I will be attending SPX in North Bethesda, MD this weekend, which will make my sixteenth time at the show. I'll be moderating two panels: one on independent publishing with Annie Koyama, Raighne Hogan, Kevin Czapewski, and C. Spike Trotman; and also one on truth-telling in autobio comics with Gina Wynbrandt, Sophia Foster-Dimino, Kris Mukai, and Anna Selheim. As always, I will be picking up comics for review, and will once again be picking up comics for my Thirty Days of CCS feature. Hope to see you all there; I will be wearing a grey hat. Below are some artists and publishers to seek out at this year's show:
1. Anuj Shrestha. With an exquisitely grotesque drawing style, his Genus series is one of the best body horror comics around.
2. Centrala. This Polish publisher (by way of the UK) has some startling original comics. I recommend Fertility if you want a disturbing experience or Moscow if you want a rollicking one.
3. Gabriel Winslow-Yost. A fine cartoonist in his own right, Winslow-Yost is also the editor of the New York Review of Books' comics line. Debuting at this show is the astounding Soft City by Norwegian artist Haritat Pushwagner.
4. Gina Wynbrandt. An Ignatz nominee last year, Wynbrandt will be on my autobio panel on Saturday at 4:30pm. Her hilarious book, Someone Please Have Sex With Me, is one of the top five comics of the year.
5. Hazel Newlevant. Best known for editing the popular Chainmail Bikini anthology, Newlevant's autobiographical and biographical series are all excellent.
6. Kevin Budnik. Budnik deals with some pretty severe issues related to mental illness (including OCD and anorexia) in his excellent diary comics, along with many other topics.
7. Kevin Czapewski. Publisher of Czap Books, Czapewski has published or distributed some of the most fascinating and challenging comics of the past few years.
8. Luke Healy. CCS grad Healy's aesthetic is a perfect fit with NoBrow, and he will debut How To Survive In The North with that publisher.
9. Luke Howard. Another CCS grad and current instructor there, Howard will have new books from Retrofit (Our Mother) as well as AdHouse (Talk Dirty To Me).
10. Meghan Turbitt. This hilarious cartoonist will debut Self at the show this year. Her over-the-top and fictionalized autobio stories are rivaled only by Wynbrandt's.
11. Tom Hart. He'll be here with students from the Sequential Artists Workshop (SAW). His book, Rosalie Lightning, is easily my choice for best book of the year, and it's baffling and disappointing that it was not nominated for an Ignatz.
12. Kilgore Books. Quietly publishing more and more great comics, publisher Dan Stafford will be here with Noah Van Sciver and his new comic (Blammo #9), as well as up-and-comer Tom Van Deusen.