Jeff Alexander and SPX have had a long and happy relationship together; in 1998, he joined Chris Oarr as part of the Ignatz Awards Committee, and became the Ignatz Awards Coordinator in 1999. In his time as coordinator from 1999 through 2006, the Ignatz Awards added several new categories (Outstanding Online Comic, and splitting Outstanding Graphic Novel or Collection into the seperate awards of Outstanding Graphic Novel and Outstanding Anthology or Collection) and became an important award within comic book circles.
When Jeff stepped down as Ignatz Coordinator, it was to become the Assistant Executive Director of SPX for 2007-2009, and in 2010 he served as the Executive Director of the show. Jeff was always a familiar sight doing whatever needed to be done, from cash pulls to crowd control. Jeff also did a lot of behind the scenes graphics work for the show. He created an Ignatz Awards comic strip every year for the program spotlighting the nominees, created the retro-pulp posters for the parties and receptions, and designed the badges for Ignatz Award Nominees to wear proudly.
Jeff Alexander was also a cartoonist in his own right, with his comic Literary Grafitti published a few years ago. Jeff had talked about taking his extra free time to get back into comic creating again, and hoped to build up enough before long to justify his own table at SPX.
Jeff was funny and sarcastic, able to crack up a stone-faced audience with a single rejoinder. Every year he swore it would be his last helping with SPX, and as soon as the show was over he’d say, “I have some great ideas for next year’s show.” Over the years he built friendships with hundreds of our artists and exhibitors, and he often said the worst thing about working on the show was that sometimes things had to get done when you really wanted to stop and talk to all of the great artists. He had a wide range of interests, from anime and Doctor Who to mahjongg and paintball.
Jeff Alexander wasn’t just a fellow volunteer/board member, he was a good friend, and all of us at SPX will miss him terribly.