09/18/2017

Caleb Orecchio here with your post SPX 2017 review, and some links.

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Want to start by saying thanks to Frank Santoro for taking care and sticking his neck out for his “kids.” My SPX experience would not be nearly as fruitful or as interesting without Frank. Also want to thank Sally Ingraham who also runs herself ragged making sure us Comics Workbook “kids” are having the most beneficial experience.

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I am writing this on Monday morning, the day after SPX 2017 ended. My tank was practically empty by the end of the day as I went through all the events of the week/end in my mind. It was a really fun show where I participated in running workshops and being a gopher for Comics Workbook.

On Thursday, I tagged along with Frank Santoro, Sally Ingraham, and Audra Stang from Pittsburgh to Bethesda, Maryland where SPX is held.

Friday I got to meet thee great Gilbert Hernandez during a secret workshop Frank set up for his “kids.” We drew our “Blubber-esque” comics while Gilbert and Frank riffed. Everyone in attendance had their work reviewed by Mr. Hernandez–needless to say we all had a fantastic time–just happy to spend time with and talk to one of the great cartoonists walking the earth right now.

Saturday and Sunday were busy busy busy busy.

Comics Workbook held workshops in Glen Echo Room, four on Saturday and four on Sunday.

The excellent Juan Fernandez kicked off the weekend of workshops with roaring energy and a full house–Juan is an excellent comics educator who never ceases to impress me. Liz Reed gave tutorials on making characters out of clay–I was called elsewhere, but form all accounts the experience was really great. I, along with Audra Stang, had to be bouncers for Gilbert Hernandez’s workshop that Frank moderated. We filled the room to the brim–the hotel staff was concerned because we had to form two lines that snaked through two hallways. A lot of people had to be turned away simply because we had no room. As I stayed outside the room making sure no stragglers trespassed, I talked to Whit Taylor before she went to moderate her panel held in the White Oak Room. Gilbert’s workshop saw people like Tom Spurgeon and Noel Freibert making it in before we had to basicially guard the door. Connor Willumsen had to follow Gilbert and he killed. Connor filled the room too and led an excellent workshop.

The incredible Alexis Ziritt led the first workshop on Sunday. What a nice, talented guy. Kids both young and old drew and laughed for an hour through Alexis’ great workshop. Next up was Sally and Audra co-piloted a workshop. Both are experienced comics educators and had really excellent results. The joy in the room was bursting and the comics made were many. Great tag-team. After that, Sally helped me lead a “free-draw” workshop. I had particular topics I wanted to talk about but talked about none of them. Instead I discussed my process of making my (“daily”) comic-strip, Joanie and Jordie. I drew an improvised J&J live which people seemed to think was funny. Sally helped me to focus the workshop making great points and giving me good prompts. Had good questions to answer from the crowd too. Finally, Mardou ended the CW workshops with a reading of an upcoming book and presentation of her process. Mardou is great, there is a showmanship to her presentations and made me laugh out loud. Great presentation for those who want to up their storytelling game.

Had a couple shifts at the CW table in the main exhibitor hall. Frank’s longboxes, of course, are famous and 10 minutes don’t pass without someone commenting on how happy they are to see Frank’s longboxes there. CW was also selling my comic, a collection of J&J strips called Poor Little Joanie. I was happy to see it sold fairly well. Some people were familiar with the strip who I didn’t know which was nice. Same with Sally and Gabriella Tito’s collection of Suzy and Cecil strips. I had a couple customers who bought both. I kept my eye on the Simon Hanselmann Truth Zone collections–those things are coveted by many. Got to talk to Jim Rugg while I tabled–Jim is always very nice and attentive. A good tablemate. Saw thee great Bill Boichel and he told me he wanted to buy a handful of copies to sell at his store.

It was busy busy busy out on the floor. Got to see Alyssa Berg who I hadn’t seen since CXC last year. Her new riso comics are fantastic–she’s taking her paintings and converting them to riso for print. The results are fantastic. Got to meet Cameron Nicholson for the first time. And Tyler Landry. It was an amalgamation of familiar and new people to see irl: Kate Harmon, Kurt Ankeny, Adam Griffiths, Jenn Lisa (makes excellent cookies), RM Rhodes, Simon Reinhardt, Megan Turbitt, etc. etc.

I’m exhausted–in a good way. I’m depleted, left it all out on the court. Thanks again to Frank and Sally who lead the way for us CW “kids.”

the only photo I took at SPX

 

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if you don’t know, now you know

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Suzy and Cecil – 9-15-2017 – by Gabriella Tito

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Caleb Orecchio

Caleb Orecchio

Caleb Orecchio is a cartoonist living in Dayton, OH. His strip, 'Joanie and Jordie', appears every weekday on the Comics Workbook Daily News. He hosts the weekly Dayton Comics Club with fellow cartoonist/designer, Jason Hart.
Caleb Orecchio

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