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Students Attend the 2010 Small Press Expo

The 16th annual Small Press Exposition was held the weekend of September 11–12, 2010 at the Marriott Bethesda North Hotel and Conference Center in Bethesda, MD, just one mile outside of the nation’s capital. The Expo brought together over 400 artists and publishers—including five Ohio Northern University students—to meet their readers, booksellers, distributors, and each other.

Mike Madsen, a senior graphic design major from Coshocton, enjoyed the opportunity to attend this year’s expo. “I really did have a good time at this event. I’m able to wander around and buy stuff and actually attend some panel sessions.”

Other ONU students who attended the Expo were:
• Fred Frances, a senior studio arts major from Pittsburgh
• Jeff Gibbons, a senior studio arts major from Toledo
• Matt Madsen, a sophomore graphic design major from Coshocton
• Kevin Drain, a sophomore graphic design major from Urbana

The Small Press Expo (SPX) was the preeminent showcase for the exhibition of independent comics, graphic novels and alternative political cartoons.

Similar to past year’s conferences, SPX presented a program of some of the most insightful, thought provoking interviews and panel discussions in comics today, assembled by comics curator, teacher and author Bill Kartalopoulos.

While at the SPX, Ohio Northern students were able to network with some of the industries most talented artists. Spotlight sessions were held with James Sturm and Jaime Hernandez, as well as discussions on comics with Gary Groth, Kate Beaton, R. Sikoryak and Emmy Award winner Dean Haspiel, amongst others. The Center for Cartoon Studies again held a comics workshop and a panel on Comics for Younger Readers included such notable creators as Raina Telgemeier and the Metaphrog team.

“I only attended two panels on Saturday, but both were great,” said Mike. “The first was the Focus on James Sturm panel. “I heard of Sturm and found myself thoroughly engaged in his talk. I’ve made a few notes to investigate some of the cartoonist mentioned as a major influences—some I’ve never heard about before the talk.”

The art & design students also were able to attend the annual Ignatz Awards, a festival prize that recognizes outstanding achievement in comics and cartooning. Various categories included best artist, best narrative, best graphic novel, among others.

All profits from SPX go to support the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, defending the First Amendment rights of members of the comics community.

The 2010–11 academic year marks the 50th anniversary of the Bachelor of Arts degree in art at Ohio Northern University. Growing from a single-discipline school, the department offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with majors in advertising design, art education, graphic design and studio arts with concentrations in two-dimensions, three-dimensions and art therapy. The department of A&D holds memberships in national organizations such as the National Art Education Association, College Art Association, Foundations in Art: Theory and Education and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is also recognized in the second edition of “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers” as one of the best creative programs nationwide. For additional information about the department of art & design or the University’s 2010-11 Arts Exhibition Season, contact the department at 419.772.2160.