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SMALL PRESS EXPO 2014: SPX will celebrate the alt-weekly comic with guests Feiffer, Barry and Sturm

courtesy of SPX 2014.
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COME THIS SEPTEMBER, Maryland’s Small Press Expo will become a celebration of the alt-weekly.

Specifically, SPX announces today that it will salute pioneers and early popularizers of the alt-weekly comic by bringing in such major guests as “alt-comics godfather” Jules Feiffer, the Pulitzer-winning Village Voice legend and author/screenwriter/playwright; Lynda Barry, the great “Ernie Pook’s Comeek”/Chicago Reader cartoonist turned inspiring college educator; and Center for Cartoon Studies co-founder James Sturm (“Market Day,” RAW), the wide-ranging talent who co-founded The Onion and Seattle’s The Stranger.

“This spotlight on the cartoonists of the alt-weekly world for our 20th anniversary show is long overdue,” Warren Bernard, executive director of SPX, tells The Post’s Comic Riffs. “Starting with Jules Feiffer almost 60 years ago, the unfortunately now-declining alt-weekly has a rich heritage whose influence extends into today’s  graphic novel and comics scene.”

These three guests are just one wave of key announcements as SPX — which has grown by leaps and bounds, roughly doubling its space over recent years — marks its 20th birthday. Among the other announced guests are alt-weekly great Tom Tomorrow, as well as Renee French, Box Brown and Michael DeForge (who cleaned up at last year’s SPX Ignatz Awards).

“Mr. Feiffer, Lynda Barry and James Sturm  will be joined by other alt-weekly creators, whom we will announce in the coming weeks,” Bernard tells Comic Riffs. “SPX is very excited to have this first-of-its-kind tribute to the influential comics creators of the alt-weekly world.”

This year’s Small Press Expo will be Sept. 13-14 at the North Bethesda Marriott Hotel & Conference Center.