So we made it- another real world set of experiences for the Tower. For those who don’t know SPX or the Small Press Expo is a two-day festival that gathers of like minds from the alternative comic book community. This past weekend the artistic half of the duo was in attendance learning the ways of the indie people. Unlike C2E2, San Diego, New York or some of the other large conventions there were no cosplayers or gimmicks, only writers, artists, publishers and fans celebrating their craft.
A strong band of folk
We had originally intended to set up a table and sell some wares … though those plans ended up getting put on hold. No harm done- to paraphrase a good friend “there are no missed opportunities if you learn from your experiences.” As such, day one involved quite a bit more learning. I spoke to artist and writers about their experiences getting books published and balancing work wit. To say that anyone had “made it” misses the point. Sure there were some books with high production value while others were hand stapled, but these are people who satisfied being “out there” and creator owned.
Understanding the scope of the world we’re entering will be useful as we craft our stories.
Finally, the tower was present at a candid panel on commercialism in the alternative comics world. What started quietly turned into a heated debate between Frank Santoro and Jim Rugg, both accomplished artists with varying views on the changing culture of the industry. The value of craft and the question of if independent art must exist in a realm isolated from mainstream exposure. Honest debate is good for growth. There’s a lot of history in graphic novels that we still need to learn if we want a part in its future. Either way, I left the room with some new perspectives and a hefty reading list.
Again shout out to the DC conspiracy. As a new entrant it’s nice to have a home base in the area, especially those so willing to give advice and support. As far as the Expo goes, the tower gained some exposure and a better better sense of the world. Made some new connects along the way as well so keep an eye out for an expanded list of the Else out There and friends of the tower in the next few days.
For us, C2E2 served to test 0 against a professional eye, SPX was to taste the ways of the industry. This was long. Now the tide turns to New York. The NYCC begins Oct 8th in midtown Manhattan. The Tower should have no trouble fitting in.
More to come