and magazines. He has illustrated numerous children’s books and has published some of his own. Typex is the author of the acclaimed graphic biographies Andy: The Life and Times of Andy Warhol and Rembrandt, both published by SelfMadeHero. He lives in Amsterdam.
French writer and researcher Jérôme Tubiana first met the former Guantánamo Bay detainee Mohammed El-Gharani in N’Djamena in 2011, two years after his release from the notorious camp. They met every afternoon for two weeks, after which Tubiana turned their conversations into a diary piece for the London Review of Books. Now, in collaboration with Mohammed El-Gharani, he has written a graphic novel: Guantánamo Kid. Illustrated by French cartoonist Alexandre Franc and endorsed by Amnesty International, this landmark work of graphic non-fiction tells the astonishing true story of one of the camp’s youngest detainees, who was held and abused for seven years without charge or trial.