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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Julia and I went to SPX and we came back with nothing. Actually nothing. We sold every single book.

{Insert quintesential SPX crowd shot or chocolate fountain pic here, neither of which we remembered to take.}

Julia and I went to SPX last weekend, and it was one of the best shows I've ever worked. End of story. Well, actually, there's a whole lot more to the story, but I'll take care of the thank-yous here first: Over the past two years, SPX has changed from a show-we-go-to-because-it's-super-fun-and-all-our-friends-are-there to a show-we-go-to-because-it's-super-fun-and-all-our-friends-are-there-plus-we-sell-all-our-books-and-come-home-with-pockets-full-of-gold. So, Warren Bernard, I'm talkin' to you (and all your helping hands): Thanks for organizing such an incredible event (and keeping me well stocked with drink tickets). Bill Kartalopoulos: Thanks for organizing unbeatable programming. Thanks to the throngs of fans that were in attendance. And THANK YOU to all the D+Q artists that signed at our booth: Adrian Tomine, Brian Ralph, Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes, Dan Zettwoch, and Kevin Huizenga! You're all kings amongst men.

Now, to the still images:


Julia and I arrived in Bethesda early on Friday, which meant plenty of time to head to Baltimore for Ethiopian food and thrift shopping Dan's signing at Atomic Books. I had been to the shop before, but this visit I actually had time to look around. It's a pretty impressive store, with a well curated selection of prose, art books, comics, and everything in between. The staff are incredibly helpful and friendly to boot. Thumbs up, Atomic Books.


This line didn't ease up for the entire two hours.


Is there anything more satisfying than a GIANT stack of books?


Oh, and looky here, spotted in the wild was our beloved ex (sniff) co-worker Jessica Campbell's zine My Sincerest Apologies, published by Oily Comics! Guys! This zine is so funny my socks slide off my feet while I'm reading it.

We couldn't stick around for the SPXplosion party after the signing, but if last year was any indication of the goings on, I'm sad I missed it. Wait, I'm not sad at all, because we left to have dinner with some of comics' finest--Adrian, Dan Clowes, Chris, and Charles Burns. Sorry folks, no pictures. We were too busy trying to extract years of comics gossip from this veteran crew, and trying to BE COOL while suppressing our nervous fan-girl jitters as we dined with comics royalty. {Everything you've heard is true: They ARE amazing. Each one of them!}


Moving on to the booth shots. Here we have our rapidly growing Enfant section. We had three Enfant debuts at the show--Pippi Move In, Moominvalley Turns Jungle, and Moomin's Winter Follies.



Special thanks to Mark Burrier (lingering in the background) who was kind enough to help us shorties hang our banners. THANKS MARK.


Another SPX debut. I hadn't seen a bound copy of Moomin Book Seven yet, so I was school-girl excited when I opened up this box. {Man, the carpet at the hotel is REALLY impressive.}


We had a pretty packed signing schedule. Adrian started things off bright and early Saturday morning with his debut art-book New York Drawings. This was his line right before we had to open the side door so the line could extend into the hall. Adrian signed four times throughout the weekend; I kept expecting the line to get less intense with each subsequent signing. It never did. In fact, I think it got longer each time.


A beautifully designed signature for a beautiful book.


Kate Beaton fans! Clapping eyes on Kate's 2013 calendars, Beethoven Birthday Party and There She Blows. It's really easy to spot a Hark! enthusiast; I had these ladies pegged before they even approached the booth. I swear, this photo was not staged!


One of our top purchasers of the weekend! Five Moomin books and a Pippi. Excellent purchases, Madame.


Brian signing Daybreak. He picked up the standing signing technique from Chester Brown last year and hasn't looked back, BECAUSE THAT'S HOW THE PROS DO IT. {What Brian forgot is that Chester signs on top of a box, making the standing signing position much more practical, and a lot less hunchy.} Side note: Brian hung out behind the booth basically all weekend and helped us sell books. What. A. Gentleman. Thank you, Brian.


Next up: Chris Ware debuting his Multi-Story Building Model! Fans came with piles of stuff, and Chris was kind enough to accommodate the stacks of books, lunch boxes, newspaper pages, and New Yorker covers.


Dan Zettwoch and Kevin were at the show with their new books Birdseye Bristoe and Gloriana. A signing with these bosom-buddies is always a treat. They come well equipped, with minis and other paper objects.


So not only do you get your book drawn in…


But you also get a little something extra. {Hey! Montréalers. Head to Librairie D+Q and get one of these pretty paper inserts in your copy of Birdseye Bristoe while supplies last! Thanks for sending us home with some, Dan!}


And here's what a pro SPX hotel-room mini-comic assembly line looks like. Julia snuck up here with Dan Z. to grab beers at some point after the Ignatz Awards (gah, again, no pictures, sorry, we are very, very bad at this). But here's what happened: D+Q artists took home three awards--Jillian Tamaki's SuperMutant Magic Academy won Outstanding Online Comic, Kate Beaton won Outstanding Collection for Hark! A Vagrant, and Anders Nilsen stole the Outstanding Graphic Novel award for Big Questions. Congratulations, all of you. The recognition is well deserved. Since none were in attendance, I had to accept all the bricks myself. It went to my head.


Here're our booth neighbours looking dashing as always. Left to right: Joseph Remnant, Noah Van Sciver, Domitille Collardey, and Lisa Hanawalt.


I was able to sneak away from the booth for a few minutes on Sunday and caught a bit of the Life After Alternative Comics panel with Adrian, Dan C., Jaime Hernandez, and Gilbert Hernandez, moderated by Bill Kartalopoulos. Pretty hard to beat that panel line-up. I intended to just pop in to take a photo but ended up staying for twenty minutes (sorry, Julia!). It was too interesting to leave.


We finished off the weekend on a high note. Here's Dan Clowes signing some Eightballs with Adrian's never-ending line in the background. Dan had a very busy weekend between programming and signings at the various tables; we were happy to get him behind the booth as a parting gift. {Thanks, Dan!}


John Porcellino! Some how we didn't get a picture of you. But as always, it was really lovely to see your face. Here's a picture of me in my new King Cat t-shirt.


And lastly, here's our loot! Between Julia managing insane signing lines like a pro AND my trying to cope with the fame of the previous night's Ignatz wins AND succeeding at selling out of ALL our books AND the fact that everyone else sold out of most of their titles, we didn't get to bring home all the books that we would have liked to, but it's still a pretty sweet haul. All these beauts will be on the shelves at Librairie D+Q later on this week.

Thanks again to everyone for everything. Aces, all of you.

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