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Believe

WHEN LAST we wrote, we were about to set off to the Small Press Expo and deliver unto you Bald Knobber, the first graphic novel by Robert Sergel, and Flocks, by L. Nichols. We hustled to make our trains, planes and automobiles, meeting up late with special guest Keren Katz at the under reconstruction Marriott. We thought the new rooms were pretty fantastic, ditto the alien icescape carpeting. Our welcoming committee at the bar turned out to be Kevin Czap, who probably lives with us now, and Tom Spurgeon. So comics. We snuck out for dinner and discussed our gang’s various academic and artistic pursuits, artist visas and the looming threat of permanent diarrhea. Naturally, or no, the specter of a certain violently frivolous lawsuit hung over the conversation, as it would the weekend. Still, when the going gets tough, there’s no better place to be than Camp Comics.

 

 

Is it us or does the room get bigger every year? SPX definitely qualifies as weekend-worthy. Try working the show and getting anywhere near a complete checklist of people to see and comics to read. We dare you. Somebody up there likes us, as we were parked next to Carta Monir and Julia Kaye. Between them and L., it was the majority of the Trans Memoir panel tucked into a corner. Speaking of, Hazel Newlevant, the surprise moderator, absolutely killed that panel. They had the room rocking and spontaneously applauding. Oh! And holy shit, Gabe Howell. Have you seen his comics? See them right now; we’ll wait. We must warn you: trigger warnings galore.

 

 

About those trigger warnings: the Ignatz Awards began with a discussion of the eleven people (and one company) named in a defamation lawsuit filed by a man accused of sexual harassment and rape. The lawsuit even names the three women brave enough to speak publicly about what they suffered at the hands of this man. These women, and the other folks named, were trying to protect our community. You can call it insular, but, taken as a whole, the people in this comics community take care of one another. Yeah, we threw in to Defend the 11; so should you, if you have the means. Thank you, SPX, for organizing this fund.

 

 

Then Siren, a truckstop stripper (?), showed up to MC the rest of the awards. Carol Tyler, Siren’s alter-ego, blazed a trail for damn near every woman who makes comics. We get why people booed her mention of R. Crumb‘s name (and we booed, too), but maybe give her a pass on that one because there are a lot of folks standing on Carol’s shoulders. Carol even invited everyone to stay at her Inkfarm. She seemed serious about that. The highlight of the evening, for us, definitely goes to Carta Monir’s acceptance speech. If you go by the winners, Carta told the truth that comics belong to queer people of color. Okay, comics are for everybody, but fine with us, Carta! Afterward, the old folks owned the patio what with the kids heading to the Space Jam Prom. We tried to hold a conversation with Marc Sobel, who is too smart for us. Also, we accepted a bunch of marijuana products, which seem to have made it to SPX in style, and we felt like prudes for all being in closed relationships. Welcome to the future.

 

 

Our gang spent most of Sunday dressed in our matching Goth Bitch on Patrol t-shirts, playing with a rubber chicken and churning out fan art, including a Street Angel pop-up and micro versions of each other’s books courtesy of Dan Nott. We checked out the Practice of Diary Comics panel, since it had a killer lineup of Glynnis Fawkes, Summer Pierre, Kevin Budnik and Dustin Harbin – and we have to ask: what the hell were you doing under that desk, Dustin? We dropped some serious coin on books we’ve been waiting on forever (Berlin! Art Comic! 10th Anniversary Edition of Skyscrapers of the Midwest! Space Academy 123!). We gave as good as we got, ditching a ton of Bald Knobber and Flocks. We sang the bejesus out of 90s on 9 the whole way home, discovering new karaoke ringers to save for next year.

 

 

Speaking of, right before we hit the road, we got word that Flocks had sold out. Flocks officially hit shelves yesterday, but the entire print run is gone. Worry not, the wheels are turning on a new printing as we type this. However, you may want to grab the next one you see. If you’re in New York this Sunday, you’ll have your chance at the Bureau of General Services Queer Division at Manhattan’s LGBT Center, where L. will be reading from Flocks with Kevin Czap because we’d all be lost without Kevin. If you’re in New York and want a day trip, head up to Beacon next week, where L. will be reading once again, this time in his hometown bookstore, Binnacle Books. We will put all this on the social medias to remind you, we promise. Congratulations, L., you big sellout, you!

We’re outta Flocks and outta here ’cause we have books to print. See you next time for Comic Arts Brooklyn

Your Pal,

Leon

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