SPX 2018: Steven Universe Creator Rebecca Sugar And More New Guests Announced
by Hannah Means Shannon
Small Press Expo has been announcing waves of special guests for their show held in Bethesda, Maryland, on September 15th and 16th, and their latest wave is headlined by Steven Universe creator Rebecca Sugar.
The wave of guests announced this week also includes Kat Fajardo, Ben Passmore, Jason Lutes, Benji Nate, Carolyn Nowak, Carol Tyler, and Nate Powell.
Over 650 creators, 280 exhibitor tables and 22 programming slots are going to be featured at SPX this year, introducing attendees to the world of independent and small press comics.
Here’s further information about the special guests announced this week:
Rebecca Sugar is the creator of Cartoon Network’s Emmy-nominated series Steven Universe, an animated coming-of-age story told from the perspective of Steven, the “little brother” to a team of magical guardians of humanity—the Crystal Gems.
After graduating from the School of Visual Arts (SVA) with a BFA in Animation, Sugar joined Adventure Time in 2009. During her time on the iconic series as a storyboard artist and writer, Sugar garnered both Emmy nominations and an Annie Award win, as well a deep fan base following the many songs she wrote for the show.
Sugar was recently included in Variety’s Hollywood’s New Leaders 2016: The Creatives list, where she was recognized alongside other notable artists such as Damien Chazelle, Jerrod Carmichael and Donald Glover. A children’s book adaptation of the Emmy-nominated Steven Universe episode “The Answer” also written by Sugar was released on Sept. 6., 2016 where it became a New York Times bestseller.
Kat Fajardo is an award-winning comic artist and illustrator born & raised in NYC. She is best known for her playful and colorful auto-biographical work about self acceptance and Latinx culture. She’s recently illustrated the cover for Celia C. Pérez’s The First Rule of Punk (Penguin Random House) and was featured in several anthologies. Hoping to boost Latinx narrative in comics, she’s also edited La Raza Anthology and created the grant-winning series Bandida! You can check out her artwork on this year’s SPX program cover or at her website.
Ben Passmore lives in Philly. His comics are about crime, monsters, anarchism, sexual dysfunction, police brutality, art theory, and his feels. Creator of DAYGLOAYHOLE, Goodbye, and Your Black Friend, and contributer at the Nib.
In DAYGLOAYHOLE 2 Ben is a cockroach that even is guts can’t love. Social and political commentary mixed with punk nonsense and gore drawn in vibrant florescent colors.
Jason Lutes was born in New Jersey in 1967 and grew up reading American superhero and Western comics. In the late 1970s he discovered Heavy Metal magazine and the tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, both of which proved major influences on his creative development. Lutes graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in illustration, and in 1993 he began drawing a weekly comics page called Jar of Fools for Seattle’s The Stranger. Lutes lives in Vermont with his partner and two children, where he teaches comics at the Center for Cartoon Studies.
Devastatingly relevant and beautifully told, Berlin is one of the great epics of the comics medium, created over the past two decades by Jason Lutes. Berlin is an intricate look at the fall of the Weimar Republic through the eyes of its citizens, zeroing in on the street level to demonstrate the slow rise of fascism and extremism.
Benji Nate is a Puerto Rico born cartoonist and high school drop out living in the States. Her works include Catboy, Lorna, Ghoulfriend, and other things.
Her most recent venture is co-editing North America’s greatest, best selling, and most popular comics periodical, Good Boy! Magazine which is debuting at this year’s SPX
Carolyn Nowak graduated from the University of Michigan’s School of Art and Design in 2011. She lives in Ann Arbor.
In addition to her acclaimed mini-comics, Nowak has drawn twelve issues of Lumberjanes and is preparing a Buffy the Vampire Slayer middle-grade book, New School Nightmare.
At SPX 2018, Nowak and Top Shelf Productions compile the Ignatz-winning “Radishes” and “Diana’s Electric Tongue,” along with several other stories old and new, in her full-color debut collection, Girl Town.
Carol Tyler emerged as a distinctive voice from the underground comics scene of the 1980s, with work featured in Weirdo, Wimmen’s Comix, and Twisted Sisters. Her long form works include the autobiographical Late Bloomer (2005) and Soldier’s Heart (2012), and her books have been nominated for various awards, including multiple Ignatz Awards, an Eisner Award, and the LA Times Book Prize. Tyler received the 2016 Cartoonist Studio Prize from the Slate Book Review. Her most recent book, Fab4 Mania, chronicles her teenaged obsession with The Beatles in a facsimile of her 1965 journal.
Nate Powell is a New York Times best-selling graphic novelist born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1978. He began self-publishing at age 14, and graduated from School of Visual Arts in 2000.
His work includes March, the graphic novel autobiography of congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis; You Don’t Say, Any Empire, Swallow Me Whole, The Silence of Our Friends, The Year of the Beasts, and Rick Riordan’s The Lost Hero. Powell is the first and only cartoonist ever to win the National Book Award.
His work has also received a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, three Eisner Awards, two Ignatz Awards, two Harvey Awards, the Michael L. Printz Award, a Coretta Scott King Author Award, four YALSA Great Graphic Novels For Teens selections, the Walter Dean Myers Award, and has twice been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
Powell’s newest book is the demon-haunted Arkansas fairytale Come Again (Top Shelf Productions, 2018).
Photo by Ben Rains
Further Information about Small Press Expo:
Small Press Expo (SPX) is the preeminent showcase for the exhibition of independent comics, graphic novels, and alternative political cartoons. SPX is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit that brings together more than 650 artists and publishers to meet their readers, booksellers, and distributors each year. Graphic novels, mini comics, and alternative comics will all be on display and for sale by their authors and illustrators. The expo includes a series of panel discussions and interviews with this year’s guests.
The Ignatz Award is a festival prize held every year at SPX recognizing outstanding achievement in comics and cartooning, with the winners chosen by attendees at the show.
As in previous years, profits from the SPX will go to support the SPX Graphic Novel Gift Program, which funds graphic novel purchases for public and academic libraries, as well as the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF), which protects the First Amendment rights of comic book readers and professionals. For more information on the CBLDF, visit their website at http://www.cbldf.org. For more information on the Small Press Expo, please visit http://www.smallpressexpo.com.