OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
THE EXPO-SPX99 -- CELEBRATING COMICS CULTURE
August 26, 1999
Comic Book Legal
Defense Fund (Northampton, MA) -- The EXPO-SPX99 (www.spxpo.com), the nation's premiere showcase
for alternative, small press, and creator-owned comics, will be held September
17-19 at the Holiday Inn in Bethesda, MD, just over a mile from Washington, DC.
Now in its sixth year, the event celebrates the enormous diversity and
potential of comics and cartooning. Proceeds from the show benefit the Comic
Book Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit organization protecting the First
Amendment rights of the comics community.
Exhibiting artists at this year's expo include Charles Burns ("Black
Hole"), Eddie Campbell ("Bacchus," "From Hell"), Jeff
Smith ("Bone"), Jason Lutes ("Berlin"), James Kochalka
("Kissers"), and dozens more. Altogether, nearly 200 artists and
publishers, including Drawn & Quarterly, Fantagraphics, Oni Press, and
Slave Labor, will be in attendance. While the Expo's focus is firmly on small
press comics, the show draws fans and professionals from all parts of the
comics community. Comic Book Legal Defense Fund board member Frank Miller
("Sin City") will take time out from his visit to sign at the CBLDF
Booth. Acclaimed comics and fantasy author Neil Gaiman ("Sandman,"
"Neverwhere") will also make an appearance at the show before his
1999 Guardian Angel Tour kicks off with a reading on September 21 at the
Bethesda Theatre Cafe.
The EXPO-SPX99 is to host the third annual Ignatz Awards to recognize
outstanding achievements in comics and cartooning. Named after George
Herriman's brick-wielding mouse, this festival prize is determined by ballot at
the Expo. The awards themselves will be presented at a gala Ignatz Awards
ceremony on Saturday night (September 18). For a list of this year's nominees,
This year's Expo will be held in conjunction with ICAF, the fifth annual
International Comic Arts Festival (www.sp.uconn.edu/~epk93002/icaf). ICAF is one of the few
academic convocations in this country devoted to comics, bringing together
artists, scholars, and critics from around the world. Held on September 16 -
18, this event is sponsored by Georgetown University and the embassies of
France and Belgium. ICAF's focus this year is on culture, industry, and
discourse. Papers to be presented at ICAF include "On Byron, Shelley, and
Crazy Jane: Romanticism and Modernity in the Comics of Grant Morrison,"
"The High Cost of Fandom: The American Comic Book Industry from Mass
Medium to Niche Medium," and many more.
The Expo is also proud to host the annual trade show of PACER, the
Professional Association of Comics Entertainment Retailers (www.pacerpro.org) on September 16-19. This trade event allows
retailers to meet with publishers and distributors on issues that affect the
comics industry. PACER also includes educational seminars, roundtable
discussions, and publisher presentations.
All this takes place at the Holiday Inn in downtown Bethesda, MD. With easy
access from Washington, DC, northern Virginia, and I-95, the area also sports
more than 170 restaurants. Rooms are still available at the Holiday Inn at
special discount rates through the end of August. Contact the hotel at
301-652-2000 for details and reservations, and be sure to mention that you're
with The Expo.
For more information about The EXPO-SPX99, visit the show's web-site at
www.spxpo.com. In addition to providing event, travel, and lodging information,
the site features spotlights on the work of attending creators. It also
provides a list of comic and book stores around the country which carry and
support independent comics.
The EXPO also sponsors an annual anthology comic featuring new stories and
strips from many of the attending creators. "SPX 99: The Comic"
sports 200 pages of cutting-edge comics, wrapped in a "Jay and Silent
Bob" cover by Matt Wagner. This hefty package retails for only $5, and all
proceeds support the CBLDF. "SPX 99: The Comic" is available from
your local comic shop, or directly from the CBLDF by calling 1-800-99-CBLDF or
visiting the CBLDF web-site at
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization
preserving the First Amendment rights of the comics community. Donations and
inquiries can always be sent directly to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund at
P.O. Box 693, Northampton, MA 01061. Be sure to check out "Busted!,"
the CBLDF's quarterly newsletter or www.cbldf.org for more CBLDF news.
# # #
For additional information contact Chris Bleistein at (413) 586-6967 or
Chris Bleistein - Assistant Director
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
P.O. Box 693,
Northampton, MA 01061
Source: Press Release