The Small Press Expo
Bethesda, Maryland

October 1st-3rd, 2004

Road trip! I wasn't planning to hit up SPX (otherwise known as the
Small Press Expo) this year, but after only five minutes alone with
the ever-convincing Chris Butcher, I had changed my tune and decided
to come along for the ride. So on the Thursday night before the con, I
piled into a van with Chris, Scott Robins, Bryan O'Malley, Hope Larson,
Vera Brosgol, and Jason for the 9 hour drive down.

After having as much fun as 4 Canadians, 2 Americans, and a Norweigan
can possibly have at the American border, we arrived at our hotel on
Friday at 7 AM, where we encountered room issues and were given a
temporary room with only one king-sized bed. Exhausted, everyone
ended up piling on to the bed anyway to get some much needed rest.

After a nice long nap, and finally being able to move our things into
the right room, I was pretty much ready to tackle my first SPX.


The official Flight table was hosted by the amazing duo of
Joel Carroll and Ed Siemienkowicz (not pictured), who were gracious
enough to let us kids float in and around their table for the weekend.

Friday at the con was truly a blur. Meeting so many people for the
first time that I had only talked to before through the magic of the
"inter-web" via email and various message boards, I managed to
completely forget to take any photos. Smart, eh? However, the
highlight of the day was talking briefly with Mike Mignola (that Hellboy
fella) and presenting him with a copy of Flight, which he seemed to
be genuinely excited about. Rock!

After the first day of the con was over, the Dumbrella, Failure, and
Pants Press crews ended up at Rock Bottom for dinner and a few
small drinks.


One of the aforementioned "small" drinks. A 5 litre tower of
Rocktoberfest beer, that is.


Phillip contemplates his beer sampler. Small drinks, indeed.


Vera and Dylan enjoy their beverages of the non-alcoholic variety.


Dylan's gentleman friend, Ben, and some chump.


Mr. Jeffrey J. Rowland hard at work.


Jon Rosenberg and Sara Rosenbaum (no relation that I know of),
obviously having the worst time of their lives.


A blurry Duzty and a rather camera-shy Dean.


Antar, Rose, and Drew (otherwise known as three-quarters of the
Failure crew) representin'.


Here, Ben and Erika are being charmed by the enchanting rstevens.


Jeff and a visibly- vibrating Vera.


Saturday rolled around, and brought about the arrival of Neil Babra,
much to everyone's delight. Here, Les McClaine and Neil are
chatting it up in front of the Flight table. If I was brave enough, I
would've reached across the table and stolen their organs from which
their amazing talents stem from


The boys are back in town! Neil, Scott, Chris, and Mal.


Joel and Erika workin' hard (hardly workin'?) at the Flight table.


Saturday's dinner was a tasteful (and tasty) affair at Sala Thai, which
was then followed by debauchery in the Dumbrella hotel room...


...a hotel room that was likely a fire hazard filled with cartoonists.


Rich is far too sexy to be captured on camera...


...and here he holds an audience with his legion of adoring fans.
Look at them hang on his every word!


People started to trickle out of the room as the night wore on... which point the sketchbooks and pens broke
out and the real party began.



No night is complete until someone starts writing on
people in Russian, pointing people to nice asses.

Sunday was marked by me manning the Flight table for most of the
day, as Joel and Ed had to leave early for their trip back to battle-
damaged Florida. I did manage to sneak away for a few minutes to
pee, eat, and pick up a copy of Rent Girl from Michelle Tea and
Laurenn McCubbin, as well as Owly, by Andy Runton. You couldn't
really pick more diverging subject matter for two books (the latter
being an awesome all-ages book about an owl, and the former being
a memoir of prostitution, poverty, and drugs), but they're both
great books written by awesome people.

And that was about it. Some hurried goodbyes to the wonderful
people at SPX (I felt terrible about not taking pictures of all the
other cool folk that were in attendance, not to mention all the
people I've already forgotten from this list), a quick dinner at a
Denny's, and then we were all back in the van, headed back north
to Canadia. I ended up doing a couple of doodles over the course
of the weekend, which I figure I should share here:


After spending almost 19 hours in a van with us, I came under the
impression that the super-talented Jason thought that we were all
clinically insane. Especially after we had all gorged ourselves on
sugar-related products that aren't readily available in Canada.


At a rest stop on the edge of Pennsylvania, we came across almost
a dozen stray kittens wandering around in the parking lot. We all
stood around and quietly watched them in the cold night. It was
a nice little moment, and this is quite a terrible drawing of it.


And finally, a jam drawing done over the weekend with (clockwise,
L to R) Dean, Ed, Joel, Les, and me beating the crap out of
each other, which isn't too far removed from reality, I imagine.

That's about it, really. If perhaps you're looking for more photos,
Vera and her punch monkey documented SPX far better than I.
Plus, there are a couple of photos of me in there chompin'
on a cigar. I'll catch you kids later.



Return to