SPX was the first comic convention I ever went to. It was 2002, I was fresh out of college, just gotten a job, and wanted to see what was up. I dragged my friend Lauren and we wandered around aimlessly, too scared to really talk to people and, like most amateurs, blew all our money within the first half hour. It was amazing and intimidating and I had no idea what to think of everything. (I believe I might've awkwardly cornered Derek Kirk Kim into a conversation since I was obsessed with his webcomic Same Difference at the time) I also met and braved talking to a lovely cartoonist by the name of Tim Fish, who still puts up with my questions and tables with me to this day. There were three rooms, a bar downstairs, and comics everywhere. I was in love.
One year later, I managed to snag a table. All I had were signs, a binder showing my webcomic, Gods & Undergrads, and free postcards and stickers. That was the whole shebang, my comics debut.
SPX has changed a lot over the years - new venue, no more pie for dinner after the show, just nonstop excited creators and their WORK. Year after year - more creators, doing more stuff. It's survived the move and managed to retain such a cozy, hang-out-by-the-bar atmosphere far better than any other show. I've only had to miss a couple SPXes over the years, and I was sad that this year was one of them - but still, it was so great to even just show up yesterday for an hour, meander around, blow all my money in the first fifteen minutes, and brave talking to some lovely cartoonists. All these amazing creators and publishers and fans and table bitches I've met over the years - now I consider to be my old friends.
Here's to SPX!