Book Haul #56: Small Press Expo 2019

I’m so proud of myself… and a little disappointed too.

I attended the Small Press Expo (SPX) earlier in September. It’s a comic book expo for independent publishers and creators that I’ve been attending since 2016 (didn’t go in 2018 — I was probably sick). I’ve enjoyed myself every year that I’ve attended, but I’ve yet to make it to any of the seminars!

In past years, I missed the seminars because I got distracted by the showroom floor. I’d spend hours there buying books and prints. This year, however, I got to the event late because I had to work before attending, so I missed most of the seminars and was too exhausted to attend the remaining ones.

Unlike the previous two years I attended, I didn’t buy everything I saw and overspend this time. 🙂 That’s why I’m so proud of myself. I had a budget and only went over it by $50. I consider that a success. 😀

But I am a little disappointed because there were SOOOO many things I wanted but had to prevent myself from getting because I wanted to stick to my budget. So although I was excited to attend the event and enjoyed myself while there despite my exhaustion, I was a little sad because I didn’t get everything I wanted. I may have sulked a bit like a little kid. (Lol!)

But I consider this event a success because some of the comics I hauled are ones I really, REALLY wanted, AND I got them signed!! 😀 Of course, I picked up a few prints as well. You can see them on my IG here. I’ll only focus on the books in this post.

(Title links below are to the publisher/artist’s website where you can see samples of the illustrations.)

Small Press Expo


As soon as I got to the event, I headed straight for the Nobrow booth. Nobrow is an independent London publisher of graphic novels. I LOVE their stuff and am a fan of the publisher. There was no way I was gonna attend SPX and not get at least one of their books. So I ended up with two.

Skip by Molly Mendoza (illus.)

I learned about this book when I attended the ALA conference earlier in the summer and visited the Nobrow booth there. I love the cover of this book and the colorful illustrations within. I was able to get my copy signed 🙂 and received a cute little pin from the author.

Kingdom by Jon McNaught (illus.)

I follow Nobrow on IG and ever since they started promoting this book, I’ve wanted a copy. I just love the illustrations within it and the colors used. The author wasn’t there to sign it, but that’s okay. I’m just happy to have received a copy.

Hot Comb by Ebony Flowers (illus.)

I picked up this from the Drawn & Quarterly booth and managed to get it signed! 😀 I did a beeline from Nobrow to them. Drawn & Quarterly is a graphic novel publisher based in Montreal, Canada. I’m so curious about Hot Comb. I believe I learned of it from this Shelf Awareness newsletter that features Hot Comb and six other graphic novels published by Drawn & Quarterly.

Sobek by James Stokoe (illus.)

After leaving the Drawn & Quarterly booth, I shuffled along trying not to buy everything in sight when the cover of this comic book caught and held my eyes. I so loved how detailed the cover illustration is that I HAD to get it. It’s a thin book, but I’m hoping that it’ll be a series or the artist will produce more stuff. I LOVE the art!

Your Black Friend: and Other Strangers by Ben Passmore (illus.)

Oh man! I’ve wanted this book ever since hearing about it from NPR — either from this article or from the book concierge app thing. When I realized the author was at SPX, I tried to find him. I felt like I had to hunt down the dude because he wasn’t at the first booth I visited that had a short version of this book (forgot what booth that was but they told me to visit the author’s booth), and he wasn’t at his own booth, but the guy next to his booth told me where next to try. Eventually I found him and got a signed copy of his book. 😀

The artists at the event seem to keep moving around. I just love the energy at this event. Everyone there has a love or appreciation for comics and often I’d hear people who’re manning the booths say they wish they could go visit another for a bit because they saw someone walk by with something interesting.

The Witching Hour, Parts 1 & 2 by Sara L. Turner (illus.)

I like Turner’s illustrations. I visited her booth when I attended in 2017 and picked up the first two Ghosts of Pineville comics (haven’t yet read them) and a print. Since I couldn’t remember what I’d already bought, I picked up these two instead along with a print.

My other SPX hauls:

2016: prints & posters | 2016: books | 2017

Other purchases (unrelated to SPX)


Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

A customer recommended this to me. She made me so excited for it, I had to get it.

Library book


A Philosophy of Ruin by Nicholas Mancusi

I picked it up from the library shelf because I like the cover. Then I saw that Caroline Kepnes blurbed it, so I decided to give it a go. It’s good so far, but I may have to return it to the library unfinished because it’s due back soon.

That’s it for this #bookhaul.

Let me know if you’ve read any of these books.


13 thoughts on “Book Haul #56: Small Press Expo 2019

  1. Haha I won an ARC for A Philosophy of Ruin in a Goodreads giveaway…but they didn’t send it to me until after the official publication date 🤦‍♀️ so I haven’t read it yet, because I haven’t felt a huge sense of urgency (and also because I have an uncorrected version when I could get the final one at my local library now?), but I will be curious to hear your final thoughts on it.

    Also, I don’t read nearly enough graphic novels, even though I’ve enjoyed the few I actually have read, so I am looking up a couple of the ones you listed now 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh man. They should have sent it earlier. I’m only a few pages in. It’s okay so far. I’d like to continue with it so I’ll most likely renew it if I can.

      I’m always on the lookout for more comics. I just love that format. The Tea Dragon Society is a nice cute one I recently read. Haven’t posted a review yet though. Is there one you absolutely loved? (Asking to get recommendations 🙃)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I absolutely adored On a Sunbeam, by Tillie Walden! So cute and sweet and beautifully illustrated. Would for sure recommend.

        I’ve also read a couple things (or pieces of things) by Gene Luen Yang. His best-known is American-Born Chinese, but like The Shadow Hero was a really good one too, and he has several others!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ve seen On a Sunbeam around. I’ll take a look at it. And I’ve been meaning to read some of Yang’s work. I have his Boxers & Saints books but haven’t started on them yet.
          Thanks for these recs! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

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