I attended my first San Diego Comic Con in 2009 with two friends. As we wandered the aisles on preview night I happened upon a fellow artist and friend promoting his books in the Small Press section. After learning about the cost and process of jurying for a table in the section I decided to give it a try for the following year and was accepted. 2017 marks the eighth consecutive year for exhibiting in Small Press and it is always an exciting and rewarding adventure.
A panel of judges review submissions that require a new book from the artists each year. So I’ve found this requirement the perfect motivation to create and produce on a deadline in order to make the grade. My wife Julie is a bookbinder and always takes my art and writing up to a new level with her expertise. Over the years we’ve produced a range of bindings that includes books contained in Japanese enclosures, back to back books (dos-à-dos binding,) and leather bound hard backs. Small Press makes up a tiny fraction of the massive exhibit hall, but contains some of the most creative and exciting products in the room. The event lasts four days plus a preview night to kick things off. Attendance swells to 150K and Saturdays are always wall to wall people, capped off typically with the arrival on the floor of celebrities touting their latest movie project. Cosplay is truly an art form at this show, providing many jaw-dropping examples each year.
With a 6 foot table in our area, it’s a design challenge to both stock it with as much product yet make it appealing and customer friendly as possible. The range of visual information in the hall is over the top mind blowing, so it’s a true challenge to garner attention with all the top shelf competition.
Themes I’ve pursued have included “The Society of Sinister Simians,” a collection of biographies of an alternative universe of evil monkeys and apes, “Land of Kaiju,” a Kaiju alphabet book, “Childhood,” a collection of pop culture characters engaged in childhood activities and “The Union of Superlative Heroes and Order of Nefarious Villains,” a Victorian take on comic heroes and villains. This year we will be showcasing “Monster Zen,” a collection of 16 monsters and creatures in serene Japanese styled environments with accompanying haiku poems that I’ve written.
Along with our book products, I also offer a variety of other products with my artwork such as stickers, greeting cards, postcard sets and playing cards. As with the previous five years we will be set up and ready to greet you in the Small Press section, table O-1 on the aisle across from Oni Press.