Con News: Small Press Expo celebrates Fantagraphics’ 40th Anniversary

Small Press Expo 2016 bannerYeah yeah yeah; everyone’s all about San Diego Comic-Con right now, and probably will be ’til it wraps on July 24th.  But what about folks who actually want to, oh y’know, discuss COMIC BOOKS?  So many comic-cons get wrapped up with the Hollywood flash, and spend very little time or effort on the creators that got us jazzed for these ‘cons in the first place.  (Or the ‘cons are so freakin’ huge it’s rough getting from one creator panel to the next…)

But not Small Press Expo.  In Bethesda, MD, this September you’ll get to chat with artists, writers and more who keep things indie.  Way cool, man.  No, seriously; this year SPX is celebrating Fantagraphics, and all their awesomeness.  Y’know, the folks who brought you Ghost World, Hip Hop Family Tree, Usagi Yojimbo, and the chronological re-issue of Peanuts.  FREAKIN’ PEANUTS, PEOPLE.

With the Fantagraphics love comes creators like Trina Robbins (Vampirella, and all-around indie comix legend), Joe Sacco (whose work blends comics and journalism), and more.  Why such a short paragraph?  I’m lazy, and the PR distro does such a wonderful job of fleshing out these creators that I’ll let ’em take it away.  Read on for the full details!

SPX 2016 is this September 17th and 18th.  Get your indie on!

Small Press Expo Announces Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Fantagraphics with Daniel Clowes, Joe Sacco, Trina Robbins, Jaime & Gilbert Hernandez and Others

Bethesda, Maryland; July 7, 2016

Media Release – Small Press Expo is proud to announce that SPX 2016 will celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Fantagraphics with an all-star line-up and special events. Founded in 1976 by Gary Groth and Michael Catron, in the ensuing years Fantagraphics provided the foundation for today’s wealth of indie comics, graphic novels and comic’s criticism. Fantagraphics also gave some of the most acclaimed names in indie comics their start in the comic’s world, with many of those names appearing at SPX 2016.

This year’s show will host a rare festival appearance by the esteemed Joe Sacco, along with Trina Robbins first appearance at SPX. Mr. Sacco, Ms. Robbins, Daniel Clowes and The Hernandez Brothers will be joined by several of Fantagraphics other critically and commercially successful authors, Carol Tyler, Jim Woodring, Drew Friedman and Ed Piskor, for this celebration.

Events around the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Fantagraphics include:

  • Publisher Gary Groth will give the SPX Lecture at the Library of Congress on Friday September 16 at Noon in the Madison Building.
  • There will be a separate track of programming at SPX 2016 dedicated to Fantagraphics and its creators, with details to be announced mid-August.
  • Attendees will be able to get an SPX exclusive, a free newsprint commemorative booklet with artwork by Fantagraphic artists.

Over the next few weeks, additional guests for SPX 2016 will be announced and in August we will announce the 2016 Ignatz nominees, the full programming slate and the recipient of the SPX Graphic Novel Gift Program, the first of its kind program that gifts graphic novels to local library systems.

SPX 2016 takes place on Saturday and Sunday, September 17-18, and will have over 650 creators, 280 exhibitor tables and 22 programming slots to entertain, enlighten and introduce attendees to the amazing world of independent and small press comics.

Small Press Expo (SPX) is the preeminent showcase for the exhibition of independent comics, graphic novels, and alternative political cartoons. SPX is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit that brings together more than 650 artists and publishers to meet their readers, booksellers, and distributors each year. Graphic novels, mini comics, and alternative comics will all be on display and for sale by their authors and illustrators. The expo includes a series of panel discussions and interviews with this year’s guests.

The Ignatz Award is a festival prize held every year at SPX recognizing outstanding achievement in comics and cartooning, with the winners chosen by attendees at the show.

As in previous years, profits from the SPX will go to support the SPX Graphic Novel Gift Program, which funds graphic novel purchases for public and academic libraries, as well as the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF), which protects the First Amendment rights of comic book readers and professionals. For more information on the CBLDF, visit their website at For more information on the Small Press Expo, please visit



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