So a few weeks ago I went to SPX, the Small Press Expo, which, as its name implies, is about indy comics. Everything from one-person self publishers to “biggies” like Top Shelf. (The quotation marks weren’t meant to be a slur at all. Top Shelf is great and “big” in many respects, it just that it’s not huuuuuuge in the traditional sense.)
The biggest question when going to an event such as this is: Which man-purse am I going to use?
Yep, I call it a “man-purse.” Not a satchel or messenger bag.
And, yep, I have numerous man-purses.
Most of the ones I have came from other countries – a fact I use as a defense if someone gives me lip about it. And they are also different in size and what they can carry. For my trip to SPX I needed to be able to carry a couple of bricks of postcards (for the Jay Kennedy Scholarship and for my personal projects like Infant Fred and Dadding Badly) to leave on the freebie table. (Do I need to explain the freebie table? You’re all intelligent folks, right?) I also wanted to take a couple of Bo Nanas books with me in case I see someone I want to give one to. And, y’know, I might just want to buy some stuff.
So those were the perimeters. Looking on the hooks inside my studio’s closet door, I knew I needed something like a soft-sided briefcase. I have a couple (not from other countries) but they either had stuff in them or were just not to be found without a major search. (And since I’ve cleaned my studio for baby-proofing, there’s even more stuff in the already-bursting closet, making finding anything that’s not floating on the surface tricky.) So in the end, there was only one bag that fit the bill:
This is a bag I got as a holiday gift from my friends at MAD Magazine, which happens to be owned by DC Comics. The problem is, I don’t want to be “that guy.” (This is along the lines of my abandoned Summer T-shirt Spectacular!! experiment.) I don’t want to look like I’m advertising my comics nerdom. Although I’m not ashamed of it. (Or am I? Hmmm.) That aside, I didn’t want to be wearing the logo of one of the big two mainstream comics companies at an indy comic con and to be secretly sneered at by cooler-than-me hipsters. (Or outwardly sneered at for that matter.) So what to do? Simple – I’d just wear the man-purse with the logo facing in.
The problem is that the logo is on the flap so to get inside you have to maneuver a bit to get it open. To make this easier on myself I figured I’d just leave the flap unflapped, hanging to the outside. After all, this would mean that only the inside of the flap is showing and the logo is on the outside so it can’t be seen…… right?
Well, this is what it looked like.
So not only was it evident that I was wearing this logo, it was obvious that I was try to hide it.
What a nerd.