Small Press Expo 2011: A Survival Guide

Since the one from last year has received some hits in the past few days, I thought I might as well …

I know all of you haven’t spent the past 6-9 months getting ready for Small Press Expo like I have. For most of you, you’re just going to show up and buy some awesome comics. And that’s great — that’s exactly what you’re supposed to do. But here’s how to make it the best experience possible.

  • Bring cash with you. Some of the bigger publishers do take credit cards, and apps like Square have allowed more people to do so, but mostly, cash is easier for everyone. The nearby ATMs have been known to run out of money, so it’s best to be prepared.
  • Bring a bag. Yes, I certainly encourage you to buy our canvas bag with the awesome Jim Woodring art, but having another bag in which to stick all the comics you’re going to buy isn’t going hurt you either.
  • Check out the programming. Now, last year, I didn’t make it to any of the programming but I will be doing so this year. You know I’ll be at the “Secret History of Women in Comics” at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. And possibly as many other things as I can fit in.
  • And clearly the most important thing you need to do at SPX is check out the Ignatz nominees. I am biased, yes, but it’s an amazing batch of nominees. And vote you should vote for them. And then attend the awards gala at 9 p.m. Saturday in the White Flint Auditorium.
  • Buy mini-comics. I am absolutely a huge fan of mini-comics and that’s more or less what I go to shows like SPX to buy. To me, that’s where the most interesting stuff happens. For $1-4, you’ll be able to get something really cool and possibly unexpected. There is little risk but big rewards in mini-comics.
  • Be courtesy and thoughtful to other exhibitors, attendees and hotel guests. I know most people are pretty well-behaved but SPX can get crowded and problems do arise. SPX is meant to be fun.

Rob McMonigal has his own guide to SPX and here’s a Google Map of places with food nearby.

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