This weekend I went to the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, MD. I don’t have quite as many thoughts on the experience as I did for the Baltimore Comic Convention. I must say that the venue was fantastic. Big, clean, with a really amazing meeting room for holding panel discussions (more like a lecture hall, really) the Marriott Bethesda Conference Center was a very nice location. Not being in the middle of a major city, travel to and from the place was easy and parking was free which put everyone (me and the two other people who came along) in a good mood.
Some miscellaneous observations:
- I was surprised by the lack of art available. I suppose I shouldn’t have been: it’s called the Small Press Expo and not the small painting expo. As such, the majority of what was available was comic books from some very small press sources. It was a little disappointing; I would have liked to come away with more prints and art books like what happened at the Baltimore Comic Convention.
- Since it was so focused on comic books I found it weird that there were no people dressed up as characters. Of course, when you’re dealing with people who often have distribution in the dozens I guess you can’t expect rabid fandoms to represent.
- Given that so much of what was available was slice-of-life work about drama, romance, angst, etc. even if people were dressed up as characters you probably wouldn’t be able to tell.
- The panel discussions were very boring. I attended one on cartooning (basically making comic strips, and it spent a lot of time explaining how to fold an 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper into a booklet) and another on making art within constraints. Both were incredibly dull in their presentation and subject matter.