Staple Media expo is back in Austin this week end March 5th&6th at the Marchesa Hall and Theater. Chris ”Uncle Staple” Nicholas answered our questions before kicking off with the event.
Observer: What is Staple? How long have you been
doing it, why are you doing it?
S: STAPLE! The Independent Media Expo is a convention for independently
produced comics, zines, arts, crafts, games, animation and more. It’s been
running for seven years now, and is still the only event of its kind in
As an independent comic book creator myself, I was motivated to make a
show like this, which is one of the only ways to distribute
self-published, DIY, and small-press work, to give an opportunity the
local and regional folks that do this sort of stuff to get it out there
(without having to travel across the country), and to give their potential
audience a chance to find it.
O: What kind of people attend to the event? About how many people attend?
Are you expecting more than last year? How much?
S: People who are into creative works, and like to interact
with those who have made them. They’re usually also hip, smart and
We’ve had around 850 people attend the last two years in a row, and we’re
hoping that by going to two days for the first time, to increase that
O: What will happen at the event? What are you offering?
S: Around 8 hours of programming, including Q&A sessions with all our awesome
guests, an Indie Animation Panel, the Comic Book Literacy Documentary, and
a sneak peek at The Intergalactic Nemesis, Volume 2.
There are also two rooms full of around 150 exhibitors of all the stuff mentioned earlier and more!
O: What gave you the idea to start this Staple expo?
S: Several years ago a friend and I began collaborating on our own
self-published comic, and in our efforts to distribute and sell it we
started meeting a lot of people locally and regionally who were doing the
same thing, including a lot of folks in the Austin Sketch Group, a loose
collective of artists and illustrators that meets most Sunday afternoons
downtown at the Hideout.
Some of the local shops will accept self-published books, but generally
the only way to get this kind of work out there, other than the internet,
is to exhibit it at shows. At that time there were only about 4 or 5 indie
comics shows in the country, and none of them anywhere near Austin. If a
person is selling their home-made comics and zines for $2 or $3 bucks
each, the cost of traveling to one of those shows makes it fiscally
prohibitive at best, and it occurred to me that there were enough talented
people around that we could put on a pretty good show right here in town.
I started asking around and there seemed to be enough interest in the
idea, then Austin Books hosted one of the first 24-hour Comics Days, and
the turn out there (which was the biggest in the world that year) led me
to believe that it could be possible.
I recruited some help and took about a year to plan and organize the first
STAPLE!, which was held in March of 2005 at the Elk’s Lodge. It was even
more successful than we’d anticipated, and the show has been growing ever
O: Any Recommendations for people coming this week end when it comes to parking, what to bring, whats is allowed and what isn’t?
S: Lots of parking at the Marchesa and across the street at Highland Mall.
The venue does not allow outside food and drink, but will be running a
concession on site.
You’re going to find tons stuff you want to buy from the many talented
exhibitors, so bring a lot of cash!
You can find the ull schedule and guest list at: http://www.staple-austin.org/guests/ and the
exhibitor list at: http://www.staple-austin.org/exhibitors/