LET’S BE HONEST. When you’re at work, you’re not always doing work. You’re reading Gawker, checking Facebook and probably reading your favorite Web comics. The Internet has been an unprecedented boon to aspiring comic artists, allowing them to get their work seen without publishing a thing on dead trees.
But once they achieve online fame, out on paper they go — and that’s where the Small Press Expo comes in. SPX, held this weekend in Bethesda, brings comic artists from all over the place — even the far-off land of Canada — to sell books and talk about their lives as artists and the modern comics business.
It goes without saying that you should go this weekend. It’s cheap, it’s fun, and it could be a great way to re-ingratiate yourself with that indie girl you accidentally spilled your gin and tonic on at the Red Derby last weekend.
So, if you’re somewhat new to Web comics, who should you make sure to check out at SPX? Here’s a cheat sheet.
Although Web comics often feature stories that stand alone, Nedroid draws more of a traditional story comic, which in this case follows the adventures of a bear-potato and his friend, Reginald the bird. Totally traditional. Absolutely. Look, here is a picture of a shark. Go read his comic.
Beaton, who is delightfully Canadian, writes comics about history. Well, ostensibly about history. She takes everyone from Sherlock Holmes to Charlotte Corday and makes them, well … funny? In short, she’s the perfect comic artist for D.C. — we’re all wonks. If the graphic above makes you happy, you’ve found your new favorite comic. If it doesn’t, we don’t want to be your friend. You should probably leave town. Did you have your sense of fun surgically removed? Jeez.
Girls With Slingshots
Another story comic — this one about two best friends and a, um, talking cactus? We recommend that you start at the beginning and work your way forward. It might take you a while, but it’s worth it.
» Marriott Bethesda North Hotel & Conference Center, 5701 Marinelli Road, Bethesda; Sat., Sept. 26, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., and Sun., Sept 27, 12 p.m.-6 p.m., $10 for one day or $15 for both.
Images courtesy harkavagrant.com and nedroid.com