Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Fifteen Artists And Publishers To Seek Out At SPX 2018

As always, it's a pleasure to compile my annual list of artists and publishers to seek out at SPX. I always make an effort never to repeat a name, and that's a tribute to the continuing depth of talent in alt-comics these days. There are also a few veterans here and there who are making their first appearance.

1. Laura Lannes. Table B11-B. This Brazilian autobio cartoonist made a big splash with By Monday I'll Be Floating In The Hudson With The Other Garbage, a painfully honest account of a doomed relationship. Her acidic sense of humor and sharp observations about life as a single person combined with her loose, fuzzy line made for a remarkably coherent & memorable series of vignettes. I believe she'll have a new comic at this show. 

2. Leila Abdelrazaq. Table M13-A. She's a Palestinian cartoonist based in Detroit who specializes in personal and political strips about alienation, persecution and identity. She recently finished as the first-runner up for the Locher Award, given to editorial cartoonists under the age of 25.

3. Conundrum Press. Table W66-B. They are one of the most underrated publishers in comics, consistently releasing daring, unusual comics. They're known for publishing works in English for the first time, giving a platform for young Canadian cartoonists, reprinting key comics and collecting truly strange comics. I don't think publisher Andy Brown will be there, but Max de Radigues will be there, repping his book Weegee.

4. Richie Pope. Table E11-A. Pope's magnificent issue of Frontier about fatherhood was one of the most memorable of the entire series. I'm eager to see his other comics.

5. Perfectly Acceptable Press. Table N13-A. Publisher Matt Davis is one of the premier purveyors of exquisitely-produced art objects (via Risograph) that are also excellent comics.

6. Rina Ayuyang. Table W1-4. Rina's a long-time favorite of mine who is debuting a book from Drawn & Quarterly soon called Blame This On The Boogie. I also have the pleasure of being the moderator for a panel she's on.

7. Silver Sprocket. Table J1. Avi Ehrlich's punk DIY aesthetic is the engine behind this burgeoning publishing concern. He publishes the personal and the political.

8. Iona Fox. Table D13. She's one of the brightest young voices in the embarrassment of riches we as readers are enjoying with regard to memoir and diary comics. She draws from experiences that are quite different from the average city dweller.

9. Matt Emery. Table F2. He's the brains behind Pikitia Press from Australia, and he's introduced me to a number of excellent cartoonists.

10. Summer Pierre. Table I11-A. In a year where the theme of the programming is memoir and there are so many great cartoonists in that area, Pierre stands out as one of the best of the best. Her line is as engaging as her storytelling, which is full of wit and warmth.

11. M.S. Harkness. Table M12-B. Her Tinderella was a hilarious but poignant autobiographical book that was remarkably frank and upfront about desire, loneliness and the sheer indignity of dating.

12. Maria Hoey. Table L14. One half of the Coin-Op team, she will be there with a recent issue of the comic as well as the collection from Top Shelf. She's one of the best illustrators around.

13. Julia Kaye. Table N1-A. Her book Super Late Bloomer is one of my favorites regarding the experience of transitioning. Her line is endlessly fun to look at.

14. Taneka Stotts. Table I1-A. A fine writer in her own right, Stotts is also a superb editor. Her Elements: Fire rightfully won the Eisner award.

15. Fred Noland. Table G5-A. This is "Fredo's" first SPX in some time. His minis from the early 2000s were some of my favorites.

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