Monday, September 26, 2005

SPX 2005 Part 3

As much as I enjoy attending and appearing at shows like MOCCA and SPX, when it comes to purchasing material I find that, for the most part, I steer clear of a lot of the true Small Press books. While I appreciate the creative zeal by many of these artists, I'm turned off by the amateurish artwork and lack of story telling ability that permeate through many of these books. (just because you can get a book or comic printed, doesn't mean you should).

The first book I bought at the show was the SPX Anthology for 2005. (cover pictured above) Like most anthologies the quality of the work varies from story-to-story and from artist-to-artist. I don't mind buying these every year though, since the money goes to the CBLDF .

Next up I went over to the table of artist Batton Lash. Known most for his work on his own title, Supernatural Law, I wanted to pick a copy of Radioactive Man. He'd worked on this particular issue and I love these Radioactive Man titles from Bongo Comics. They're great spoofs of the many eras of the comic industry. This copy takes a neat swipe at the DC comics of 1971, especially about the New Gods titles by Jack Kirby.

While walking through the show I did scoop up a few free mini comics, but none that really grabbed me.

Some of the larger Small Press companies, like Fantagraphics Books and Top Shelf usually have a lot of high quality (and very pricey) books, that I and my wallet were able to avoid, but I couldn't elude the enticement from Drawn & Quarterly. Not only do they have a nice selection of titles and cartoonists but they usually have these damn cute French Canadian girls working their tables.

And this year was no exception.

First I bought Walt and Skeezix. It's a beautiful hard covered collection of the 1921-1922 strips of Gasoline Alley. I'm a huge fan of comic strips from the first 50 years of American comic strips and had meant to pick this up since I'd hear D&Q were planning this collection. Gasoline Alley is one of those strips that I'm very aware of but haven't had the opportunity to read most of the classic years of it's publication.

D & Q had some titles and books by artists I'd heard of but never read. I took a chance and picked up a book by Michel Rabagliati called Paul Moves Out. I was impressed not only by the design and layout of the hardcover but by Rabagliati clean competent style, line weight and storytelling. I'm looking forward to reading this.

Yes both books were expensive (and yes, the cute French Canadian girls had uttered the magic words "we take plastic") but D & Q not only gives you quality work to buy, but freebies too! Because I bought Walt and Skeezix I received a mini poster, a reproduction of a classic strip.
But that's not all.
Because I'd spent over a particular amount, I also got, for free, a copy of the hardback Crumb book, Waiting For Food Number 3.

And that's about it. Sure, I didn't buy a lot, but I believe the quality of the books more than makes up for the lack of the quantity.

Next Up, I finish up the SPX weekend.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.