Small Press Expo 2011: Books You Should Pick Up


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I spent most of this past week getting ready for the Small Press Expo (SPX) this weekend, September 10 & 11 in Bethesda, Maryland. I was hoping to spend the time getting American Terrorist digital edition #6 ready to show everyone and put online but I hate going to shows unprepared, so I buckled down and got ready for the show this weekend.

And while the American Terrorist graphic novel won’t be released until New York Comic Con next month, I thought that was all the more reason to make sure I had something worthwhile for this show. It won’t be much. I’ll have a portfolio of original artwork from the book next to print-outs of the color version of the same page.

This makes for a nice comparison of the black & white vs. color, which seems to be a theme of this comic. I’ll also have the last few remaining copies of the American Terrorist sketchbook. I’ve been doing original sketches in them ahead of time so I won’t have to do them all on the spot. This allows me to put a little more time into them, and I’ve been going a little crazy with the ink effects, which is something I couldn’t do at the show.

That’s pretty much it for me, so I thought that I would spend the rest of the column highlighting some SPX debuts that I’m really looking forward to picking up at the show.

The SPX release that really caught my eye is the limited release of Craig Thompson’s (Blankets) new graphic novel, Haibi. The regular release for this isn’t until September 20th, but the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund will 100 signed & numbered copies for sale at the show. They’ll be $100 each, which is a bit more than the $35 retail price. For me, it will mostly be worth it to to support a great cause in the CBLDF. They’re also currently running an auction for the book plate editions #1 of 100 on ebay. Actually, that may be over by the time you read this, so that had an auction for #1/100 and you can see how much it went for here.

Oh, and a quick summary of Habibi:

Sprawling across an epic landscape of deserts, harems, and modern industrial clutter, Habibi tells the tale of Dodola and Zam, refugee child slaves bound to each other by chance, circumstance, and love. We follow them as their lives unfold together and apart; as they struggle to make a place for themselves in a world fueled by fear and greed.

I’m also going to make sure I pick up a copy of Mike Dawson’s new graphic novel, Troop 142. I went to a release party for that book last Friday at Bergen Street Comics, but they only had a limited number of copies so I thought I’d let them go to people who weren’t going to be at SPX.

Now I’m going to hit you with a couple more releases at SPX that may be flying under the radar. They come from two former classmates of mine at The Joe Kubert School. They were really good artists back them, and by what I’ve seen so far, they’ve spent the 5 years since we’ve graduated getting even better.

The first comic debut is Man-Gull #1 by Rian Miller. I don’t have a summary for that on me, which is fine by me because it’s comic where I’d rather have the concept become clear as I read, so I’ll just share with you a line Joel Lolar used on his pin-up for this comic; Man-Gull: Stong enough to rip a man’s arms off…strong enough to use them.

And speaking of pin-ups, I also contributed a pin-up for Man-Gull #1 so if that’s not reason enough to pick up a copy, I don’t know what is. If you’re not going to be at SPX, you can always get a copy at the Stock*Pile store.

This is the same place you’ll be able to find the next SPX debut, Forever Winter #1 by Joel Lolar. I’ve got a summary for that:

A  serial  killer  is  terrorizing  post-apocalyptic  New  England.  When  a  young  Samurai’s  father  becomes  the  latest  victim,  his  son  sets  out  on  a  quest  for  revenge. A post-apocalyptic samurai western from Joel Lolar and Stock*pile comics.

There’ll be plenty more SPX debuts that I didn’t get a chance to mention. For a full list, click here.


Tyler Chin-Tanner started his own publishing company, A Wave Blue World, where he wrote and drew layouts for Adrenaline, its flagship series, Adrenaline and wrote its latest graphic novel, American Terrorist.
© 2011 Tyler Chin-Tanner.  All rights reserved.
Email: tyler@awaveblueworld.com


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