Oh, I am starting to get those SPX FEELS…
Hope you’ll join us September 13th and 14th in Bethesda, Maryland for the biggest and best independent comics festival in the country.
At SPX everyone stays together, plays together and spends a couple of awesome, tiring, exhilarating days eating, sleeping, breathing, buying, selling and PREACHING the sacred and holy comics gospel.
It’ll be just you, me and four or five thousand of our newest friends.
Hotel and travel info for SPX is here.
The most updating list of attending creators is here.
Do make the trip and, in the mean time, help us spread the good word!
Center for Cartoon Studies Announces New MFA in Applied Cartoons
Our good friends at CCS up in the now frozen tundra of White River Junction, Vermont have announced a new program called Applied Cartoons that, to quote their web site:
...is a new two-year Master of Fine Arts track at The Center for Cartoon Studies. It is designed to help students develop exceptional visual communication skills and apply those skills in fields outside of traditional publishing.
James Sturm and the staff at CCS do a great job, and this is a fine addition to their other educational offerings.
Jon McNaught in the SPX Collection at the Library of Congress
Jon McNaught is a master print maker and his Dockwood by our really good bros at Nobrow, is one helluva book IMHO. So when he agreed to to the program guide cover for SPX 2013 AND bring us the original, we were indeed honored.
Now check out how he did this, He used 2 layers of acetate, did half the drawing on one and half the other. When the top overlayed the lower layer, it set the black ink drawing on the lower layer to a nice shade of grey. Which he then colored into the blues used on the program guide.
One real difficult piece of work, if you ask this un-artistic person.
And he based the design on a real cool mid-1930’s sports ad he found.
Jon’s is MUCH better…..
And Sara Duke is once again happy with her latest addition to the SPX Collection at the Library of Congress….
The SPX 2014 Table Lottery Cometh!
Here’s the news, y’all.
We will soon be ready to begin registration for the long awaited SPX 2014 Exhibitor Table Lottery. This will be an new experience for all of us, but we’ll do our best to make it run quickly and smoothly.
This email contains a general run down of the lottery procedure. It will be followed later in the week by the link for lottery registration. After you review the info below, please do reach out with any questions or concerns by sending an e-mail to email@example.com.
We will address them, pronto!!
Table Lottery Registration Basics
SPX’s old first-come, first-serve mail order process for table registration didn’t translate well to the digital world. Between this basic issue and the increasing demand for tables we’ve moved to a new system for 2014 that’s a mix between invitations and a lottery pool.
Invitations to the legacy exhibitors went out over the past week. If you did not receive one and would like to exhibit your work at SPX 2014 you may enter The Table Lottery to pursue table space (you can request anything from a half table to two full tables via the lottery).
The link for lottery registration will be posted on January 24, and we’ll notify you when it goes live.
You Will Have Plenty of Time
Registration for The Table Lottery will run from January 24, 2014 through February 14, 2014. This will allow everyone plenty of time to register. And just as importantly, this should help to keep our poor web site from crashing to the ground.
The Lottery Process is Easy
There are just a few steps to the process:
- Beginning January 24, go to the Lottery Registration Form and submit your info.
- An e-mail will be sent back confirming your registration application.
- Within 48 hours we will send you another e-mail with a 6 digit random number provided by Random.org
- We will sort the lottery entrant list by random number in either ascending or order descending based on a coin flip.
- We’ll apportion tables in the order dictated until we run out.
- Remaining lottery registrants will be preserved in their lottery order as the 2014 Wait List.
- Lottery winners will be announced on February 21, 2014.
- Information about the process for paying for the tables will be made available in mid-February, with payment processing to begin the end of the month.
- Winners will be given until March 15, 2014 to pay for their tables. Payment not received in that time frame will result in those tables in being forfeited and used for the Wait List.
Our goal is to keep the show pretty evenly split between invited exhibitors and exhibitors registering from the lottery. Depending on the number of legacy invitations that are accepted, one half to one third of the tables at SPX will be filled this way, leaving over 120 tables available for the lottery.
The Table Lottery Process Will Result In an Official Wait List
Once The Table Lottery winners are determined, the remaining names will be shifted to the official 2014 Exhibitors Wait List. The Wait List will show where you are on the list and as tables become available, we will work the list off, top to bottom.
Please Play Fair
Other festivals that have a lottery system for table registration have seen people attempt to game the system, with multiple entries per person to try to gain an advantage. As we see such actions as against the Spirit of SPX, we will be enforcing these simple lottery rules:
- One lottery entry per person.
- You can register for up to 2 tables, in half table increments. Each half table gets a free badge, extra badges will be $10.
- Please use the name on your lottery entry that will go into the Program Guide and on the SPX Exhibitors web page. Lottery entries using alias names will be disqualified.
- Tables can only be transferred or assigned to a tablemate whose badge is registered for the winning table(s) at the time the payment is made.
- Payments for tables won in the lottery must be made by March 15. Tables not paid for by March 15 will be released to the Wait List.
- By participating in The Table Lottery you are agreeing that the SPX Steering Committee will serve as the sole arbiter for any penalties resulting from misconduct during your participation in the SPX Table Lottery.
Please Register For Your Group
If you are sharing tables with other people, please have only 1 registration for your group. You will be able to list all of your table mates for the SPX web site, program guide and badges when you go to pay for the table.
There is an FAQ at http://www.spxpo.com/lottery where you’ll find more info on The Table Lottery process.
Stay tuned for the announcement of the availability of The Table Lottery Registration Form, coming to an e-mail inbox or social media stream near you.
Sam, Mike, and Warren
Q:When will registration for SPX 2014 open? We missed it this year and we want to make sure that we're there next year.
As many of you probably already know, SPX is moving away from our traditional thunderdome-style first come first serve registration process.
It translated poorly to the digital age as we ditched paper forms. And with the show’s doubling in size over the last three years we’re making some further changes for 2014, planning for a roughly equal split between invited exhibitors this year and a lottery for the balance of the hall.
Many shows use a portfolio evaluation / curation method to manage their invitations, and they do it quite well. This is not an approach that really fits well with our ethos so instead we looked at those creators and publishers that have consistently supported SPX over the last several years. That helped us define our invite list. Those invitation emails will start hitting the streets imminently.
SPX wouldn’t be SPX without an absolute sense of openness and accessibility for creators of all experience levels. I never want to go to an SPX where a Chris Ware or a Kate Beaton isn’t likely as not to be tabling next to someone doing their first show ever. To that end, the lottery allows any and all to apply for space and gives us a fair mechanism to select amongst vastly more applicants that we can otherwise handle.
Lottery details are likewise coming at you very soon. The application form will be widely promoted and available for several weeks so there’ll be no need to bum rush and plenty of opportunity to submit your info. We expect the actual selection to be announced about a week after the lottery application window closes (enough time to remove potential cheats).
As soon as there is something new to share you can bet we’ll be doing right here in this very space!
SPX 2014 takes place in Bethesda, Maryland September 13-14 2014. Hundreds of creators and thousands comics fans will be there.
You should totally come!
This note just went out to our combined list of the last several years of SPX exhibitors. Help us share it far and wide. SPX 2014 is a’comin!
Dear Creators, Publishers, and Friends,
We hope you’ve had a great 2013! As we look ahead to next fall and the SPX 2014, we need to update you on a few things. We’ll be making some changes to our registration process and we want to walk you through them.
The rush for SPX tables last year revealed that simply moving our long-time “first come, first serve” rules to a digital format was not the right solution. Beyond the website issues that plagued us (A pox on your household, Bluehost!), it was clear from the overall feedback that we needed to rethink the entire process. So back to the drawing board we went.
We Have a Plan
We’ve given loads of thought to how best to manage the show given its recent growth and taking into account what’s going on in the independent comics community we exist to support. After a great deal of careful consideration, we’ve made the decision that for 2014, SPX is moving to a split registration system. Half of our tables will be awarded by an open Lottery and half byinvitation.
About the Lottery
Here’s a crazy notion: SPX has literally doubled in size since 2011. We are now able to accommodate a larger and more diverse group of creators than ever before. And we’re committed to keeping SPX open to all, whether you’re just starting out or have been honing your craft for years. Moving to a table Lottery allows us to meet these goals while removing the potential for unfairness and unquestionable inconvenience that had crept into our ”first come, first serve” process.
Going forward there will be total transparency to how people get their tables and how the wait list works. We’ll have a simple initial registration and a lengthy window of registration so you won’t be dealing with website crashes. This will be a truly random and fair process to reserve your tables.
About those Invitations
Let’s get the “C” word out of the way up front. SPX has no interest in broadly “curating” our show based on content. Whereas other shows use this method quite well, we prefer a different path.
On the other hand, each year we try to put together thematically consistent groups of guests. We begin working on guests a full year in advance and that work continues up until a few weeks before showtime. We need to ensure that we have the appropriate table space to offer our featured creators. This is not a major change from year’s past but by acknowledging these folks as invited, the process is more transparent.
Along with our annual guests, another group that is just as important are the creators and publishers who have continuously supported SPX over the last half decade or more. These folks have been instrumental in creating the community that we cherish. Without these stalwarts, SPX would be utterly unrecognizable and the growth of the last several years would have been impossible. With our 20th Birthday Party approaching, we would not want to have these friends miss the festivities.
As to how this will work, practically speaking, prior to the Lottery, SPX will reach out to those legacy supporters of SPX offering them a window of opportunity to commit to their table(s). If the table space is declined, it will then roll over to the Lottery pool and be available to all Lottery participants.
What to Expect
1. By early January we will notify all of the SPX Legacy members so everyone knows whether they need to register for the Lottery or not.
2. In mid-January we will send out via both our exhibitor e-mail list and social media the start and end dates for Lottery registration. A web site will be provided to enter your information as well as further details on the registration process. We will also announce the final size of the number of tables in the Lottery pool.
3. There will be a 3 week window to register for the Lottery, so we can avoid the crazy, mad rush to sign up online that plagued us last year. Weekly reminders will go out via our e-mail list and social media to be sure that this is kept on everyone’s radar.
So There it Is
We’re growing - this community is growing - and with growth comes change. Given our experience last year, we’re sure these changes to our registration process are for the better.
We’re committed keeping SPX an open, welcoming event and to using a transparent, democratic process that ensures new creators have an equal opportunity to participate.
With our 20th Birthday coming up, we want to have a really happy party crowd!!!
Any questions, do not hesitate to send us a note to EXHIBITORS@SPXPO.COM and we will get right back to you with answers.
Mike and Eden and Dan and Sam and Sarah and Bill and Catherine and and Nate and Warren and Greg and John and Rusty and Joe
Peter Bagge in the SPX Collection at the Library of Congress
For those of us who loved Hate, Peter Bagge's great comic series, were more than honored when he came to SPX this year for the first time. He was more than generous in donating this great Hate page to our burgeoning collection at the Library of Congress.
Oh, do NOT miss his great Rebel Woman, everyone should know about the story of Margaret Sanger.
Sara Duke at the Library of Congress is having just too much fun with all this great art…
Kali Ciesemier in the SPX Collection at the Library of Congress
Kali Ciesemier is one amazing artist. Her posters, illustration and children’s work are incredible.
Which how we felt when she graciously gave us two of her posters to reside in the SPX Collection until the Sun goes supernova or we all die from climate change.
My bet is on the latter.
Here is Martha Kennedy, one of the curators in the Prints & Photograph Division of the Library of Congress with Kali’s work.
All hail Kali!!!