Although I really like SPX each and every year, I don’t know if I’ll be going next year. I really love walking around the small room and looking at everyone’s books, but something was different this year, the air is changing.
As Karen also said, a mini used to cost $2, and now it's more and that's frustrating. At times I felt ripped off even then, but every once in a while you’d get a really great comic. Now those same $2 comics are being sold for $5-$8, and I do mean the same ones. Some artists come every year but have nothing to new to exhibit except maybe they’ve put together a few weird felt finger puppets or a “sketchbook”, which are usually just licensed characters drawn in a satirical way to bring customers to their table.
For all the selling of their own souls people were doing, it was hard to get people to talk on camera about their comics, like I was going to use it against them or something? It was ridiculous, people who would make me feel weird all weekend so I would buy their wares weren’t even willing to say their name or the title of their book on camera. So you just get the atmospheric video above and not something that may expose you to some new artists. Still, thanks to Cosmic Comix for allowing me to play reporter for them, and Andy to putting together this awesome video.
Indie comics for the most part DO see themselves as different (read: better, smarter, newer, more interesting, etc.) than “mainstream” comics. People will buy Jeffrey Brown’s poorly drawn and irony filled Incredible Change Bots but they would never touch a science fiction book unless it was a reprint of an artist or writer who now, 30 years later, is an established pioneer.
Just like super hero fans, indie fans are in general close minded and don’t want to rock the boat, they want comfortable, safe, familiar stories that they can relate to on some elementary level. they just want it to take either 10 pages or 300 pages, because if it’s a single issue comic format, it’s uncool. Unless, of course, Fantagraphics publishes it. And though, there's some breaking-away from that, moreso this year than ever (as I said here), SPX is an institution that I don't think can ever fully escape this and as a comics fan, it grows more frustrating every year.