Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

March 18, 2013

SPX Apologizes For Sunday's Exhibitor Registration Collapse

imageThe Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland relied on the bedrock of its enormous goodwill in the small-press community yesterday negotiating a collapse in its on-line exhibitor registration for the 2013 show this September. Here's the apology they sent out.

SPX is not a juried show, so they have to find some way to make the bulk of their tables available on a first-come, first-served basis in order to satisfy that democratic leaning. I think not being juried is a crucial element for that show now. About a decade ago or so I agitated with the SPX board to make Small Press Expo a juried show. This was back in the day when there weren't any. I thought a juried show would make for a better showcase for comics. I was wrong. SPX chose to keep to the non-juried strategy, which was the right choice because it keeps them connected to the mass of creators for whom this is The Most Important Comics Show. I think it also best serves their audience, and their audience is a formidable thing.

So, if you move that basic impulse to be non-juried into the rich soil that is conventions generally right now, sprinkle a little bit of SPX 2012 Was Awesome on top, and the result is what happened yesterday. There are bound to be a ton of disappointed people, and all sorts of negotiating for table space in the months ahead.

I think the SPX folks and particularly Warren Bernard are smart enough to handle this as well as it can be handled -- that letter is a good start, and so was the humor shown as things melted down, and so were the promises to go through things like timestamps to best figure out who was there to register at what time. I have every confidence in them, and I think most people do in that realm of comics. The show will go on, and it won't look any different for this day of frustration. They have a full year to figure out 2014.

Mr. Chris Pitzer of AdHouse, exhibiting at the 2012 show
posted 8:40 am PST | Permalink

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