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11 September 2011 @ 07:27 pm
What I bought yesterday at SPX  

I didn’t get to attend the Small Press Expo last year because our trip to Melbourne for Worldcon trumped everything, so I was glad I had no SPX conflicts this time around. I only attended Saturday, but still managed to make it to three programming items—a Q&A with Roz Chast and Kate Beaton about working at the New Yorker, a panel on the Secret History of Women in Comics moderated by Heidi MacDonald and featuring Jessica Abel, Robyn Chapman, Alexa Dickman, and Diane Noomin, and a presentation by Chester Brown on his new graphic novel Paying For It. In between all that, I had drinks with John Sullivan and Jamie Gegerson, and of course made several circuits of the dealers room.

I managed to resist most impulse buys, but here are three things I found I couldn’t resist.

The first book that caught my eye was Frog & Owl: Regret is for the Weak, by Molly Lawless. There was something about the title that attracted me. Maybe it’s from too much reading of Frog and Toad are Friends to my son a couple of decades ago, but the idea of a dysfunctional relationship of a similar animal pair attracted me. So I picked it up and started to read.

The second strip in the book, titled “Love Is” (see below), made me laugh. And as I then told the artist, “OK, you made me laugh. Now I have to buy it.”

It was a good choice, because when I read the book on getting home last night, Lawless made me laugh a LOT.

My next purchase was Brilliantly Ham-Fisted by Tom Neely. The first thing that caught my eye at his table was the cover to the left below, which spoofed the cover to Creepy #1 (always one of my favorites), which you see on the right.

When I picked up the book and flipped through it, it didn’t speak to me (sorry, Tom!), but another title on his table did. I’m attracted to odd formats, and so the design of the horizontal Brilliantly Ham-Fisted (or should that be brilliantly ham-fisted?) called to me.

And when I opened it up and discovered the Oscar Wilde quote that “All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling” had been used as the epigram, it became more than just a superficial attraction. And then the 23 surreal and often moving strips that followed won me over.

Here’s one of them.

My final purchase wasn’t a comic, but more of an art object—Cory Doctorow’s Makers Tile Game from Idiots’ Books. The video below will explain what this boxed set of 81 square cards is better than I could.

There was a lot more I could have bought had I not long ago sworn to myself that in the future I would OWN LESS STUFF.

As for next year, according to a tweet from Heidi MacDonald, the show was such a success that floor space will increase by 50%. Plus the guests will be Chris Ware and Dan Clowes.

I’m certainly looking forward to THAT! (You should be, too.)

Originally published at Scott Edelman. You can comment here or there.