Official Press Release
Florida comic book publisher Alternative Comics will attend The Small Press Expo (SPX/EXPO) the weekend of September 14-16, 2001 at the Holiday Inn Select in downtown Bethesda, Maryland, just one mile outside Washington DC, and will debut a number of eagerly anticipated new releases including comic books and graphic novels from Sam Henderson, Jon Lewis, Josh Neufeld, Rob Walker, Kurt Wolfgang, Jacob Weinstein, and Ben Catmull.
The week prior to the show, Alternative Comics cartoonists Josh Neufeld, Nick Bertozzi, and Dean Haspiel will join cartoonists Jessica Abel and Matt Madden for a signing in New York to promote the show and their new books on Wednesday September 5th at midtown Manhattan’s largest comics shop, Jim Hanley’s Universe located at 4 West 33rd Street.
In its eighth year The Small Press Expo now serves as the preeminent showcase for the exhibition of independent comic books and the discovery of new creative talent. The Small Press Expo will bring together over 300 artists and publishers to meet their readers, booksellers, distributors, and each other. Alternative Comics publisher Jeff Mason will be at the Alternative Comics booths where the following Alternative Comics cartoonists will be on hand Friday through Sunday:
- Sam Henderson – Nominated this year for an Ignatz Award for Outstanding Series for his Magic Whistle comic book series, Sam Henderson will be debuting his latest issue. The Expo marks the fifth annual presentation of The Ignatz Awards for outstanding achievement in comics and cartooning. The Ignatz, named after George Herriman’s brick-wielding mouse, recognizes outstanding work that challenges popular notions of what comics can achieve, both as an artform and as a means of personal expression. The Ignatz is a festival prize, the first such of the United States comic book industry. Winners will be determined by ballot during The Expo and presented at the gala Ignatz Awards ceremony Saturday night (September 15th). One of the funniest people in comics is Sam Henderson. Henderson’s drawing is crude, but it has the same kind of energy you see in the work of today’s best gag cartoonists, whose drawing also tends to be a little basic. Extremely low-brow humor that almost parodies low-brow humor – it’s enjoyable on either level. Over the years Sam has done work for many dozens of anthologies, has done a self-syndicated comic strip and published comic Magic Whistle, now through Alternative Comics. Sam is currently also a writer of Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants cartoon show.
- Jon Lewis – At SPX Jon Lewis will debut True Swamp: Stoneground and Hillbound, Jon Lewis’ all-new follow-up to 2000’s True Swamp: Underwoods and Overtime, which was named as one of the Top Ten Comics of 2000 on TIME Magazine Online’s list of the Year’s Best Comics. True Swamp: Stoneground and Hillbound boasts sharp dialogue, beguiling wilderness settings, characters and societies at once strikingly strange and deeply familiar, and atmosphere you can sink into over your head. Of True Swamp: Underwoods and Overtime, TIME.com said: “Simply drawn but deeply imaginative, True Swamp swallows up all those other anthropomorphic animal comics and leaves them behind in a stinking pile… this comic exudes a kind of joy and freedom in its seemingly loose, easy-going construction. And what a relief to see animals that are as likely to eat each other as they are to philosophize about the meaning of life.” Jon currently lives in the florid state of Florida.
- Josh Neufeld – Debuting his new Titans of Finance comic book at SPX. Josh Neufeld has been drawing comics since he was four years old. With his friend of almost 20 years, Dean Haspiel, Josh co-created Keyhole, where Josh does stories about his travel experiences in Southeast Asia and Central Europe. Keyhole has run for six issues with two different publishers. Josh has contributed artwork to Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor (Dark Horse), the SPX anthologies, The Big Book of Urban Legends (DC/Paradox Press), and Duplex Planet Illustrated (Fantagraphics), among others. He resides in Brooklyn and makes a living mixing freelance illustration with web design.
- Rob Walker – Debuting his new Titans of Finance comic book at SPX. Rob Walker is a freelance journalist and the Moneybox columnist for Slate.com. His writing on such subjects as money culture, advertising, music, and sequential artists has appeared in many magazines and newspapers. Walker has worked as an editor for the New York Times Magazine, Money, and The American Lawyer, among other publications. He has a short piece in the recently published anthology The Slate Diaries, and he has a website, www.robwalker.net. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where he had his frrst experience making comics by co-created, with Erin Mayes, an experimental strip that ran in The Daily Texan in 1990. A native of Texas, Walker now lives in New Orleans.
- James Kochalka – With his new Peanutbutter & Jeremy: The Flibbledibble File comic and his new Don’t Trust Whitey CD. James Kochalka’s distinction as a “rock star” has been tempered more and more lately by his acclaim as a cartoonist. Critics and fans have responded like crazy to his instantly recognizable comic books and graphic novels. Kochalka has won and has been nominated for many prestigious awards such as the Ignatz award, the Eisner award, the Firecracker Alternative Books award, and the Harvey award. He recently released his Sketchbook Diaries book from Top Shelf Productions.
- Dean Haspiel – With his new Opposable Thumbs #1 comic book. Dean Haspiel is the author of semi-auto-bio comix and super-psychedelic romances. In the mid-80s, Dino worked as an assistant to Howard Chaykin on American Flagg!, Bill Sienkiewicz on New Mutants and Elektra: Assassin, and Walter Simonson on Thor. In 1987, Dino inaugurated his comics career when he co-created and illustrated The Verdict with writer Martin Powell and went on to draw two DC Comics Bonus Books in Detective Comics and Justice League International. His comics appear in Billy Dogma, Keyhole, Non, Top Shelf, Minimum Wage, DC Comics’ Bizarro Comics and the EXPO anthology. Dean illustrated Sony Pictures Classics’ SLC Punk comic and is a regular contributor to Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor. Dino’s most recent Billy Dogma work, Boy in My Pocket, from Top Shelf Productions.
- Nick Bertozzi – With his new The Masochists graphic novel. Nick lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife and their new baby Sabina Edwina LeBonBon Bertozzi. His comics credits include: DC Comics’ Bizarro Comics, Comix 2000 (L’Association), Boswash for which he also received both the Xeric Grant Award and the Ignatz Award, several stories for the Big Book series (Paradox Press), and many other cartoon anthologies across the globe.
- Jen Sorensen – With her new Slowpoke: Cafe Pompous collection. Jen Sorensen is the creator of Slowpoke, a weekly comic strip that appears in several alternative newspapers throughout the US, for which she was nominated twice for the Friends of Lulu Kimberly Yale Award for Best New Talent. Slowpoke, which serves up political and social commentary with an absurdist twist, grew out of a popular daily strip she drew while a student at the University of Virginia. Jen was recently awarded a Xeric Grant to publish Slowpoke: Cafe Pompous. Jen Sorensen’s work has also appeared in several other publications, including The Big Book of the ’70s (DC/Paradox Press), Action Girl Comics, Dignifying Science, Empty Love Stories, the EXPO anthologies, and will be featured alongside such luminaries as Matt Groening and Tom Tomorrow in Ted Rall’s upcoming book on alternative political cartoonists. Jen Sorensen lives in Charlottesville Virginia, where she also does web design.
- Graham Annable – with his recently released Grickle graphic novel and debuting a brand new issue of his Hickee anthology. Graham Annable was classically trained as an animator at Sheridan College in Toronto, graduating in 1992, and has worked as an animator ever since, including work on British children’s TV, story boards for Chuck Jones Enterprises, Disney’s A Goofy Movie, and since 1994 an extended string of computer game projects for LucasArts such as Full Throttle, The Dig, Afterlife, Outlaws, and The Curse of Monkey Island. Annable is the Lead Animator for the LucasArts video game Star Wars: Obi-Wan. His projects have won numerous animation and graphics awards including the ASIFA Annie Award, animation’s highest honor, in 1998 for “Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Interactive Program”. Graham currently resides in the Bay Area, California.
- David Lasky – with some brand new hand printed stuff and to make some special surprise announcements. In 1991, David Lasky published the first of his many Boom Boom comics. Over the years Boom Boom was self-published, Xeric Grant Award funded, and published by Aeon Press. In the two years since his last Boom Boom production (Boom Boom at Ground Zero), Lasky has continued to produce mini-comics with titles such as OM and Minutiae, and has expanded his illustration portfolio with idiosyncratic work for publications like Seattle’s The Stranger and Tower Records’s Pulse!. More recently Lasky, along with co-conspirator Greg Stump, thoroughly thumbed his nose at the indie-culture scene (while seeking to profit from its spendthrift excesses) in the first issue of their archly monikered Urban Hipster, from Alternative Comics.
- Kurt Wolfgang – Debuting his Where Hats Go Xeric Award Graphic Novel at SPX. Having drawn dopey pictures since he was just a dopey little kid, Kurt Wolfgang made the move from cocktail napkins to mini comics in the mid nineties and went on create the Ignatz nominated Noe-Fie series, as well as the Lowjinx anthology series, recipient of the 2000 Ignatz Award for Outstanding Mini Comic. He was recently awarded a publishing grant from the Xeric Foundation to present his debut graphic novel, Where Hats Go. In a city where the wind never ceases, a young boy loses his grandfather’s hat, his most prized possession, to a mischievously swirling gust. Thus begins our hero’s journey, a journey that will lead him, his faithful dog and a cleverly inventive ally weaving through a lushly illustrated urban maze to the farthest corners of the city. From the windy streets, to the punishing halls of elementary school, to the dark lair of a fortune telling gypsy, the young boy presses on to find the allusive destination of his cherished cap, finding much more along the way.
- Robert Ullman – Robert has been diligently pumping out issues of his mini-comic From the Curve for six years under a blanket of relative anonymity. His comic strip, My Noise, has appeared in several newspapers since debuting in the Daily Kent Stater in February of 1995, and his spot illustrations appear weekly in Richmond, Virginia’s PUNCHLiNE and the Washington DC City Paper. An Addy Award-nominated graphic designer by trade, Robert has also illustrated several educational children’s books for McGraw-Hill. Signifying Nothing, a collection of his best cartoons from 1994 to 1998, is available now, and the first issue of the all-new big time From the Curve is slated to debut in 2002.
- Jacob Weinstein – Winner of the Xeric Foundation Grant Award for his Dirty Boxes book to be debuted at SPX. Dirty Boxes is a graphic novel consisting of three stories. ‘Refuse’ is a post-industrial chutes & ladders game as if designed by Alexander Rodchenko. ‘Cleft Mallet’ places Huckleberry Finn before a cracked rear-view mirror. And finally, ‘Egg-Minus’, stirs Russian legend, vaudevillian comic strip mayhem, and grimy Berlin realism into a meaty gallinaceous cocktail, as three tangentially related narratives, are woven around the motifs of love, betrayal, decapitation, and poultry. Tottering between a belly-laugh and pretentious slush, Dirty Boxes is a stylistic slumgullion with a deliciously hollow center.
- Ben Catmull – Debuting his Xeric Grant Paper Theater book at SPX. Ben Catmull was born on Long Island, New York and grew up in Albany, California. Now he lives in Oakland and creates comics and he has a very time consuming day job that he’d rather not talk about. Paper Theater is a collection of Ben Catmull’s self published short stories. Included are a dream like story of childhood memories titled ‘Emily’; A Victorian era space Adventure in ‘An Illustrated depiction of the 273rd day of Interstellar Bathysphere 12’; ‘Jeff goes to the Store’ in which everything goes wrong on a mans quest for a bottle of whiskey, and more. See Death try in vain to keep zombies dead. Watch a drunken astronaut accidentally fly his rocket down to hell.
- Frederick Noland – with his new Xeric Grant Shpilkes book. Frederick Noland was born in Ventura California in 1972. He began cartooning long before he was able to read eventually appearing in the local mini-anthology Wood-Eye (1995 to 1998) where he contributed to ten of the series’ twelve-issue run, leaving with it’s penultimate issue. He has also published three comics on his own: Expanded Zero, Full Frontal McSurly and the seminal Shpilkes mach-I. In September 2000 he was awarded the prestigious Xeric Grant and is continuing the Shpilkes project.
- Sharon Daugherty – A former English major gone terribly wrong. Overcultured and underpaid, she works as a medical librarian in Hershey Pennsylvania. Secretly the bookish type, she’s fond of all things underground and edgy, yet manages to save a soft spot for the X-Men. She writes articles and reviews about alternative comics for indy Magazine.