The Fog

MAXIMALISM ruled our Small Press Expo. We put out four books a year like clockwork. Dropping books at once turned out not to be a terrible idea, big sales numbers considered. However, with Sean Ford stopping by with Shadow Hills, L. Nichols slinging I Am Only a Foreigner Because You Do Not Understand and Joakim Drescher belatedly bringing home Motel Universe 3, Robert Sergel may have had the right idea letting Satan’s Kingdom speak for itself while he stayed home with the kiddos. Rarely do we find equal numbers of people on each side of the Secret Acres tables. We neglect to mention Special Guest Nicholas Offerman and a reunion with Eamon Espey, plus Keren Katz, Gabriel Howell, Adam Griffiths, Glynnis Fawkes and MK Reed spreading out the Secret Acres satellite show. L. and Eamon brought a trio of kiddos with them, which meant a dinner party of eighteen under the world’s largest chandelier. Normies call this family style.



It takes a village to make it into every corner of the floor and get to your panels on time. We got to know our neighbors pretty good, picking up June Dao‘s mini, Utot (which means fart in Tagalog) Komiks and Ignatz nominee, I Owe It to My Parents to NOT Come Out, another book with a complete sentence for a title. We picked up the latest Ignatz-winning PeePee PooPoo from Gabe’s tablemate, Caroline Cash, our pick for Most Conspicuously Responsible Cartoonist. Andrew White’s gorgeous Together & Apart made its way into our tote bag as payback for too much Chinese food. We snatched an oldie but goodie, Iron Scars, from our old and seemingly ageless friend, Colleen Frakes. We traded for the latest Leo Fox. We stole the latest West, Cartoon Dialectics and our person, Az Sperry (again) from Tom K. We missed Keren’s puppet workshop, which seemed to anger the geese, circling our tables, looking for blood. However, Tom K’s narrative origami dinner theater kind of blew it away, culminating in the making of a catamaran from Az’s driver’s license.



Truly, between jet lag and overpopulation, we spent the entire weekend brain-fogged, walking along the patio with a caffeine and nicotine deprived Az, handing out donuts to burn victims with MK. The sure knowledge that Heidi Mac and Meg Lemke joined us for dinner contradicts the experience of debating all things Godzilla, and refereeing wrestling matches over crispy beef the whole time. This felt haunting in the moment, much like the brief encounters with the one and only Chris Pitzer, who, after surrendering the AdHouse SPX island to Tom K and Uncivilized, wandered the floor moaning and fruitlessly searching for back issues of Whisper, whatever the hell that even is. Spotty WiFi can’t account for the hundred or so still unread texts, sent in reply to the question: where are you? That alone embarrasses, but worse still is having no answer to the question: when will we see you again? It hurts when you can’t answer a nine-year-old.



We know we owe you guys a book. We fell short of our promise of a sixth book in 2023, namely Capacity, the redux. We admit to getting caught looking the wrong way, and getting hit by everything from major printing SNAFUs to cars. Normally, this is the blog post where we talk about next year’s books before heading into hibernation. This year, we go right into hibernation for a bit longer than usual, with no spoiling looks ahead, partly out of fear of more broken promises and partly because yours truly needs to stay home with the kids for a minute. Thank you for understanding. Thank you for showing up and eating up all our books all year. Thank you for coming up to our tables to tell L. how their books helped you come out. Thank you for telling me, personally, how much fun you’ve had making comics with me, and for telling me how warm and loving our comics family is. One last unanswered question: was it worth it? Duh. We do promise you there will be more Secret Acres books. Bet on that. See you in a few…

Your Pal,


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