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Comics festival Small Press Expo returns to North Bethesda

SPXO 170917 068 Keith KnightCartoonist Keith Knight showcases collections of his work for attendees at the 2017 Small Press Expo at the Marriott Conference Center in North Bethesda. COURTESY PHOTO  The Small Press Expo returned to the Marriott Conference Center in North Bethesda, on Sept. 16 and 17. SPX, as it is known, is a 501©(3) nonprofit founded in 1994 to promote artists and publishers who produce independent comics. The annual event attracts hundreds of cartoonists, publishers and large crowds.

This year, the Expo’s roster of special guests included: Canadian illustrator and cartoonist Jillian Tamaki, who provided art for the graphic novels “Skim,” and “This One Summer:” Gilbert Hernandez, who is best known for his Palomar/Heartbreak Soup stories in the alternative comic book series “Love & Rockets,” which he shares with brothers Jaime and Mario; Finnish cartoonist Tommi Musturi, creator of “The Book of Hope;” and Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Ann Telnaes, whose work appears in various newspapers across the country such as The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, Newsday, and international newspapers like Le Monde while animated editorial cartoons are regularly featured on The Washington Post’s website.

Previous expos have featured cartooning legends such as Roz Chast of The New Yorker, and the iconic Jules Feiffer as well as relative newcomers like Congressman John Lewis, who appeared last year to promote his three-part graphic novel series called “The March.”

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The Small Press Expo returns to Bethesda

 

SPXPO-1aComic book artists and writers gathered at the Small Press Expo in the Bethesda Marriott and Conference Center. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  

BETHESDA – The Bethesda Marriott Hotel hosted the Small Press Expo (SPX), the biggest indie comic event in the nation, where both small-time comic book artists and big-name novelists gathered together to meet fans.

“This is our first time [here] so I’m really excited,” said Linnea Kataja, a student at the School of Visual Arts. “It’s great for [our school] to have a table here so students can have a chance to sell their art and get exposure.”

“(SPX) wants people who have never tabled before or just starting out because some of those people will be big names in the future,” said Tony Breed, the author of the comic strip “Finn and Charlie are Hitched.”

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Local comic book stores take part in Free Comic Book Day

Spider-Man at Barbarian ComicsSpider-Man welcomes visitors to Barbarian Comics in Wheaton on Free Comic Book Day. Click on "Image Gallery" for more photos. PHOTO BY MARK C. ROBINSONOn Saturday, May 7, local comic book stores in Montgomery County took part in the 15th annual Free Comic Book Day. Scheduled on the first Saturday of May, this nationwide promotional event was created in 2001 to attract new readers. Participating retailers give away specially printed copies of free comic books by various publishers, and some offer special deals and creator signings at their locations. For more information on this annual event, visit www.freecomicbookday.com.

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