Independent Ink

Small Press Expo in Bethesda includes 'Gay Interest' section for GLBT cartoonists & artists

by Will O'Bryan
Published on October 12, 2006, 12:00am | Comments

The D.C. area will get a dose of GLBT counterculture this weekend, when ''SPX'' -- or, the Small Press Expo: North America's Premiere Independent Cartooning and Comics Arts Festival -- lands in Bethesda Oct. 13 and 14. Among the hundreds of exhibitors, a group of GLBT and allied artists has carved out its own enclave for the show. Among these artists is former Washingtonian Bill Roundy, now of New York, creator of the autobiographical Amazing Adventures of Bill online comic strip.

Though comics are both art and entertainment, Roundy says there is also a political bent to independent comics, especially those with a GLBT angle, that is unique.

''It's the whole 'personal is political' queer aspect,'' he explains. ''You can see characters in independent gay comics you won't see anywhere else, like gender-queer characters, s & m, characters in polyamorous relationships. It's not all just tights and power rings and capes. Definitely, you can get more political.''

The 'gay interest' section of the expo will include about 10 artists, says Roundy, ranging from Liz Ballie and her My Brain Hurts comic about a teen lesbian, to Justin Hall with Glamzonia: the Uncanny Super-Tranny.

Profits from the expo will benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a First Amendment advocacy group.

Visit www.spxpo.com for more info.