By Susan Constanse
Indie comics have become entrenched in the literary landscape, with an avid fan base that enjoys artists who produce books from serious to silly. Pittsburgh’s burgeoning indie scene is apparent when you note the many independent presses and expos that the city boasts. Unicorn Mountain, for instance, produces books for local and regional artists.
Pittsburgh boasts several outlets for the comics aficionado, including The Toonseum and The Copacetic Comics Company, who are teaming up again this year for PIX: The Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo. PIX will be held on the top floor of Guardian Storage’s flex space located in the Strip District. It’s a generous, light-filled space, with double height ceilings and amazing views; a perfect setting for the vision presented by PIX.
Last year, PIX hosted local and regional artists, as well as special guests and panel discussions. Tables ranked the room and lined the walls, with vendors offering everything from buttons and magnets to books. There were hand-pulled silkscreen prints, original drawings, artist-made books and plenty of opportunities to talk to writers and artists. This year, many of the same local and regional vendors, as well as some new faces, will be on hand with their wares.
John Porcellino, one of this year’s exhibitors, has been self-publishing King-Cat Comix and Stories since 1989. He is not a stranger to Pittsburgh, having recently done a book signing at Copacetic Comics. With over seventy King Cat issues, as well as other graphic novels and chapbooks, Mr. Porcellino will be a must see at this year’s PIX.
Last year’s exhibitors included award winners as well as emerging zines. It is likely that many of the local exhibitors will be returning for this year’s PIX. Among them are:
- Dave Wachter who created the adventure webcomic Guns of Shadow Valley.
- D.J. Coffman won the first annual “Comic Book Challenge” with his creation “Hero By Night.”
- Bob Corby of Back Porch Comics has been producing zines since 1987.
- Wayne Wise self-publishes Grey Legacy Talesteaches “Comics and Popular Culture” as an adjunct professor at Chatham University.
- Tom Dewing has produced 10 issues of his zine Attack of the Zombie Soy Bot!
- Pat Lewis comics have appeared in the anthologies BOOM! Studios, Top Shelf Comics and Fulcrum Books.
- Tara Helfer is the editor of the comic anthology, Unicorn Mountain.
- Juan Jose Fernandez is a Venezuelan illustrator and cartoonist living in Pittsburgh.
Bring plenty of small bills; there are lots of dollar books on sample to acquaint you with an unfamiliar zine. A complete vendor list can be found on the event site.
PIX: The Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo
Guardian Self Storage
Saturday, October 8 and Sunday, October 9, 2011
10:00am to 5:00pm, both days
Susan Constanse is a painter, living and working in Pittsburgh. Examples of her work can be viewed on her site, at http://www.susanconstanse.com