Small Press Expo

Small Press Expo
Photo: spxpo.com
The Small Press Expo (SPX) is an American nonprofit organization established in 1994. It strives to support and promote artists and publishers who produce independent comics. One of the organization’s most important projects is an annual convention aimed at artists, writers and publishers of comic art not accessible through regular commercial channels.

The SPX was founded by a group of comic retailers from the Washington and Baltimore area who wanted to promote diversity in the comic book market. Many people have heard of DC Comics and Marvel Comics, but there are a lot of independent authors and publishers that produce high-quality works that are little known to the general public. The SPX strives to correct this injustice.

The Small Press Expo, also known as The Expo, takes place in the fall in the city of Bethesda, Maryland. It rivals the Alternative Press Expo held in California as the premiere event for alternative comics creators and independent publishers. Unlike other comic conventions, the Small Press Expo does not feature retailers. Only comics creators and publishers are allowed to participate as exhibitors, although retailers can attend the convention as members of the general public.

Since 1997, the SPX has been the home of the Ignatz Awards that are presented to recognize outstanding achievements in comics and cartooning by small press creators. They are named after a mouse featured in the Krazy Kat comic strip by cartoonist George Herriman. The Ignatz Awards are not awarded by a professional jury, they are voted on by the SPX attendees. However, nominations are made by a jury panel that consists of five comic book professionals.

From 1997 to 2004, the Small Press Expo published an annual comic anthology as a companion to the SPX convention. Conrtibutors included well-known comic creators and cartoonists, such as Brian Ralph, Marc Hempel, Frank Cho, Alex Robinson, and others. The SPX is also known for its charitable initiative called the Graphic Novel Gift Program. It purchases graphic novels from participating publishers and gives them to participating libraries.

Small Press Expo

Photo: spxpo.com



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