Our PIX 2016 Weekend Recap!

This past weekend was PIX, the Pittsburgh Indy Comix Expo, not surprisingly held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Thanks to the support of our Patreon backers, we were able to get a table and exhibit our comics! Although the show was only one day, it was pretty busy for us from start to finish.

PIX is an event that takes place every year in Pittsburgh, presented by the Toonseum and the Copacetic Comics Company, and is described as being “…devoted solely to creator-owned, self-published, small press, and handmade comics, artists’ books and other visual works.” The main event is an exhibition hall, held at the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers (as it apparently has been in the past), with several other lectures, workshops, and events taking place at other locations throughout the day. The best part of the event is it’s free and open to the public, so we spent all day in the company of people who love making comics, want to make their own comics, or just wanted something new to read or to make their first steps into enjoying the medium. Pretty great!

We spent the week beforehand getting ready for PIX by doing inventory - comics everywhere!
We spent part of the week beforehand getting ready for PIX by doing inventory; stacks of comics everywhere!

Our PIX day started early – at 4 am. We’re from the Buffalo, New York area, and so Pittsburgh is an easy trip for us to do in a day. The problem was, we didn’t quite take setup time into account and had to set our alarms back a little bit. We were on the road by 5, and our first stop was coffee from Tim Horton’s along the Thruway. Timmy never disappoints, and with caffeine and Timbits in hand we set out into the pre-dawn gloom. It was raining steadily by the time we hit the Pennsylvania border, and the sun wasn’t yet up, but we were determined to make the day a good one.

PIX 2016 posters on the door to the Teachers' Federation.
We were so early, the signs on the front door had only just been put up!

As we got closer to the city, the rain faded away and the sun rose into a clear blue sky. We arrived in Pittsburgh around 9:30 AM, which would leave us plenty of time to get our table ready for the day ahead of us. The Teachers’ Federation building was quiet, since almost no one had arrived this early, but there was ample space for the crowd that would arrive in the next hour or so. After some slight confusion about our table location, we got our setup in place and tried to take a break in the time until the attendees arrived. The rest of the room filled in quickly, and we were awed by the diversity and number of our fellow exhibitors. There were artists from every level of ability and style; some with glossy, professionally-bound books, and others with lovingly handmade zines; but everyone was extremely passionate about their work and it filled the room with a great energy and excitement that carried through the day.

Comics spread across a table with Bug sitting behind it. A large banner reads MESSENGER & FOLLOWER behind.
We were set up and ready to go well before the doors opened.

As soon as the doors opened, we were hit with a crowd of people eager to see what was there. The exhibitors’ room was open from 11 AM to 6 PM, and most of that time was a blur, with a slight break in the middle. We talked Follower with many (hopefully) new readers, handed out tons of cards, and sold comics! Throughout the day, we met a ton of other amazing artists, and even picked up some of their work, links below in no particular order:

Traffic remained steady right until closing, at which point we needed to dismantle our table and head out so the room could be repurposed for that evening’s speakers.

At that point, we had a choice to make. We wanted to come back and listen to some of the speakers that night, but we also had a four hour haul back home, with a surprise threat of snow on the way. We decided in the end to grab dinner, check the weather, and start back north. It’s lucky that we left when we did, as the highways pretty quickly became a snowy mess with really limited visibility. It was 2 AM before we finally arrived back home, but it was well worth the time spent on the road. We had a blast at PIX, and definitely plan to try and make it back next year! Thanks for having us, Pittsburgh!

(Check out our video blog on the event!)


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