My 2011 SPX Photo Diary

Once again I found myself in ever-pleasant Bethesda, Md., this past weekend for the annual SPX show. After a really awful week involving a flooded basement and a possibly ruined comics collection, I was really looking forward to attending the show this year, and it did not disappoint. I hope to have a full report up on the CBR main site later this week, but for now you'll just have to content yourself with this photo diary. 

I have no idea who this gentleman was or what he was doing at the show. He seemed to be doing a lot of interviews. I envied his crown.

Here's 1-800-MICE author Matthew Thurber signing copies of the Picturebox-published collection, one of several big debuts at this year's show.

Picturebox publisher and TCJ co-editor Dan Nadel ponders the meaning of DC's new 52. Watching Joe "Jog" McCulloch attempt to explain the ending of Final Crisis to him was one of the highlights of the show for me.

Kevin Huizenga and Anders Nilsen are very serious cartoonists.

One of the highlights of the show for many was getting an early copy of Craig Thompson's heavily anticipated Habibi, signed by Thompson himself.

Raina Telgemeier had yummy rocketship-shaped cookies (baked, I'm told, by First Second's Gina Gagliano) she was giving to those who bought books by either her or her husband, Dave Roman.

Drawn & Quarterly had a murderer's row of brand spankin' new releases by folks like Kate Beaton, Dan Clowes, Brian Ralph, Seth and Adrian Tomine.

Chester Brown remained a big draw, however, and there was a long line to get a signed copy of Paying for It.

Best exchange I overheard all weekend:

Woman: "Look, there's Chester Brown! Is that his prostitute with him?"

Man: "No, that's one of the women who work at Drawn and Quarterly."

Biggest thrill? Getting to meet New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast and have her sign my book for me. Thrill. Of. A. Lifetime. Not. Kidding.

AdHouse publisher Chris Pitzer has good reason to smile. This was apparently one of the best attended SPXes in many years.

Is this the line for Chester Brown or Kate Beaton? Maybe it's both!

Dustin Harbin has an angry drawing face.

There were laptop problems prior to the Ignatz Awards and so everyone congregated outside the doors of the amphitheater. You could barely move let alone get from one side of the hall to the other.

Most of my photos of the Ignatz ceremonies came out horribly, so I'm going with this picture of Harbin, seen here with his lovely girlfriend. Harbin emceed the event, and did a stellar job of it.

I ended my time at SPX exactly the way one should: Listening to Fantagraphics publisher talk about Jacques Tardi. If I can make a horribly biased statement (since I moderated one of the panels), I'd say most of the panel programming was rather stellar and kudos should go to programming guru Bill Kartalopoulos.

I'll leave you with a photo of this painting that greeted me every time I walked to and fro the elevator to my hotel room. I don't know who these gentlemen are or why they were hanging in the hotel hallway, but I like to imagine that they had something to do with comics.

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