I feel good about SPX. This time last year, I was having a bummer time at SPX. But in 2013, Paper Rocket has three new books out. I’m feeling good. This might have been the most productive year of my life.
Sales weren’t great though. My con sales haven’t been for the last two or three years. This experience may be limited to me, but I doubt it. There are a lot of new publishers out there, but I’m not sure our audience has grown with us. With all this competition, it’s no longer easy to sell 30-40 books at a con, even when debuting a new title.
Unfortunately, the price of exhibiting has only gone up. None of this exceedingly troubling, as this game has never been lucrative. But it’s something to think about (I’d welcome any insight on the subject).
Regardless, I had a great time and was happy to see my cartooning cousins. And, I got to spend some time with Paper Rocket’s newest author, Gretta Johnson. Even though I just published Gretta’s first comic book, Star Fruit, I had only met her once, briefly. For all I knew, she’s a psychopath who can draw very well. I’m happy to report she is an awesome lady, totally not a psychopath. I had a lot of fun hanging out with her.
I’m back in New York, and I’ll be sending out the Kickstarter rewards this week. Star Fruit will be taking the world by storm.
I helped Alec Longstreth and Josh Bayer with the CCS/SAW workshop.
This weekend I’ll be making my annual trek to Bethesda for the Small Press Expo. I’ll be sharing my table with my new roommates (!) Jesse Reklaw and Hazel Newlevant. Paper Rocket’s newest author, Gretta Johnson, will also be joining us. Her book, Star Fruit, is debuting at the show. Kickstarter backers can pick up their copy right at the table! Speaking of Kickstarter, it’s not to late to back our Kickstarter campaign!
Look for Paper Rocket at table A12! I’ll also be selling a select number of Desert Island publications.
Star Fruit just arrived from the printer, and I think it looks lovely. So does Lulu! Copies will be available for order on the website after this weekend.
Star Fruit is Gretta Johnson’s first comic book. She beautifully rendered her comic using watercolor, ink, and dip pen. It’s a surreal and sexy story about a nude woman (and her cat) who encounters a witch and a magical fruit.
Gretta originally printed just 50 copies of Star Fruit. Keeping it in print was proving a challenge for her, so I offered to re-publish it. It will be released as an oversized (8.5″x11″) full-color comic.
You can back this project for JUST $15, and you’ll receive a copy of Star Fruit delivered to you. I’m not asking for a hand-out–$15 is just slightly more than the retail cost plus shipping. I use Kickstarter as a distribution method, and I’ve always set modest goals. I’m raising just $400, but it won’t be a walk in the park. Gretta Johnson is a new name in comics, so need your help getting the word out. Please back this project, but more importantly, please spread the word!
This Wednesday, my friend Chuck Forsman had a release party for his new graphic novel, The End of the Fucking World. I’ve been following Chuck’s work since his days at CCS. He’s a unique talent, and he’s contributing a lot to comics (both as a cartoonist and the publisher of Oily Comics).
Here are some photos I snapped at the party. Go out and buy this book now!
I didn’t do so well at the Ridgewood Market. It was basically a flea market in a community center basement, and my stuff just didn’t fit in. Live and learn!
I had a much better time at the Philly Comic BBQ. Not that I sold any books, but I had a good time. It was more of a kegger than a convention, anyway.
I rode down with Matt Moses (Hic and Hoc Publications), Bill Kartalopoulos (Rebus Books), Dave Nuss (Revival House Press) and Laura Knetzger (a talented young cartoonist who was just Published by Yeah Dude). It was great to get to know those guys (and gal) better. We bonded, and this is what I learned:
Matt used to be a professional record dealer, and I really like his taste in music.
Bill is a lot funnier than I realized, and he can do funny voices.
Dave used to live in Russia and he likes the Smashing Pumpkins.
Laura is from Seattle and she didn’t get much sleep the night before (she fell asleep a few times during the party).
I got to meet a lot of publishers and cartoonists at the BBQ, both good steps towards my goal of documenting the minicomic and micropress. For example, Frank Santoro backed up my theory that it was the early nineties (’92, ’93?) when the word “mini-comic” meant any self published comic, not just the new-wave quarter size ones. I need to remember to talk with him again if I ever get serious about writing a history.
So, here are the photos. These are just a few of the ones that will make it into my next big project: The Micropress Yearbook.
It’s gonna be a busy weekend! Tomorrow, fellow cartoonist/crafter Julia Wertz and I are going to sell crafts at the Ridgewood Market. Come out and see us!
Ridgewood is my neighborhood–it’s just north of Bushwick, in Queens (but just barely). I’ve been meaning to check out the market since it first opened, but I haven’t had a chance till now. I’m not sure how my wares will do there–this will be the first time I’ve sold them at a non-comics venue. Here goes nothing!
On Sunday I’m taking my first ever trip to Philadelphia! I’m going to the Philly Comic BBQ, which is, I guess, a mini comics convention in Pat Aulisio’s studio. I’m not really sure it’s a public event. But if you’re in the know, you’ll find your way there. I’ll be covering it for My next big project, The Micropress Yearbook! You’ll get the full report.