turtlesoup: a green-haired girl in a collared shirt & vest holds her fingers up to her head like devil horns (magic is shiny - collaborative)
[personal profile] turtlesoup
my SPX haul!

So hey, here's a quick SPX roundup post! Quite late, but I lingered in Bethesda an extra day and then nearly immediately headed up to Maine for my best friend's wedding (and extended activities), so ... what can you do. :) But oh man, I had a fantastic time at the show. Check out my haul, above! Mostly trades, plus a few extremely worthwhile purchases, hooray.

Left to right: me, Sasha Steinberg, Laurel Lynn Leake, April Malig, and Luke and Simon of Dog City.
Thanks to the lovely Robyn Chapman for taking this shot!

I always tell people that indie conventions are increasingly becoming family reunions for me, and it's ... really, really true. Every year there are more dearly-missed people to visit with, and this time around I think I somehow managed to exchange hellos and hugs with them all, if often too briefly. It was especially great to get the former Quintuple Ruffle crew back together on either side of the table that doubled as Queerotica's central location! And we were stuck amidst a row made up almost entirely of CCS alumni, with the official school table in one corner, so it was a pretty fabulous location all around. Mostly QA contributors too ... check out the amazing Melanie Gillman's SPX diary comics, which celebrate this fact! It was so perfect to have her and Amelia Onorato as our neighbors, although the sheer concentration of talent was almost daunting. ;)

If I sound a little mushy, well. Some people have described SPX as a bit of a love-fest, and I must admit that describes my experience rather well. SPX is my favorite show because while it may be huge, it always feels very comfortable and friendly anyway; of course it's a business-oriented event in many ways (and I see myself as there to work, first and foremost), but it never comes off as cold or mercenary for all that, as far as I've ever noticed. It's the furthest west I've ever been able to table thus far, and I love it because some of the left coasters I love and/or admire make the trek out, mixing in with my familiar New England set!

It's also a thoroughly comics-oriented show. I don't want to be too much of a curmudgeon, and I love and support creative endeavors of just about every kind, but ... I've been to comic shows in the past where it seemed like every third table was exclusively dedicated to selling prints and commissions (often primarily of licensed characters), with the odd t-shirt or plushie but little to no sequential content. And that's just not what I'm there for (even though my collection of gorgeous artist prints is already more than I' was able to squeeze onto my last apartment's walls). A west coast friend mentioned to me that more and more, a lot of the shows she attends seem to be overwhelmingly dominated by crafts (which, after all, have plenty of their own dedicated events as well)! But SPX is about the books, the minis, the reading material and experiments in narrative storytelling above and beyond. This year being bigger than ever, I barely even scratched the surface of all the things I want to read and all the people whose work I need to check out (I still haven't gone through my collection of business cards yet)!

Anyway, rant over. :) I have heard that some peoples' sales were maybe a little slower than in previous years; I've heard myriad theories about this, everything from the increased competition to a shift in interest (from more traditional zine-style creators to webcomics with pre-gathered audiences) to a sense of self-limitation (as we all try to sell our books to each other, and maybe don't make enough of an effort to be accessible to a broader public). I feel as though I'm too new on the scene to really say? For me, I'm still trying to learn things about the best ways to present and sell my work, and I'll say that this was my most successful convention yet ... due in no small part to the debut of my erotica anthology, which was a shared triumph and skews things a little. I also just had more work that I was proud of than ever before, between Asylum and Tiny Dynamo. Success is very relative, and if you take certain printing costs into account, I don't think I technically broke even. But it was definitely personal progress, on multiple levels!

I sadly didn't get to attend more than one panel this year, although there was a lot of very appealing programming. The "Queering the Mainstream" panel, however, which featured our very own Laurel Lynn Leake, was thought-provoking and enjoyable, and featured a nice set of varying perspectives.

Also, as I said, the atmosphere was just overwhelmingly friendly. The response to Queerotica was incredible, with most of our contributors selling out of their comp copies and quite a few purchasers coming around to get everyone's signatures in their books. I was filled with an odd sort of parental pride, above and beyond what I feel when I sell my own work. It's been such an honor to work with everyone on that book, and I was glad to see it met with enthusiasm! Also, on the other side of things, I had a great deal of success with the trading I was able to do with other creators throughout the show. The mutual interest between cartoonists is one of my favorite things about my community and my artform. I have so many exciting new things to read.

I'm hoping to do a highlights post at some point, although it'll be awhile before I manage to really make a dent in my pile!

Much as I love the con crowd at SPX, though, I do get very worn out from the intensity of socialization, and I felt incredibly pleased and lucky to be able to leave the hotel each night and go curl up a couple towns over. Having a local refuge, and a local friend and mentor was such a luxury. :) It definitely helped me approach the show with renewed energy on Sunday!

Hee, sorry, I feel like I don't have the time to be concise right now, if that makes any sense at all. (Honestly, that's how it is.) I have books and such to prep, because this coming weekend I'm back behind the table for another Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo; my first convention and always a favorite! If you're in the Boston area you should really come check it out. I'll have copies of Queerotica (hurry, that first printing's going fast!), as well as Asylum, Tiny Dynamo: DEMOS, my Heartburn anthology (which may go permanently out of print when I sell my stock), and Fruitless. And I'll be tabling completely on my own for the very first time!

News about upcoming projects, as well as online sales for both Queerotica and my solo work, coming soon! In the meantime, as this is also wedding season, apparently ... here's an invitation I designed for my other closest friend, who's getting married soon as well! I don't do this sort of illustration work often, and I'm rather proud of it:

teacups, books and fancy script

(no subject)

Date: 2013-09-25 03:36 am (UTC)
archersangel: (approved)
From: [personal profile] archersangel
that's a very nice invitation.
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