Small Press Expo 2018 Announces Special Guests

by Hannah Means Shannon

Small Press Expo is coming up in Bethesda, Maryland, in September, and the convention have announed their Special Guests for the year, to include Roz Chast, Derf, Ellen Forney, Ron Wimberly, Anders Nilsen, Rina Ayuyang and Lawrence Lindell.

The festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday, September 15-16, at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center and will have over 650 creators, 280 exhibitor tables and 22 programming slots to introduce attendees to the amazing world of independent and small press comics. Additional Special Guests will be announced soon.

Here’s some more information about these special guests and their work:

Roz Chast
Roz Chast is a long time cartoonist for The New Yorker who wrote and illustrated the #1 New York Times bestselling graphic novel, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? from Bloomsbury. It won a National Book Critics Circle Award, a Kirkus Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her most recent book is GOING INTO TOWN: A Love Letter to New York. She has published eight collections of her cartoons, illustrated several children’s books and received honorary doctorates from the Pratt Institute and Dartmouth College. Photo courtesy of Bill Hayes.
Derf
Derf is the author of My Friend Dahmer (Abrams Comicarts, 2012), the haunting account of his teenage friendship at Revere High School with the future serial killer. It has been hailed as one of the finest graphic novels in recent memory by Slate, The Plain Dealer, Publishers Weekly, USA Today, Kirkus Reviews, Le Monde, El Mundo, The Guardian and many more. The film adaptation of My Friend Dahmer premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and played in cinemas in the US and abroad throughout 2017 and 2018.
SPX is honored to show a screening of My Friend Dahmer, after which Derf will talk about the book and movie.
Ellen Forney
Ellen Forney authored her 2012 graphic memoir, Marbles for which she was the 2012 recipient of The Stranger Genius Award for Literature as well as the winner of the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis 2013 Gradiva Award.
Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice from My Bipolar Life is the eagerly awaited companion book to Forney’s 2012 best-selling graphic memoir, Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me.
Ron Wimberly
Ronald Wimberlyis a cartoonist/designer. He’s worked with The New Yorker, Dargaud, DC, Marvel, Image, Darkhorse and many others. He’s exhibited his comics in New York, Tokyo, and Paris. Ronald was the 2016 Columbus Comics resident and two time resident cartoonist at Angoulême Maison des Auteurs.
Anders Nilsen
Anders Nilsen is the author of nine books including Big Questions, Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow, Poetry is Uselessand the forthcoming Tongues. His work has appeared in Kramer’s Ergot, Mome, the New York Times and elsewhere and been translated widely overseas. Nilsen has garnered three Ignatz Awards and the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize.
Anders will be debuting the latest volume of his acclaimed series Tongues at SPX 2018.
Rina Ayuyang (Saturday Only)
Rina Ayuyang has been nominated for the Ignatz and Eisner Awards, and she was honored with a MoCCA Arts Festival Awards of Excellencez Silver Medal. Her comics have appeared in Mutha Magazine and The Comics Journal. She is also the publisher of the micro-comics imprint Yam Books. Her first book was Whirlwind Wonderland.
Rina Ayuyang’s latest from Drawn & Quarterly, Blame This on the Boogie, is the true story of how Hollywood musicals got one person through school, depression, and the challenges of parenthood.
Joshua Cotter
Joshua W. Cotter is the author of Skyscrapers of the Midwest,Driven by Lemons and the Nod Away series. He lives in rural northwest Missouri with his wife, children, cats and an acute sense of impending mortality. They keep him making comics.
Joshua will be at SPX 2018 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the release of Skyscrapers of the Midwest from Adhouse Books.
Lawrence Lindell
Lawrence Lindell is a cartoonist, author and teacher from California. He created From Black Boy With Love, Hey, People of Color, Couldn’t Afford Therapy, So I Made This and the webcomic The Section. When he’s not drawing/writing comics, he is usually buying/reading them.