Highlights of SPX
September 15th, 2010

Highlights of SPX

Here is some more background info on SPX that didn’t fit in the panels:

PANEL ONE: I haven’t flown in a plane since I lived in Colorado, which made the flight novel and special.

PANEL TWO: I should have sprung for the GPS.  I got some bad directions and went literally off the map.  I didn’t get to the hotel until 4:30 in the morning.

PANEL THREE: In retrospect, I also ate at the hotel breakfast buffet and had a Power Bar at lunch.  At the time though, I thought I was running on Twizzlers.

PANEL FOUR: I had heard about Roger Langridge through the now defunct Big Illustration Party Time and Art and Story.  I really love his sense of humor and comedic timing.  I walked away with a  Fred the Clown comic, and I will probably buy more.

PANEL FIVE: Mercury Hat tweeted me saying she turned the box over to SPX staff, so there is hope of getting it back yet.

PANEL SIX: Even with the missing box, I felt very calm and relaxed on the way back home.  I even found a meditation room at the airport to sit in while waiting for the flight.

Here are some events that didn’t make it into the comic:

Eating at a fancy restaurant while wearing a “Proud to be Awesome” T-Shirt.

Meeting Ink Panther Mike Dawson (he was sharing a table with the guy right next to me).

Having people stand in front of my limited table space and look at other people’s books.

Having to pay money for Internet Access.

Making enough money to pay for table costs and price of books sold.

Seeing Mike Sgier again.

Briefly meeting the Art and Story crew.

Having Kaiki christen me “The Angriest Man in Comics”.

Speaking of anger, my comics were one of the subjects on the last episode of the Geek Report.  It turns out people actually wrote in to say I wasn’t an angry person, which surprised me.  Anyway, they cover a wide range of geek related topics, and you should check it out.


  1. Bobby B.

    Congrats, Ryan! I love reading your comics after you go to a show. It’s so much better than most artists’ who just tweet “Show went great. Thanks for coming out.”

    Panel 3 made me smile especially.

  2. Ryan Dow

    I’m usually guilty of those kinds of con reports, but this one was special to me. I really wanted to remember as much as I could, even with the bad stuff.

  3. Javier Hernandez


    This is a neat report in that it’s got lots of ups and downs.

    People standing in front of your table while looking at other books: Yep, that’s always a downer. But overall, making it out to a con is all good, at least that’s the way I look at it.

    That’s interesting to read that the airport had a meditation room?! I’ve been to my share of airports but never noticed one of those. I haven’t looked for one, but it’s still news to me. Good for you!

    I enjoy these convention report strips. I should really try one myself one of these days….

  4. Ryan Dow

    I’m definitely glad I went there. Really, the standing in front of the table issue mainly came up because the table space was about 3 feet.

    Yeah, I wouldn’t have noticed the meditation room if I had not been stranded in the airport. It was a small footnote on the map of the airport. But it was a nice place to kill time and collect my thoughts until I could check my luggage.

  5. Summer

    Hi, Ryan. I met you at the SPX show last weekend, where I said something about being attracted to comics that look like they have an ironic view on religion, or something to that effect… lol. Well, my goal at the con was to go home with a load of books, and I am so glad that I brought yours home with me. In short, I thought it was wonderful; it wasn’t at all what I expected and I mean that in the best possible way. I come from a background (life, religious or otherwise) that probably is very similar to yours, and found a lot to identify with in the journey you portray in your comic. It was refreshing to read something that was so much more than just a “wham, bam” one hit punchline comic. I often found myself laughing out loud and not only was your book engaging, it was endearing. I am a ways out of college, but I attended a conservative, Christian liberal arts (if those things can go together) school in southern IL, where I along with many of my friends went through the spiritual, angsty journey of realizing that God is good, but organized religion is often not, discovering meditation or whatever else struck our souls during that time. You have a bunch of new fans now who look forward to reading more. I also love “Lil’ Buddha” as a sidekick/conscience/partner in crime 🙂 Thank you!

  6. Ryan Dow

    Wow, we really do have a similar background! I don’t think I mentioned it anywhere in the book, but I did go to a conservative Christian liberal arts college (it was ELCA Lutheran, though, so it wasn’t super conservative). I also went through a lot of spiritual angst before and after college. My brain shuts off whenever the subject of “Does God exist?” comes up because I feel like I’ve been through every permutation of that conversation. I don’t know if I’ve got that much against organized religion personally, but I do see things that disturb me. Anyway, thanks for the kind words!

  7. Mike Sgier

    I think you went through what I went through with APE a couple years back. There’s always a learning curve with the out-of-town cons, and the more you do them, the more you’ll be prepared. Take what you learned this time out and apply it to other cons, or to SPX again. And check with guys like Kevin and Zander and get their advice about the convention circuit.

    It was good seeing you and thanks for the shout out. Keep going!

  8. Ryan Dow

    Yeah, I expected to make a few mistakes. I tried to prepare for everything, but you can’t learn to prepare for everything without some experience under your belt. Anyway, it was a great learning experience! I’m thinking about holding off on SPX until I have another big book out. But who knows? Maybe I’ll change my mind.

  9. Naomi

    I used the Meditation Room at Newark on a layover…never knew they existed in airports before, but so glad I do now. I wonder how many airports have them? And how often are they used? It was other-worldly, stepping out of the busy terminal into a completely silent dim space, with only 2 other people in the room (both napping!), having a moment to catch my breath and clear my head. What a beautiful idea.

    More busy places like airports need free spaces like this. I am thinking malls, schools, the DMV, Disneyland, the State Fair; anywhere people are rushed and stressed out. But maybe I am the only one who gets stressed at “fun” places like malls, fairs, and Disneyland…

  10. Ryan Dow

    The only downside is that some people don’t understand what it’s for. A guy came and talked on his cell phone for a good ten minutes. There was also a bunch of spilled chocolate chips on one of the chairs.

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