Holy yes-more-please, SPX rocked us. Jacq Cohen, Gary Groth and I traversed across the country for one of the single best comic books shows that exists. We knew it was going to be quite the fun time when we boarded the plane and saw Joseph Remnant. A small favor to stranger later and he was TRAPPED between us for 4+ hours.
SPX is that magical place where we stay in the same hotel as the convention so you run into people all the time. We found a Ben Catmull by the elevators right away! Maybe he was haunting the place (NOT COOL, BEN)
Early morning rise and shine, all the books were out in their deliciously intimidating stacks including all sexy color Peanuts Every Sunday.
Speaking of Peanuts, kids are attracted to it like a magnet. Yes!
Sketching Guantanamo also debuted at SPX and Janet Hamlin, the military tribunal artist for the last seven years showed upwith some new sketches. This book is very important, not just to Janet or us but to the United States as a form of public record.
Peter Bagge signs some books for fans! (photo by Meredith Rizzo)
Zak Sally took a break behind our booth to do some sweet sketches.
The last thing to do at a con after packing up some unsold books and labeling boxes is EAT COOKIES. SPX social media coordinator and crazy busy man, Michael David Thomas, is the stuff fucking dreams are made of my friends.
I'm so pissed I forgot to show off my '90s HIP HOP socks to Ed while he was signing Hip Hop Family Tree. See those smiley faces and peace signs? The kind of socks you keep for the rest of your life! Eden Miller, Ignatz organizer, also showed off her own foot related fashion---an Ignatz tattoo pulled right from the pages of Herriman's comic!
Back on the plane ride home, Jacq took a photo of me working on comics.
We had SUCH a great time at SPX, thank you so much to Warren Bernard, Michael David Thomas, Dan Stafford, Eden Miller, Sam Marx and the many, many, many other staffers and volunteers who made the show rock. Our bags are already packed for next year.
A lot goes on "behind the scenes" when producing these collections. You may note that the purple cap pictured seems just a little bit more detailed than the rest of the kids' clothes. In this case lawyers from Another Publisher had seen an advance copy of the cover and required four variations on the cap before they were satisfied that it didn't infringe on a character they represented-- let's call him Bucketface. A popular look in the 30s/40s, the hat is created by cutting a zig-zag out of the brim of a fedora. It is also a hat that this kid wears throughout the Our Gang stories. So while my uneducated opinion is that any infringement on Bucketface is meritless, what do I know?
Anyway, here's the evolution of the cap, minus the second stage which I lost documentation of. And yes, we had to add "more buttons" to the hat between the third and fourth change. And yes, this all cost a lot of money in lawyer fees on both sides.
I found an ironic twist to this story, via Wikipedia. At some point in the 1960s, Bucketface's friends got curious what his real name was: "[His friends] decided to go to City Hall and check his birth certificate; the stuffy clerk there demands a large fee, which they scrape up with difficulty. The clerk responds by reading them a very ordinary name, to their great disappointment. In the last frame, [Bucketface] crawls out from under the clerk's desk and hands him a cigar, saying 'Gee, thanks, Uncle George!' (a reference to a comedic short from the 30s show Our Gang)."
Oyvey. Thank you Jeff Smith for enduring these headaches (and so many others now) for your love of Walt Kelly!
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