Sunday, October 15, 2006

SPX 06 impressions

I didn't take any pictures this year, even though I had my camera, because I was feeling really lazy and just wanted to peruse the aisles and buy stuff and not worry too much about blogging about it afterward. Plus, I was working on only four hours of sleep from the night before, so I was in something of a haze. An adrenaline fueled haze certainly, but a haze nonetheless.

Thing is, I'm still pretty exhausted, so I'm going to keep this short:

* The hotel is lovely. Much nicer than the Holiday Inn. I was concerned about having the expo in one big area -- I really liked trudging from small room to small room in years past -- but I have to say the place was spacious without feeling like an airplane hanger or warehouse. The tables were really well laid out, so that you felt like you had to check out all the aisles in order to get the full flavor of the show. Although Alvin Buenaventura griped a bit about being stuck in the far corner.
* Panels were really interesting and diverse. I attended two, the Scott McCloud talk, which was packed to the gills, and the Brian Chippendale talk, which was also well attended. I wish I had the time to have attended more. What I heard from other folks sounded really interesting.
* Speaking of Chippendale, the book of the show, as Jog notes, was easily his mammoth, 11x17 coffee table wonder entitled "Ninja." This thing was easy to spot on the show floor as it stuck quite awkwardly out of people's bags and backpacks. It was one of the first books Jog and I bought at the show and as we walked the floor folks kept glancing at the book and saying "What is that?" Eventually it became to awkward to carry and we had to stash it back in the car.
* We got to have lunch with the very nice Gina Gagliano from First Second, who gave us a breakdown of company's spring line-up for 07. Keep your eyes peeled for some rather impressive books next year from Trondheim, Eddie Campbell, Gipi and lots and lots of Sfar. It's just a shame my stomach started bothering me, because my turkey sandwich looked kind of good.

* Complete lack of a downtown area. Most of the restaurants were ugly fast food joints and walking around was a bit of a hassle. The main road is more of a highway and there really isn't any flavor to the area the way there was at the Inn. If they have it there next year I will likely eat at the hotel restaurant.
* Panels were held in far from the show, downstairs in an area that you would never find unless someone told you exactly where it was. Perhaps next year we could put up some signs directing people? Hmmm?

What I bought
I got quite a lot actually, but here's a quick rundown of the more intriguing titles:
The aforementioned Ninja
The new Kramer's Ergot and Comic Art
A bunch of new Ignatz titles, including New Tales of Old Palomar
Rick Veitch's Abraxas
The Ivan Brunetti-edited Anthology of Graphic Fiction
Project Romantic
Brian Ralph's new book, Daybreak
Asthma by John Hankiewicz
A new issue of The Vagabonds by Josh Neufeld
A preview of Von Allen's The Road to God Knows

All in all, it was a good show, better I think than last year's, despite my extreme sleepiness. If I ever recover and feel more human, I'll post some more thoughts. That's it for now though.

EDIT: Jog did a much better job than I in covering the show and I suggest you just read his post and try to erase my own mumbled meanderings from your mind.


At 6:47 PM, Blogger Von Allan said...

Hi Chris,

Thanks a bunch for picking up the ashcan! I don't want to sound all "gushy" but I really do appreciate you picking it up and giving it a shot.



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