Alright fangirls, it’s time. Tomorrow I leave for this year’s Small Press Expo (aka SPX), and I’m both terrified and incredibly excited. On one hand, it’s time for one of my favorite conventions ever, on the other, there are a lot of people to meet, and a lot of things to do. So where do I start?
This year I checked out creators that I knew I had to see (specifically Paulina Ganucheau and Kevin Panetta of Zodiac Starforce and Noelle Stevenson of Nimona and Lumberjanes), some old favorites (Joe Hunter is tabling this year, along with SpaghettiKiss and The System) and of course, some new addictions (Check Please creator, Ngozi Ukazu will be there!). Then I attempted to make a full, physical list of everyone I wanted to see, along with their table numbers. This way, I’ll be able to navigate the super packed convention floor with at least a hint of a plan, and a way to say, “yup, I met them!” and the opposite side, I’ll be able to look down my list on Sunday and realize anyone I’ve missed, without leaving them behind.
Next, I looked at the panels. Last year I didn’t do any panels, but this year I’m going to try to go to one. I picked a couple from the SPX page, to give myself room for error, and wrote those down too. I’m going to try to get to Creative Collaboration in Comics Collectives on Saturday, and Erotic Comics are for Everybody on Sunday.
I also planned for things outside of the convention. Eating will have to happen, of course, so I bought some protein bars that should help me make it through breakfast and maybe lunch. I know Saturday night I’ll be going out to eat (probably at the same place as last year, so I know I should plan for something beforehand). I also plan on going to SPromX, the fun fancy and dancey party Saturday night of SPX. I got a cute dress, and plan on not getting enough sleep.
Next up was packing; packing is always a daunting task for me, but this time it seemed worse, as I’m staying in maryland from the 18th through the 28th. Ten whole days! That’s a ton of time to try and account for! So…I didn’t. I packed basics, along with the clothes I needed for cosplays, SPromX, pajamas, bar clothes, and one vital thing: laundry detergent. Since I’m going to be staying with my boy for everything after SPX, I figured laundry would be an easy way to make fewer clothes last longer, and a way to give myself something to do while he’s at work!
And finally, the most planning I had to do pre SPX this year was…save. Last year, I spent around $300 when I budgeted for $150. There is a lot of amazing talent at SPX, and though they really deserve my money, taking a train makes it a lot more difficult to transport all the things I’m going to buy. So this year, I’ve budgeted $300 (but I’m bringing more money as backup), and I’m limiting myself: fewer prints, more books. I realize that as wonderful as it is to have beautiful pieces of art all over, I already have a ton of art (both framed and unframed) that has waiting to be hung for several years (the oldest piece I have framed but not hung is 4 years old this NYCC, it’s sad). I buy art to put it up, not leave it leaning against my dresser in a frame, so I’d like to concentrate on getting what I have hung before I go buying new things. There are a couple exceptions I will make though: Steven Universe fan art (Jasper especially), a Zodiac Starforce print (one needs to come home with me), and if Ms Ganucheau ends up taking commissions, I’ve got one in mind that I would love. Other than that, no more prints! Buying books is great, and easier to store. Plus books can lead to reviews and interviews, hopefully, so we all have something to look forward to!
I think I’m ready. I’m excited to get new books and zines, I’m nervous about meeting new people (hi I worship your work, please don’t hate me), and I’m ready for another convention. Let’s do this, SPX!
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