Just back from the SPX show this last weekend, held in Bethesda. Saturday was amazing. A crowded big hotel conference room full of people eager to get the latest exciting indie comics.
The energy and enthusiasm was palpable as we blew through all the Dungeon books we brought within 2 hours, sold out of our premier of The Broadcast and sold a lot of A Home for Mr. Easter and Greg Houston’s books Vatican Hustle and his new Elephant Man.
Eric Hobbs had flewn in from Indiana for the occasion and we also had Brooke Allen up from Savannah and Greg Houston from… Baltimore all busy signing. Brooke had cute little pins to give away and had made little Mr. Easter figurines which she painted right there for people.
What impressed me the most, after not having been able to go the last couple of years myself (our artists took care of the NBM tables themselves), was a clear turnaround in attitude where in the past many were shy to spend more than a buck or two at a time on mini-comics and kinda stared at the graphic novels. Now they were there to get the latest GNs even if they were, as some publishers do them, at more than $25. Of course, great preference was given to those that the artists could be there to sign (which is why the early blow out of Dungeon took me by surprise, we’ll come better armed next year- oddly enough though we couldn’t sell Little Nothings. Go figure).
Thanks to ever-charming Brooke, Eric and Greg, all very good at engaging the fans, in helping to make this an exciting event to be at.
See ya there next year!
It’s quite fascinating as he goes back to where he went at the start of the Afghan War back in 2001. He reported on that in one of our bestselling books To Afghanistan & Back. This hybrid of comics and articles that he wrote for the Village Voice was also the first ‘instant graphic novel’ as we rushed it out to print within months beginning 2002. It’s gone on to sell over 20,000 copies.
Ted just had to see for himself what was really going on, especially with our country frantically waving our flags at the time and blood-thristy for revenge. What he brought back was sobering. He predicted clearly back then that this was far from over. I knew this would make a great bit of comics journalism and had Ted bring it into comics.
Well, he’s back at it again and tweeting about it as well as blogging. Live from the middle of Taliban hell. The guy’s nuts. But count on him to tell you a different point of view. Subscribe to it.
Also, this time he got a miraculous amount of funding for it through the amazing Kickstarter site (link here goes straight to Ted’s page there). No paper or magazine would pay for this highly dangerous assignment in these nobody-has-money-internet-days, so quite a few people contributed to it through Kickstarter…
Literally, the internet taketh away and then giveth back.
Well, on this one at least…
We’ve updated our look as you can see, much bolder and using space better than it used to. What do you think? Suggestions on anything missing are welcome.
Thanks to Jerrold Shiroma who helps us with this and the Papercutz blog (still being worked on)!
Miran Kim (who did the X-Files comics covers for Topps and recently a spoof of Twilight in Tales from the Crypt 8), was nice enough to send some great pictures she took:
Legendary Ron Turner of Last Gasp came by to sit with us for a bit at the Papercutz booth. That’s me with him.
Back to the dinner (see last post):
Me with Rick Geary and wife Deborah.
Everybody doing a better job of smiling here:
Again, from left to right: Patrick Turner our booth mgr., Ted Rall, friend and wife of Rick Geary, Terry Nantier, Miran Kim, Sean Michael Wilson, Mark Badger and son.
San Diego is an exhausting experience but thrilling oftentimes as well. It’s great to hear from fans about their excitement on certain series or even to hear ‘what a great publishing company you are!” For all the hard work, such compliments are music to my ears. Also, many of our authors that we publish we first started talking to at this show, from Geary to Shane White.
And so, every year, we celebrate our authors in a dinner get together where we all unwind and have a good time together.
Here from right to left is Rick Geary with wife and friend, Ted Rall. On the other side Mark Badger.
And here from left to right: Miran Kim, Badger and son. The other side: Patrick Turner, our booth mgr., Stephanie McMillan, Ted Rall, Geary facing away and co.
One you can barely see in the top picture behind Miran is Sean Michael Wilson, who just did AX, alternative manga at Top Shelf and is about to do with us Story of Lee. He’s a Scot living in Japan. You can imagine the stories he regaled us with in his rich accent.
And now back to the daily task of getting out those books you want from us and see you at the next show (SPX in Washington in September where this time I plan to attend, hadn’t been able to in a few years).
Here’s a great video about the Future of publishing and books in general that’s gone viral for a good reason. Dorling Kindersley UK did it.
It’s quite amazing, you’ll see, very clever.
And after you see it, let me ask you how we ourselves can improve, be more responsive to you. I’d love to hear from you.
Hello from Angouleme. I’m at this year’s edition of the show that attracts as many as 200,000 people every year. It’s France’s San Diego. Lewis Trondheim has had many a page of his Little Nothings dedicated to this show, especially around his consecration with the grand prize here a couple years ago.
Just arrived yesterday and this morning, visited some of the exhibits. Blutch who is one of the main artists of the new generation like Trondheim was given the Grand Prize last year, so that makes him President of this year’s fair and also enables him to put up an exhibition of hois works. In a new space the convention didn’t have before, Blutch has what is this year a regular gallery type hanging of many never before seen works of his. Usually these exhibits mix a recreation of the artist’s world so this is a bit unusual. He also says right up front that he’s not showing his life work or best originals from graphic novels, but various creations he made which had never seen daylight since “and don’t expect any identification.” He’s an original and his work shows how creative and off the beaten path he is. Unfortunately not seen here so far, I believe.
Next to his exhibit is another excellent one of the history of humor cartoons but what I found most interesting was going to see the all new extension of the comics museum which finally has a beautiful new space to show off their extensive collection which they do by presenting a history of comics, with a strong French comics angle obviously but well and in a great space. As you walk over a pedestrian bridge to it, you pass a life size statue of Corto Maltese peering dreamily into the distance. When is San Diego going to do that?
All this with the possibility that Angouleme will no longer host the fair. There was a big debate that even threatened this year’s show, with an almost last minute save. It would be ironic for this city which has streets signs in balloons and two of its main streets named after Goscinny and Herge!
I am very excited to introduce Brooke Allen here, see her post below. Even just a student still, she shows incredible talent already and her energetic drawing style coupled with an uproarious story will make her intro book A Home for Mr. Easter a hit, I just know it!
Take a look at the previews we’ve posted. I’m tellin’ ya her book is irresistible. Just got all the pages and I’m relishing them, snickering openly in the subway while people stare at me for reading such stuff in public. Nyeh, nyeh.
oop, a bit late here, as it’s already a few posts down, but a warm welcome to Pablo Callejo, whose art graces Ted’s latest Year of Loving Dangerously.
Of course, you might already know him for his work with Rob Vollmar on Bluesman and the Castaways.
Always wondrous stuff.
And hopefully he’ll talk for both he and Ted who *grumblmumbl* hardly participates here even if I resort to pointing a gun at him!!!
Ted?… You there?
Welcome to our latest addition to our author/editor blog: Lewis Trondheim as his pages get posted here from the upcoming comics blog collection LITTLE NOTHINGS: Uneasy Happiness, due out in January and being solicited now in comics shops. Lewis needs little introduction at this point, this comics blog series has charmed many for its authenticity and great sense of observation. He is also the co-creator on DUNGEON and we’ve published quite a few more books of his including Li’l Santa, btw, a charming series for Xmas .
So every Monday and Thursday, make sure to drop by for his latest comics blog: Little Nothings. Of course you can RSS this as well.
Get the word out!