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Jeff Alexander p3

Jeff Alexander gives some interesting reading tips, including some of his favorite comics from recent years at the annual SPX at Maryland, USA.

READERSVOICE.COM: Is there any chance that in the future there might be an anthology of some of the comics featured at the Small Press Expo?

JEFF ALEXANDER: We have done and anthology in the past. When we started, anthologies of independent comics were a rarity and it was a good way to both promote independent comics while raising funds for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. The SPX anthology was a very popular book for a number of years, but as competition from anthologies like MOME, Drawn & Quarterly, Flight, and Kramer’s Ergot grew it was only a matter of time before it would cost more to produce than we would take in.
There is a possibility that we may revive the anthology in the future, but I suspect that it will not be done on the same scale as the previous anthology.

RV: Can you list some of your favorite books of all time?

JA: Just some of my favorite books? ^_^

Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa. The historical novel of the life of Miyamoto Musashi that spawned a three part movie, TV series, and most recently the manga adaptation Vagabond by Takehiko Inoue.

A Journal of the Plague Year: The Diary of the Barcelona Tanner Miquel Parets translated and edited by James S. Amelang. Parets’ diary brings a personal perspective to the black plague that tends to get glossed over in other accounts.

When Christ and His Saints Slept [Or, more likely, when people stopped listening to them ;) – ed.] by Sharon Kay Penman. Another historical novel, this one revolves around the principle players of the 19 year civil war in England that followed the death of Henry I in 1135.

Most recently I’ve been introduced to GeGeGe no Kintaro, a manga by the late Shigeru Mizuki. The characters of this series are based on the interaction of the human and the yokai world. Yokai are the “things” that go bump in the Japanese night.

RV: What have been some of your favorite comics you’ve come across or perhaps judged for the Ignatz awards over the years at the Small Press Expo?

JA: I wasn’t a judge during my stint as the Ignatz Coordinator, that privilege is reserved for the comics professionals on the Ignatz jury. Although, among the books that have stayed with me over the years at SPX would be The Last Lonely Saturday by Jordan Crane, Blankets by Craig Thompson, and Bone by Jeff Smith. These are books that I would loan to people to introduce (or re-introduce) them to comics … and have to buy again when they weren’t returned.

-copyright Simon Sandall.