Saturday, September 24


Because we knew one of the exhibitors, Brian and I ventured up to Bethesda today to take in "America's premiere independent cartooning and comics art festival." The Small-Press Expo filled the conference center at the local Holiday Inn Select, the kind of place I am used to seeing devoted to drab continuing legal education seminars, not raucous displays of the edgy and ironic. The scene was populated with equally vivid personalities. If you like the young, funky, art-geek type -- male or female -- this was the place for you.

We found Kyle ensconced in the Expo's self-annointed gayborhood, anchored by Tim Fish who made the Advocate's 2005 summer reading list. Ky's own booth was flanked by cuties Mike and Linx, whose work decidedly differed in its kid-appropriateness. (Mike showed off some wonderfully intricate children's books, while Linx's bold drawings featured semi-nude superheroes.) Kyle led us around the convention, making sure we visited with the real stud of the show, Gus Finklestein. (With a name like that, you'd better be hot.) Also on hand was Matt Hollis, a recent Rehoboth acquaintance with his own artistic inclinations, there to help his comic artist friend Monica.

The convention brings together over 100 presenters, who packed their tables with tons of hand-drawn samples and stacks of graphic zines and novels -- most available for sale, together with an awesome array of cool t-shirts, posters, buttons and other novelties. With so much skill on display, it was tempting to drop some serious cash, but Brian and I settled on one shirt each, and this is what mine looked like. (Kyle picked up Sarah Becan's comic about ouija board interviews with Chip, the gay ghost.) After a couple of hours hanging with the visual arts crowd, we Metro'd on home. Always nice to get exposure to a different sort of talent, and I'll have to make a point of returning next year.