Frank Santoro is all about SPX this week:
I've read a bunch of reports that point out how there are smaller scenes within scenes. A show for every taste. I think this feels new. Or newer. As someone who has done the show every year since 2005 that part is different. It was usually the usual suspects with some slow growth. For the last two or three years though we've seen things spread out and multiply. Exponentially. Not just more people but more representation from different genres of comics. League expansion. Like I said, a ton of new faces.
And all that is good. Great. However, I did have some conversations with smaller publishers and retailers about whether there may be a glass ceiling of sorts. Meaning there are more people vying for eyes and dollars from the same relatively small readership. Let's remember the number one buyers of small press comics are small press makers. Those new faces may be making but they all might not be buying, know what I mean?
We also have the latest High-Low column from Rob Clough, who's devoted his space this month to the work of students during the first year of the Sequential Artists Workshop:
The Sequential Artists Workshop, or SAW, was founded just over a year ago by Tom Hart. After a long stint at the School of Visual Arts in New York, he struck out on his own to Gainesville in order to start teaching workshops as well as a year-round curriculum. In a small, intimate setting with a teacher as passionate about the art as Hart, his first class of students became akin to a comics tribe. Indeed, many of the artists went out with Hart to get SAW tattoos! As at the Center for Cartoon Studies and many other comics schools that don't focus on mainstream comics, there's an emphasis on self-publishing. Hart sent me a variety of minicomics from four of his students.
—Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat talks to REORIENT. Paul Gravett talks to relatively new British cartoonist Isabel Greenberg.
—I'm not completely sure why this open letter to DC from an unhappy fan is resonating so strongly on the internet, as little of it is really new, but for whatever reason, whether good timing or good writing, it's struck a real nerve, and might strike yours too, if you haven't been paying attention already.
—Gilbert Hernandez has won an award for Outstanding Body of Work from PEN Center USA.
—Something that happened at SPX: Kate Beaton and Jeff Smith discovered they may be related. Also, Smith talked to Galleycat about self-publishing comics.
—For Hazlitt, Jeet Heer looks back fondly at Ron Mann's documentary Comic Book Confidential.
—Ben Towle reviews three semi-recent comics biographies. I can't believe I still haven't gotten to that Capp bio.
—Brad Mackay and Seth discover what may or may not be Jack T. Chick's first published cartoon.
—The Hooded Utilitarian is having a good week, with a nice recap of SPX and an interesting contra-Morrison reading of The Killing Joke.
—Finally, Samuel R. Delany and Mia Wolff at the Strand, talking about their collaboration on the recently re-released Bread and Wine: