Tuesday, September 06, 2011
Meet SPX's Executive Director Warren Bernard
Small Press Expo Executive Director (and infrequent blogger here) Warren Bernard answered some questions about this year's convention for me...
CDC: How’d you personally get into comics?
WB: When I got my tonsils out in 2nd Grade, my parents bought me a Superman comic. It has been downhill ever since and I am waiting to hit bottom....
CDC: How is SPX different than a standard comics con?
WB: Well, to be Clintonian about it, depends on your definition of 'standard'. There are two different standards in the comics world, one is the SDCC, Baltimore Comiccon, Heroes Con etc world of the super hero comic and the other is the SPX, MOCCA, TCAF, Stumptown, etc indie/self published comic.
But regardless of which standard you apply, the main difference is, we have the most fun. ;-)
CDC: How many years has it run, and how many years have you been a part of it?
WB: SPX started in 1994, I started as a volunteer in 2002. Staring about 2004 I began to handle the PR duties, last year was the Assistant Exec Director and this year, well, the whole enchilada is now mine.
CDC: How many people are you expecting?
WB: 2500-3000 or more!!
CDC: Any cartoonists you are particularly proud of having come? Favorite guests of past years?
WB: Well, I have to admit, Roz Chast and Jim Woodring this year are the two that I have to pinch myself to be sure I am not dreaming that they are coming. In terms of past years, Joost Swarte, Will Eisner and Harvey Pekar are the three that will always stand out in my pantheon of SPX Guests.
CDC: How fast did the tables sell out? Are you sold out?
WB: Tables sell out in like 3-4 weeks and we have been wait listed since February 1st. So you really have to move fast to get a table!!!
CDC: Is there anything special about this year not mentioned yet?
WB: Well, no real last minute surprises, but the both the SPX Collection at the Library of Congress and the SPX Graphic Novel Gift Program, comprise a major shift for us, taking SPX from being a festival to widening our responsibilities into becoming an institutional foundation of the indie comics world.
The Small Press Expo takes place 11 am–7 p.m. Sept. 10 and noon–6 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, 5701 Marinelli Road, Bethesda. $10-$15.