I am pretty sure that I can safely speak for everyone at Paper Darts when I say that all the fun was had at the 2011 Minneapolis Indie Xpo. It was well attended, smelled good, had great coffee available from the Boiler Room, and awesome food for sale from the Chef Shack. The parties were great, the panels were fantastic (especially the one on comics and literature, ahem) and no one got killed. Good work to Sarah Morean and crew. Fantastic work! Minneapolis is lucky to have you.
While I did not go both days, Paper Darts had a table set up for the weekend that we took turns manning. Sandwiched right between Altered Esthetics and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, we were one of the first tables attendees saw as they arrived.
Though my shift at the table was only two hours, I spent one and a half of those hours (sorry Jamie!) running wild through the Soap Factory looking at all of the art, and doing my best to talk to as many people as I could.
Here is a list of my favorite people to talk to, my favorite art, and some fun stuff to check out:
Kris Dresen gave me a really lovely book called gone that is more illustrated poetry than comic. Very thoughtful and beautifully drawn.
David Kelly was kind enough to give me a 10th anniversary issue of Boy Trouble (co-edited by his table mate Rob Kirby, who was equally nice and funny...and from the 1990's) which is a collection of short comics by different writers and artists all focusing on gay boys—very cute, sometimes heartbreaking, and definitely worth checking out. My favorite was one by Kelly himself called "Phonograph," which is a short, silent story about the role music plays in our lives.
Thank god Dresen and Kelly were kind enough to offer me some books out of the kindness of their hearts, because I had limited money with me for MIX, and I ended up only buying one thing: Night Animals by Brecht Evens, from Top Shelf Comics. The art in the book is so amazing. Definitely a show stopper. Seriously. Get this book.
One other whole book that I ended up with was "a collection if inky manifestations" by Samuel Hiti called Ghoulash, from Laluz Comics. It seems like this book is more a sketchbook, or collection of "greatest hits" from things he's done, it's still a page turner, because each image is darker, and more mysterious than the last...until you get to the Rambo part, and then it's just badass.
Again, moths were flying out of my wallet from my cartoonish poverty so I just could not buy what I wanted at MIX, but I made sure to pick up plenty of cards from artists whose work I can't wait to revisit at payday. Below is a list of artists I liked, and therefore you should check out:
Brad McGinty—A continuation of the Topps Mars Attacks trading card series? Fucking amazing.
Eamon Epsey—Have you ever been a colorblind man taking acid with the ancient Mayans?
Koyama Press—Darling and amazing press from Toronto.
Bart King—Simple and sweet screenprints and (among others) a comic on making illegal drugs. Good guy.
Jordan Shiveley founder of Grimalkin Press—Another small press, with beautiful, beautiful books (and really good food).
Dustin Harbin—Published by Koyama Press, and hilarious and amazing and colorful. Also, business card is a sticker. Plus one.
Finally, Julie Sydor who is making my life (and probably yours) complete by launching a web series in December that revolves completely around an obscure, once-used and nearly forgotten DC character called Snow Flame, who is powered by cocaine.
Man, that was a great party. Thank you Minneapolis! Thank you Sarah! Thank you great art form known as "comics." What a great weekend.