Small Press Expo 2011!

I don’t even know where to begin with Small Press Expo. I think I’m still recovering.

I love this show. I love the people. I love the exhibitors and I love the attendees. If people want to know why I love comics, I just need to point them to this show. I think they’d get it.

Everything is a blur at this point, honestly. I had fun on Friday night — although I was dragging on Saturday due to that.

It was amazingly packed all day Saturday from what I saw (yes, we’re expanding the hall next year) and everyone I talked to said their sales were great. I am absolutely thrilled that there was so much excitement over comics. I saw a lot of new faces in the exhibitors and new books from older ones. I loved it. The energy was so thrilling and everyone seemed to be having fun. And that’s exactly what I want this show to be like.

I had a busy couple of hours counting the Ignatz ballots (thank you to everyone who voted!), getting dinner and then getting everything ready. Due to last-minute issues, I really didn’t have time to get nervous. People did tell me they enjoyed the ceremony, which is what we set out to do. (While neither things were my fault, I offer many apologies for how hot it was in the White Flint Auditorium and how packed it was. I think next year, we’ll be back in Brookside.)

I absolutely want to thank Dustin Harbin for being an excellent and enthusiastic Ignatz host. He made my job easy and I deeply appreciate the work he put into hosting.

So then there were drink tickets and much fun. I don’t think I can really over-emphasize the social aspect of SPX. No, you don’t have to be a part of it — you can definitely just go to buy comics — but I’ve made so many friends at SPX and met so many amazing people who it’s what I look forward to the most. I’m going to quote our incredible volunteer coordinator, Michael Thomas, because he puts it best — “One of the things that makes SPX so special is thatit feel like family. There are no barriers between organizers, attendees and staff.” And for me, that’s really what this show is about.

I had a delightful time chatting with Nick Abadzis. It was good to see him and talk to him again.

Sunday, I finally got around to buying comics (I managed to get into the hall early, but it did quickly fill up). I’m not even sure what I bought but I’m looking forward to going through it.

I was feeling sore and kind of out of it — I was physically tired, certainly, but it was more mental exhaustion and relief (Jim Dougan made fun of me for how giggly I was at a certain point). Still, this weekend was a culmination of nearly 9 months of work for me (as well as the rest of the board!), as well as many hours devoted to it in the past several weeks. I think we all deserve to be exhausted.

It was an amazing weekend and I think I’ll be riding the high for a bit longer. Reviews of comics will be forthcoming (and reviews of all those other comics people have sent me recently). And then I suppose I will need to start thinking about next year.

Yes, seriously — people handed me submissions at the show. I’m glad they’re excited but I was happy I’d finally gotten all those comics out of my apartment. I suppose it never ends.

But I think I’m OK with that.

(I’m using the Jim Rugg program cover on this post because I failed to take any decent photos, but this is exactly what SPX is like. Much like I once again failed to go to any programming. Also, I got to see the original artwork of the cover and it was stunning. The detail was incredible.)

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