Small Press Expo Announces Chris Ware, Sylvia Nickerson, Simon Hanselmann, Richie Pope, Jessica Abel and Scott Morse as Special Guests for 2019. 

For Immediate Release
Contact: Eden Miller

Bethesda, Maryland – June 27, 2019 Media Release – Small Press Expo is proud to announce the first group of Special Guests for SPX 2019. The festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday, September 14-15, at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center and will have over 650 creators, 280 exhibitor tables, over 20 programming slots and additional hands-on workshops to introduce attendees to the amazing world of independent and small press comics. Additional Special Guests will be announced soon. SPX 2019 is honored to have the following creators as Special Guests to this year’s show:

Chris Ware

Chris Ware is widely acknowledged to be the most gifted and beloved cartoonist of his generation by both his mother and fourteen-year-old daughter. His Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth won the Guardian First Book Award and was listed as one of the 100 Best Books of the Decade by The Times (London) in 2009. Building Stories was named a Top Ten Fiction Book of the Year in 2012 by both The New York Times and Time magazine. Ware is an irregular contributor to The New Yorker, and his original drawings have been exhibited at the Whitney Biennial, in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and in piles behind his worktable in Oak Park, Illinois. In 2016 he was featured in the PBS documentary series Art 21: Art in the 21st Century, and in 2017 an eponymous monograph of his work was published by Rizzoli. His most recent work is the upcoming Rusty Brown, a fully interactive, full-color articulation of the time-space interrelationships of a couple people in the first half of a single midwestern American day and the tiny piece of human grit about which they involuntarily orbit. 

Sylvia Nickerson

Sylvia Nickerson is a comics artist, writer, and illustrator who lives in Hamilton, Canada. Her focus is storytelling in community arts and writing comics examining parenthood, gender identity, social class and religion. Her illustrations have appeared in The Globe and Mail, The National Post, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post and her comics have been nominated for a Doug Wright Award. In Creation, a new mother takes us on a tour of Hamilton, a Rust Belt city born of the Industrial Revolution and dying a slow death due to globalization. Creation looks at gentrification from the inside out—an artist mother making a home and neighborhood for her family, struggling to find her place amid the existing and emerging communities.

Simon Hanselmann 
Simon Hanselmann was born in 1981 in Launceston, Tasmania. His New York Times best-selling Megg & Mogg series has been translated into thirteen languages, nominated for multiple Ignatz and Eisner awards, and won “Best Series” at the Angoulême International Comics Festival in 2018. His latest addition to the series is Bad Gateway. He currently lives in Seattle, WA, with his wife and a rotating cast of smallanimals.

Richie Pope

Richie Pope is a cartoonist, character designer, and illustrator from Newport News, VA. Since 2012 he’s created illustrations for publications such as The New YorkerThe New York Times, and The Nib as well as book covers for publishers like HarperCollins, Scholastic, and Simon & Schusterrecognized by The Society of Illustrators and American Illustration. He’s also created comics for LAAB Magazine, Superitis for Shortbox and Fatherson for the award-winning Frontier series from Youth In Decline, as well as self-published comics like That Box We Sit On which won an Ignatz Award for Outstanding Artist. Richie is currently living and working in Los Angeles. 

Jessica Abel

Cartoonist and coach Jessica Abel is the founder of the Creative Focus Workshop, and works with ambitious mid-career creative pros and businesses to stop grinding and start carving out deep focus time to finish—and launch—their major, game-changing projects. Abel is the author of Growing Gills: How to Find Creative Focus When You’re Drowning in Your Daily Life, the graphic novel La Perdida (winner of the 2002 “Best New Series” Harvey Award), as well as two collections of stories from her 1990s omnibus comic book Artbabe. She co-authored the graphic novel Life Sucks, and is the author of the graphic documentary (and podcast), Out on the Wire, about how the best radio producers in the world use story to keep us listening. Her latest work of fiction is the Eisner-nominated Trish Trash: Rollergirl of Mars.

Scott Morse

Scott Morse is an award-winning storyteller with a career spanning the worlds of feature animation, television, children’s literature, and graphic novels. As a story artist contributing to both writing and visuals, Morse has helped craft the Pixar films Ratatouille, WALL-EBraveToy Story 4, and multiple entries in the Carsfranchise, where he also contributed on multiple short films as director, and story supervisor on Cars 3.  With creator-owned work for multiple publishing houses world-wide, Morse has garnered critical acclaim and a loyal fan base of all ages. His 6-book Scholastic series, Magic Pickle, has helped pave the way for his newest Scholastic offering, Dugout, out in June. Morse lives in Northern California with his wife and two sons. 

Small Press Expo (SPX) is the preeminent showcase for the exhibition of independent comics, graphic novels, and alternative political cartoons. SPX is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit that brings together more than 650 artists and publishers to meet their readers, booksellers, and distributors each year. Graphic novels, mini comics, and alternative comics will all be on display and for sale by their authors and illustrators. The expo includes a series of panel discussions and interviews with this year’s guests.
The Ignatz Award is a festival prize held every year at SPX recognizing outstanding achievement in comics and cartooning, with the winners chosen by attendees at the show.
As in previous years, profits from the SPX will go to support the SPX Graphic Novel Gift Program, which funds graphic novel purchases for public and academic libraries. For more information on the SmallPress Expo, please visit