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September 19, 2013

A Few Notes On SPX 2013


By Tom Spurgeon

Here are a few notes on Small Press Expo 2013, which happened last weekend in Rockville, Maryland.


* I thought it was a good show.

* that said, I'm sure for many people it was a great show. I'm sure for a few people it was even a life-changing show. That is the nature of events like the Small Press Expo.

image* one of the great things about going to a show like SPX as you get older, as you sort of rocket past the median age of the room, is that you're reminded that all of the small stuff with which you've grown comfortable if not jaded, remains, for a lot of folks out there, a big, big deal. SPX is a lot of people presenting their work in public for the first time. SPX is creative people interacting with idols and peers and other huge, looming figures in their lives. SPX is meeting someone who's read something you've done, perhaps for the first time, and getting that specific thrill of reaching someone through art. SPX is watching others act from a vantage close of being right up next to them, folks that share your same orientation and sensibilities and values. There are so many people for whom being asked to do a panel is a thrill not a chore, for whom just feeling included in some way is awesome, folks who are trying to work up the courage to give someone in that room their comic you would never think intimidating, people that are terrified and excited and thrilled and nauseous all at the same time just to be in the same room with a certain someone. Maybe you.

* we should show more respect for those people, for those impulses, for that stage of things.

* so, SPX 2013.

* I don't have a lot of pure travel notes. Travel West to East in the United States remains a thin, unpleasant exercise. I had to get up at 1 AM to catch the only flight from Tucson that would get me to New York City before Midnight, so hooray for that. Everyone on my connecting flight from Dallas to New York was a swaggering, aggressive, New York stereotype, which is always a howl, but other than that all of these trips this year have started to blend together.

* I went to New York first, flying into LaGuardia. I spent the vast majority of my time near New York over in New Jersey. I used public transportation as much as I could, even though I had money budgeted for a few taxi trips. The New York City transit system has added an express route from LaGuardia to the stop where you pick up the E train into Manhattan, which I didn't know despite reading what I could before I left. That is a huge boon. It sounds silly, but I still talk to people that make their travel plans based on avoiding certain confusing travel options, particularly with New York. They're all not bad if you're relatively unencumbered. I would never recommend a rush hour subway
posted 11:00 pm PST | Permalink

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